Strongmen pull off heavy-duty feat for curtain-raiser to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sports festival in Hong Kong

Two competitors, both new to strongmen competitions, pull 8.7 tonne truck for 10 metres each ahead of Arnold Classic Asia Multi-Sport later this month

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 2:05pm

One would think only a superhero could pull something that weighs about 100 times one’s own weight.

And if so, Gary Manwaring and Santina Philips both became superheroes on Friday as they performed the impossible feat as part of a curtain-raiser for the Arnold Classic Asia Multi-Sport Festival, to be held at the Asia-World Expo from August 20 to 21.

Showcasing their strength ahead of the sports extravaganza ­– which has gone global since Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger founded it in the United States 40 years ago – the two made pulling an 8.7 tonne truck look almost too easy. The annual festival has picked Hong Kong as its hub for Asia.

The pair, both British expatriates living in Hong Kong, performed their impressive strongman stunt at a cargo site in Kwai Chung, where they separately pulled the truck for at least 10 metres in the sweltering heat.

Manwaring, 43, weighs 94kg while Philips, 25, only weighs 63kg; in comparison, the truck is 8,700kg. The duo are both relatively new to strongman competitions, and the truck is not only the first one they’ve pulled, but it is also the heaviest object they’ve tackled.

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“I’ve got a massive adrenaline rush and my forearms are burning,” said Philips, who looked relatively relaxed considering her achievement. She has been training for only a year, adding that her pre-competition ritual is to “eat a lot, sleep a lot and train a lot”.

Meanwhile, Manwaring apparently found the challenge too easy as he pulled the truck not once, but twice. Using a harness to anchor himself, Manwaring pulled himself slowly at first before gaining traction towards the end.

“It’s really difficult to get moving but once you get the momentum, it’s okay,” he said, adding that the trick is to “get low and take really small steps”.

Manwaring and Philips will both be competing in the strongman challenges during the festival on August 20 and 21, alongside four-time Strongman champion, “Big Z”, who is aiming to break the world record for log lifting.