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Rand Show to host international Strongman Champions League qualifier

The SA Strongman Union has scooped a major strongman event for South Africa and the Rand Show, SA's biggest consumer expo.

This April, the Rand Show will be the venue for a mighty clash of modern-day Samsons at a prestigious MLO Strongman Champions League (SCL) qualifier event, only the second time ever that an SCL event has been held on South African soil.

The Strongman Champions League (SCL) is the biggest strongman league in the world. It holds 16 stages or competitions throughout the year in 16 countries around the globe, broadcasting its events in over 95 countries to almost a billion households.

The event taking place at the Rand Show on 15 and 16 April 2017 is a qualifier for the U/105kg World Championship 2017, which will be held in Finland from 9-10 September. The winner of the SA event will guarantee himself a place in this top event and a shot at the title of SCL World’s Strongest Man U/105kg.

Top Strongmen head for Mzansi

Five top U/105kg international athletes will join a number of South Africa’s strongest men to compete in this highly anticipated event.

US strongman athlete, Gary Piotrowski (32), flies in from South Carolina to compete. Gary has been competing in strongman competitions for the past five years, and is the current US Strongman Middleweight National Champ.

England has cracked two invitations to this event: Londoner James Turner (35) placed fourth in UK's Strongest Man 2016 U/95kg and third in Wales Strongest Novice U/90kg in 2015, while Portmouth-based John Richardson (34) placed third in the Newbury Strongest Man 2016.

Jimmy Bo Kjell Johansson (28) from Sweden was the runner-up in Sweden’s Strongest Man 2016. And from Iran is Alireza Ostadhaji (38), who placed second in his National Strongman competition and seventh in the Arnold Classic in 2016.

Several local strongmen will also be competing. Confirmed at this stage are Frikkie Page, who has been crowned three times as SA’s Strongest Man in the U/105 kg class, and David Bezuidenhout, who recently placed first in the U/105 kg division of the Arnold Classic qualifier in Boksburg.

Kreson Pillay, an U/105kg elite athlete whose titles include third place in SA’s Strongest Man 2015 and fourth in the Arnold Classic 2016 in Melbourne, will be there, as will Leon le Roux, a warrant officer in the SA Air Force, who recently placed first in the masters division of the Arnold Classics qualifier held in Boksburg earlier this year.

The founders and directors of the Strongman Champions League, Ilkka Kinnunen from Finland, and Marcel Mostert from the Netherlands, will referee the Rand Show event.

Prepare for some heavy lifting

Athletes have a strenuous task ahead of them, tackling five Herculean events each day as they vie for a podium finish and a shot at that coveted place in the world finals.

Day 1, Saturday, 15 April 2017, 10h00 to 16h00

  • Car Deadlift for reps: how many times can athletes lift this 320kg weight?
  • Truck Pull: the hand-over-hand Truck Pull is a signature World’s Strongest Man event. From a seated position, contestants must pull a 12-tonne truck towards them using only their hands, with the fastest time determining the winner.
  • Yoke Walk: carrying a 380kg yoke for 20m.
  • Log Press, with a starting weight of 120kg.
  • Farmer’s Walk, where athletes carry 140kg in each hand for the longest distance they can manage.

Day 2, Sunday, 16 April 2017, 10h00 to 16h00

  • Car Deadlift and hold (320kg).
  • Axle Press, with a starting weight of 120kg.
  • Tyre Flip: athletes will attempt to flip a 400kg tyre eight times.
  • Carry and Load Medley: load a total of 250kg weights and drag them 20m.
  • Atlas Stones: athletes will load five stones (weighing between 130kg and 180kg) onto 1.2m pedestals.

But wait, there's more

The MLO SCL U/105 kg World Qualifier isn’t the only clash of the Titans taking place at the Rand Show 2017. South Africa’s Strongest Man final for 2017 will take place on the closing weekend of the Rand Show, from 10h00.

The winner of this event, held by the SA Strongman Union, will claim the title of SA’s Strongest Man 2017, as well as a cash prize of R10,000 and a place in the Giants Live World Strongest Man open class competition, being held later in the year in the USA.

All this gigantic 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.

Visit to find out about what’s on this year at the Rand Show.

When, Where, how much?

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 ( Ticket prices available at or
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; Email: az.oc.ertnecopxe@ngiarc.

For more information visit or e-mail az.oc.wohsdnar@aidem.

29 Mar 2017 16:07