Big men in South Africa got a chance early April to battle for the title at the country’s “Strongest Man 2016 Challenge” in Johannesburg.
Men from around the globe competed in a series of events that put the average man’s strength to shame in the competition first launched in 1977, according to Reuters.
Being able to lift something extremely heavy is incredibly hard and challenging, but the success is also incredibly rewarding.
What I love about this sport is that you compete against yourself, you don't compete with anybody.
Athletes from South Africa are considered the country’s strongest as they push their bodies way beyond average.
“There is no better feeling than lifting something heavy and have that adrenaline of what you have just done, and it’s such an accomplishment for these athletes for what they do. These guys train up to 7 days a week before an event, they make sure they hit their target and stay injury free,” said Robert Green, a member of South Africa’s Strongman Union.
All the country’s favorites were at the event to push their bodies to the limit, showing an incredible demonstration of raw strength and power.
“What I love about this sport is that you compete against yourself, you don’t compete with anybody, you do what is best for you. And all the events are different, there are some good events and some bad events for you. You must try to average it,” said Vuyani Mseswa, a competitor.
After all rivals performed feats of strength, the 2016’s winner was eight-time South Africa’s Strongman Champion Etienne Smith.
“I’m relieved to say the least, but I think I am also lucky. I slipped up in the last two events, and all athletes are in such good shape. I am happy to be the champ and dare I say I deserve it to be. I hope to do one or two more, but at this time I am enjoying it one at a time,” Etienne Smith, winner of South Africa’s Strongest Man.
It was a tough event with fierce competition. The giants of South Africa’s Strong Man Union took on big challenges in pursuit of a R10,000 cash prize and an invitation to qualify for a spot in the ultimate strongman event – the World’s Strongest Man.