Big lifts: Tim Monigatti suffered some "harsh" calls from judges, costing him the win at last week's Open World Powerlifting champs


Close, but no cigar.

Queenstown powerlifting couple Veronica Manning and Tim Monigatti arrived back in Queenstown on Monday, having represented New Zealand at the Open World Powerlifting champs in Sun City, South Africa.

While Monigatti, 25, went in with high hopes of medalling, some ‘‘harsh’’ calls from judges saw him end up in fifth place, with a 280kg squat, 180kg bench, and 305kg deadlift.

He had attempted squat and deadlift weights of 295kg and 330kg, respectively.

Manning, 23, who finished 19th, says had her partner nailed those he would have won.

However, the squat weight was called out by judges for depth, and the deadlift was called for not locking out.

The latter decision, Manning says, ‘‘was very controversial’’.