Mao claimed just Samoa's fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal when he hauled a combined 360kg in the men's 105kg class on the Gold Coast today, and second medal of any colour at these games following fellow lifter 18-year-old Don Opeloge's silver at 85kg.
In honour of his favourite athlete he pulled out, Usain Bolt's trademark lightning bolt celebration after each successful lift, and watched proudly on as the Samoan anthem rung out when his success was confirmed.
"I'm so happy to win a gold medal - the first gold for my team and my country.
"We had a fight, it was tough," he said of the challenge posed by silver-medal winner Pardeep Singh.
"I fought for me, for my country, and for my gold medal."
After missing out on any gold medals at the last games in Glasgow, Patrick Fepuleai, head of Samoa's Olympic committee, said it was a proud moment watching Mao be given his medal.
"That's always the greatest thing for any athlete, there's nothing like it when you see your flag and your anthem being played," he said.
TVNZ reports the 32-year-old stepped up to the 105kg category after competing in the 94kg category in Glasgow. Mao won silver at the 2016 Oceania Weightlifting Championships.
New Zealand's Stanislav Chalaev pulled out at the halfway stage of competition with dehydration.