Odell Manuel

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Odell Manuel
Personal information
Born (1978-01-12) 12 January 1978 (age 39)
New Zealand
Playing information
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 150 kg (23 st 9 lb)
Position Wing
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–00 New Zealand Warriors 39 13 0 0 52
2001–02 Canberra Raiders 19 6 0 0 24
Total 58 19 0 0 76
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1997 Junior Kiwis
1998–08 New Zealand Māori 2 0 0 0 0
Source: RLP

Odell Manuel is a former New Zealand rugby league player and the Australian Powerlifting champion.

Early years[edit]

Growing up in Auckland, Manuel was an Otahuhu Leopards junior and in 1997 was selected for the Junior Kiwis.

Rugby league career[edit]

Manuel played for the Warriors for two seasons, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1999.[1] In 2000 he represented the New Zealand Māori at the World Cup. He then spent two years at Canberra which were much less successful. Mid way through his first season he was injured in a collision with Lesley Vainikolo in training and he spent much of his second year in reserve grade.[2]

He then returned to New Zealand to play for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders in the Bartercard Cup before a swansong season in Australia with the Central Comets.[3] However, after only six games he was diagnosed with arthritis and forced to retire.[2]

Powerlifting career[edit]

In January 2009 Manuel entered his first powerlifting event. In March he won the Queensland title at the Queensland Open in Brisbane, lifting 892.5 kg, and in July 2009 he won the Australian national title by lifting 916 kg to break the Australian record by more than 20 kg and claim the overall title.[2]

However Manuel tested positive to methylhexanamine at the Australian Powerlifting National Championships and was disqualified from the powerlifting events he competed in at the 2009 National Championships.[4] He was banned for three months for the use of a banned substance, instead of the usual two-year suspension due to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) being satisfied that he used the substance as part of a supplement and not to boost his performance in the sport.

November 2012 after time off with knee injury Manuel returned to competition mode in Melbourne's ProRaw powerlifting event posting a huge 932.5 kg raw total made up of a 350 kg (squat) 215 kg (bench) 367.5 kg (deadlift) @129 kg bodyweight.This event made him the first man in Australian history to go over 900 kg raw in his weight class.

In June 2013 Manuel made history again at the GPC Australia National Powerlifting titles. He squatted 390 kg, bench pressed 230 kg and deadlifted 400 kg at 137 kg bodyweight raw. This added up to a 1020 kg total, making him the first Australian to total over 1000 kg raw, across any powerlifting federation.


  1. ^ Odell Manuel Rugby League in New Zealand
  2. ^ a b c Deane, Steve (14 August 2009). "Weightlifting: Former Warrior powers way to top in new sport". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Keeping the Faith Queensland Rugby League
  4. ^ Powerlifters banned for stimulant use The Age, 24 December 2009