BP: Hi Hira, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed ahead of the upcoming Women's British Classic Championships! So, firstly, what ambitions do you have for this year's competition?
HT: Same goal as every year.... do better than last year! My ambition is to go into this year stronger than before, both mentally and physically. I only have control over my own training and can only focus on myself, so the aim is to see if i can PB all of my lifts and bring my best performance on the day, irrelevant if this places me on the podium or not, as you just don't know what will happen on the day.
BP: What other predictions of this years competitions can you bring on the inside track?
HT: I'm scared of all of the juniors that are coming up through. They are so focused and so strong. When I was that age, I spent more time at the pub than doing any sport. I think that a number of them will go on to set some ridiculous records. Hmmm in my weight class there are a few lifters who have come up a weight class, it will shake things up and definitely make for a spicy competition.
BP: You've had some pretty strong deadlift battles in national and international competitions, do you feel like deadlift is your lift? And do you enjoy the intensity a close battle brings?
HT: I suppose it is, it is the reason that I decided to start powerlifting! It is always great to be able to finish the competition on a high, to build up to your favourite lift. At one competition i have managed to go from last place (after squat & bench) to be contending for the podium once deadlifts started.
The battle can be intense mentally, as a lot of games can be played with numbers. Though I try to stay away from that and focus on what I have to do. To go out there and lift the heaviest i can, and hope that it is enough to put a marker down against everyone else. I enjoy the intensity of it. .
BP: How long have you lived in Britain, and how do you feel it compares to New Zealand? Do you miss not being so cold?
HT: I have lived here for about 15 years now, though a part of me will always be a Kiwi. Haha i'm convinced its more cold, grey and damp here than NZ!! Though I do love it here, there are numerous things that are so different to NZ: the close proximity to Europe, the history, pubs and culture.
BP: Can you rate the comparative standards of lifting between the two countries?
HT: I only started lifting about 4 years ago, since I have been in the UK, so my knowledge of lifting in NZ is limited to what I have seen on social media... though they have this guy you might have heard of ...Brett Gibbs. I hear he is alright!
Before lifting I had participated in various other sports, netball, volleyball, running etc. I got into lifting through kettlebells, the club i was part of at the time had a challenge, part of which was a deadlift. I trained for a couple of months for it and got 170kg deadlift at the challenge, thought that that was kind of fun, someone told me about powerlifting and I entered my first competition not long after. Jumped in the deep end and turned out i like this new sport.
BP: Outside of this particular competition, what powerlifting ambitions do you have?
HT: I would like to one day achieve a 3x BW deadlift, doesn't have to be in comp, even in my garage would still be very satisfying.
BP: And lastly, what are your favourite ways to relax and wind down outside of lifting?
HT: It's not a secret but I do like a gin or two to relax.