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Meet NZ's strongest woman taking the world by storm

A Manawatū wahine’s strongwoman efforts are starting to have an effect on her family, leading to a family gym where everyone is raising the bar.

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Shayna Wirihana’s held the national title twice, now she’s ranked 13th globally. Source: Seven Sharp

Shayna Wirihana is taking the strongwomen world by storm, claiming two national titles on her way to her current No.13 rank globally.

It doesn’t take long to see how. 

“Overhead, 120 kilos, I’ve flipped a 300 kilo tyre, I’ve carried 115 kilos per hand farmers and also a 142.5 kilo atlas stones which most lifts I’ve done are unofficial New Zealand records at the moment,” Wirihana told Seven Sharp.

“I have been two times New Zealand's Strongest Woman, and second strongest woman in the Southern Hemisphere and 13th strongest woman in the world.” 

It’s all part of her journey to newfound goal.

“To podium within the world - that's one of my biggest goals in the sport.” 

Adding to the journey now is the support and involvement of Wirihana’s whānau who are supporting her along the way. 

“My partner Connor got me in to the sport first and so he still competes and also my brother Eruera as well as my father Edward,” she said.

“So now we're just waiting for mum!” 

Thanks to that support and involvement, as well as the testing times Covid-19 lockdowns have created the Wirihana homestead has also turned into Wirihana Family Gym.

“During Covid last year, my children decided they couldn't get to the gym as often as they should be so me and my lovely wife, we decided to build them a gym outside our own whare,” father Edward said. 

It’s equipped with everything required to train for national title winners. 

“From the Atlas stones to the hucifer to the monster dumbbells as you see, and a lot of other equipment is displayed today.” 

So what does it take to be one of the strongest wahine in the world?

“A lot of training is involved. so that could be five days a week, and not only just lifting things but also maintaining endurance and cardio as much as you can,” Wirihana said. 

“And keeping fit and also eating well.” 

A loving, supporting family is important too.

“My whānau - we lift together, we truly stay together.

“One hundred per cent.”