WATCH: Kiwi swimmer hits pukana after winning first-ever gold at world champs

WATCH: Kiwi swimmer hits pukana after winning first-ever gold at world champs

Well earned mate, well earned.

 Lewis Clareburt repped Aotearoa perfectly at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar earlier this morning.

The 24-year-old swimmer took home gold for the 400-metre individual medley event and, after realising he won, he slapped the water and hit a celebratory pukana.

He was coming third in the first stage of the race (backstroke) but boosted it during the breaststroke and freestyle legs to finish with a time of four minutes and 9.72 seconds - enough to qualify him for the Paris Olympics later this year. 

"I'm super proud of what I was able to put together today," he told SwimmingNZ. "Having to wait all the way until the last day to swim your main event is tough, but it makes it an awesome feeling when you can finish on a high."

"I'm so thankful for all the support I've already been receiving. I'm proud of what this New Zealand team has done this week!"

It was Lewis’ first-ever gold medal at the world champs, and New Zealand’s second-ever, the first being Erica Fairweather's 400m freestyle gold a week before. She also won silver in the 200m freestyle and a bronze in the 800m freestyle, with NZ’s final medal tally being 4. 

After taking home top honours, the 20-year-old Fairweather couldn’t believe it. 

“I’m so excited,” she said, as reported by Newshub. “How crazy was that?”

“I'm so stoked with that time. I'm so happy with where I am right now and I'm so excited for what's to come.”

Late last year, another pukana went viral. During a kapa haka performance at Te Mana Kuratahi, a wide-eyed kōtiro caught attention for the mana behind her facial expressions

Shared by the TikTok page @learnmāoriabroad, footage of her pukana gained over 200k views. 

Honestly, there’s no feeling quite like winning and no celebration quite as Kiwi as a pukana. Congrats to Lewis and Erica for their big wins and for repping NZ on the world stage.