The search is on for South Africa's strongest man. Prepare for a clash of the titans on the closing weekend of the Rand Show, as the big boys battle it out to see who is SA's Strongest Man 2017.
Each year, the SA Strongman Union hosts a number of qualifiers around the country in the build-up to the finals. The Rand Show has played host to a number of these qualifiers in years gone by, but this year, it is proud to host the final national event: SA’s Strongest Man 2017.
On Saturday, 22, and Sunday, 23 April, some of SA’s top heavyweights will be flexing their gargantuan muscles as they battle to claim the coveted title, as well as R10,000 in cash and a place in the Giants Live World Strongest Man open class competition, being held later in the year in the USA.
The list of athletes who are confirmed at this stage reads like a veritable who’s who of local strongmen:
Jared Leask, from Helderkruin in Joburg, finished third in the SA Deadlift and Log Championships 2017, where he came tied first in the log event, lifting a weight of 180kg. His personal best is 350kg in the deadlift.
Pretoria’s Tristen O`Brien was SA’s Strongest Man in 2012 and 2013. His favourite event is the deadlift, one of the events on day one of the competition.
Heidelberg giant Andre Sweeney holds the SA record in the tyre flip and Atlas Stones events, and placed third in SA’s Strongest Man 2016. Andre will be competing at somewhat of a disadvantage to his fellow competitors, having torn his biceps at the tendons. “It won’t keep me from going for first place this year,” he says. “I’ll just have to show everyone it can be done without biceps!”
At just over two metres tall, Johan “Loggies” van Loggenberg was a lock with the Falcons rugby team before switching to this weight-lifting sport. This will be his second SA’s Strongest Man final since he began competing in strongman competitions last year.
The 27-year-old Kelin Mills placed third and fifth in SA’s Strongest Man in 2014 and 2015 respectively. With personal bests in the deadlift of 390kg and in the squats of 330kg, Kelin had his sights on another podium finish, until torn knee ligaments that required reconstructive surgery dealt him a major setback. He is now back in the game though, and hoping to prove himself.
Stefan Smit from eMalahleni placed fourth at SA’s Strongest Man 2014. After a break for health reasons, Stefan is firmly back in the strongman saddle, coming seventh in Africa’s Strongest 2016, and most recently placing fourth at the SA Deadlift and Log Championships 2017.
Johan Rudd likes nothing better than grappling with Atlas Stones, so be sure to watch him in action on the second day of the finals. A warehouse manager when he’s not pumping iron, Johan placed second in the Arnold Cassic 2016, and first in the SA Strongman Tag Team 2016.
Strongman and strength coach Rory Scheepers, himself a multiple WPC SA Junior Powerlifting Champion, and four-time winner of SA’s Strongest Man U/105kg, will act as master of ceremonies, keeping the audience in the loop as the competition progresses.
A show of strength
Athletes have a formidable set of events to tackle on each day of the competition.
Day 1, Saturday, 22 April 2017, 10am to 4pm
Deadlift for maximum weight: Who can lift the most weight?
Viking press for reps, where athletes’ shoulders will be put to the test.
Front hold: Athletes must lift and hold weights ranging upwards of 25kg in front of them.
Tyre flip/Africa stone medley: Athletes will flip a 450kg tyre in one direction until crossing the line, and will then carry back a massive stone in the shape of the African continent: the local version of Iceland’s legendary lifting stone, the Husafell Stone.
Farmer’s walk, where athletes carry 140kg in each hand for the longest distance they can manage.
Day 2, Sunday, 23 April 2017, 9am to 4pm
Car walk: Athletes see who can carry a small car the furthest.
Log press, with a starting weight of 120kg.
Car deadlift and hold (320 kg)
Atlas Stones: Athletes will load five stones (weighing between 130kg and 180kg) onto 1.2m pedestals.
But that's not all...
On Friday, 14 April, the ladies kick off the Rand Show’s strength competitions as they compete for the title of SA’s Strongest Woman 2017, starting at 10am.
The SA Strongman Union has also scooped a major Strongman Champions League event for South Africa and the Rand Show.
On 15 and 16 April 2017 at the Rand Show, the prestigious Strongman Champions League will hold a qualifier for the U/105kg World Championship 2017 that takes place in Finland from 9-10 September. The winner of this SA qualifier will guarantee himself a place in this top event and a shot at the title of SCL World’s Strongest Man U/105kg.
Five top U/105kg international athletes will join a number of South Africa’s strongest men to compete in this highly anticipated event.
All this muscle-flexing action is just part of the line-up of top-class entertainment at this year’s Rand Show. South Africa’s biggest consumer expo is the only show to offer attractions covering everything from sport, motoring, military, and science and technology, to design, animals, gardening, health and beauty, and variety shows... there’s an entire day out for the whole family packed into each Rand Show ticket.
The Rand Show runs from Friday, 14 April, to Sunday, 23 April 2017, from 9am to 7pm (last entry at 6pm), at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec (GPS – S26°14.484’ E27°58.510). There is ample secure paid parking at the venue, with visible policing.
Rand Show tickets at the gate cost R150 for adults, R50 for pensioners, R50 for 13-16 years, R20 for 6-12 years, and under six enter free. Midweek specials for Tuesday, 18, Wednesday, 19, and Thursday, 20 April, only are R75 for adults, and R20 for 13- to 16-year-olds. Open-air parking is R20 per car. Tickets are available at the gate or through Computicket. Tickets give access to a wide variety of entertainment attractions, but exclude rides on the helicopter and monorail, drifting, bagjumping, the fun fair, and refreshments and food.
About the Rand Show
Dates: Good Friday, 14 April, to Sunday, 23 April 2017 Show Hours: 09h00-19h00 Daily; 18h00 Last Entry Venue: Johannesburg Expo Centre, Cnr Rand Show & Nasrec Roads, Nasrec; (GPS - S26°14.484' E27°58.510') Tickets: Available at the gates or through Computicket (www.computicket.com). Ticket prices available at www.randshow.co.za or www.computicket.com. Parking: Open-air parking is available at R20 per car. Spokesperson: Mr Craig Newman, Chairman - Dogan Exhibitions and Events (Pty) Ltd, Telephone: 011 494 1920, E-mail: .
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