Kenyan Diaspora clinches strongest man title in Qatar
Doha: Kenyan stalwart Christopher Oketch’s star shone brightly again as he claimed victory for the fourth time at an exciting sixth edition of Qatar’s Strongest Man (QSM) organised by Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) on Friday at Aspire Park.
Oketch proved his mettle at a gruelling competition which witnessed eight of the brawniest men in Qatar take on five mammoth challenges to be crowned the country’s strongest.
In what was considered this year’s clash of the titans, the event which lasted for more than five hours saw 2,500 sports fans holding their breath and cheering as the thrilling competition of strength and endurance progressed with the eight finalists one after the other lifted a 180kg bar on a rotating platform, lifted 90kg and 110kg sand bags, flipped a gigantic tyre, walked while carrying 90kg weight on each arm and finally pulled a six-tonne truck.
In the end, Oketch once again prevailed to be declared champion celebrating his victory on the winning podium joined by Egyptian Mohammed Dweidar in second place and compatriot Joseph Iroo Ekadeli finishing third.
Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Oketch, who weighs over 120kg, attributed his win to healthy meals and training, adding he had been physically ready for about two months prior to the competition.
“I thank all those who supported me from my family and fans to the organisers at Aspire Zone Foundation. I would like to mention that you can be the hero if you follow a healthy lifestyle and pursue your goals. I look forward to participate in next year’s competition,” said Oketch, upon celebrating his win for the third consecutive year.
The winners of Qatar’s Strongest Man 2018 with organisers and sponsors.
Abdullah Aman Al Khater, Director of Events and Venues at AZF, stressed the importance of QSM in AZF’s calendar of annual events as it had turned into a forum for strength and endurance in the community.
“QSM’s ever-increasing popularity inspires everyone in the Foundation to take the competition to the next level every year. It has become a forum for strength and endurance for sports enthusiasts in Qatar,” said Al Khater.
Every year, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) strives to make the event bigger and better, with an exceptional ambiance and higher standards.
To ensure that competitors remain safe throughout the intense competition, AZF has allocated a team made up of physiotherapists from Aspetar, the orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar, and medics from the Qatar Red Crescent.
Thousands of sports fans watched the event, some of whom were lucky enough to experience undergoing similar challenges to those of the contenders as they took part in a number of competitions such as carrying sandbags and tyre lifting. Winners received financial awards from the main sponsor Sports Corner. The sponsors also included Ooredoo, De Boer and Kidzania.
On the sidelines of the competition, entertainment and food stalls were set-up for families to enjoy.
By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula