Many hundreds flocked to the inaugural event of Qatar’s Strongest Man on Friday 24 January 2014 at Aspire Zone to see eight competitors battle it out over five grueling tasks which pushed the men’s physical and mental strength to the absolute limit. Finally, Joseph Iroo Ekadeli from Kenya was declared the winner and crowned Qatar’s Strongest Man.

The 32-year-old giant, affectionately nicknamed ‘Mount Kenya’, dominated in the five tasks, including the truck pull. The Kenyan powerhouse pulled the 7,000 kilogram truck across the finish line in only 31 seconds. He said:

My height leaves me at a disadvantage in the truck pull. It’s all about the technique. As a tall person, you have to lower yourself. And when you go lower, the weight follows you down. I do have very strong legs though, which helps…The competition is very challenging, more challenging than I expected. I was nervous at the start of today, which is why I didn’t perform so well in the first task, the deadlift. I was watching my back, too; I didn’t want to pick up an injury so early on in the day.’

Second place was awarded to Shareef Mohammed from Egypt and third place went to Qatari participant Abdullah Al bin Ali. The top three contestants were awarded trophies as well as cash prizes, while the remaining participants were presented with a range of complimentary gifts. The eight contestants competed in five challenges throughout the day, including the Truck Pull, the Deadlift, the Weight Lift, the Giant Tire Flip and the Sand Bags Lift.

Abdullah Al Khater, Head of Sports and Events at Aspire Logistics, said:

We have been preparing for this event for over a year. We had a lot of applications, which is why we needed to shortlist participants. Next year, we are hoping to include people from the wider GCC region. This event demonstrates Aspire Logistics’ commitment to providing activities that can be enjoyed by the whole community.’

Spectator Catherine Banhidy, a 26-year-old South African, said:

I used to watch the Strongest Man on television when I was younger, but it’s even more impressive in person. The men were very large and intimidating. It was absolutely amazing seeing them pick up a 1,600 kilogram car so easily. I’ve had a fantastic afternoon and enjoyed the spectacle.’

Aspire Logistics, a member-organization of Aspire Zone Foundation, organised the event as part of its ongoing mission to engage the community in new and fun activities, and Qatar’s Strongest Man is its latest offering. Past events include Khalifa International Stadium Run Around, the Aquathon and Doha Jam.