Tongan powerhouse weightlifter David Liti gunning for gold for NZ at Commonwealth Games

Kiwi weightlifter David Liti is a force to be reckoned with, the 21-year-old weighs 166kg and is confirmed to compete at next year's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.

The Tongan powerhouse is expected to medal before taking the sport to new heights.

In Liti's first senior competition he recently placed 14th at the World Champs.

He is coached by Tina Ball who first came across Liti as a year 10 student at One Tree Hill College, where his focus was on rugby, playing alongside the likes of Rieko Ioane in the Auckland age grades.

"To be honest, it’s boring at first, you just come to snatch and clean and jerk," said Liti.

"You're just like 'who wants to do this?'"

Liti is the only Kiwi junior to ever clean and jerk over 200kg, he is now New Zealand's top ranked superheavyweight.

The New Zealand weightlifter is the second youngest of 11 sibling and admits his journey has been tough.

"So my mum used to give me five dollars a day, so that was like two dollars and twenty for the bus fare and then you get two dollars eight for whatever you're gonna buy, that buys you nothing," said Liti.

"So I used to always eat bad, once a day – sometimes not even, don't even eat some days."

Tina Ball is like a second mum to the Kiwi weightlifter, with a room for Liti at her house so she can keep a close eye on him.

"It was only her (Tina) and my mum that believed I could be something in weightlifting. I didn't even believe in myself," said Liti.

Liti and his coach are gunning for gold at the Commonwealth Games and also have the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in their sights.