By hosting the continental leg of the Arnold Sports Festival series, South Africa has been able to retain its place among the leading health and fitness nations in Africa, according to series founder and world renowned personality Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Speaking at a seminar held on the final day of the Arnold Classic Africa at Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday, Schwarzenegger, pictured above with the pro wheelchair bodybuilders, said he was pleased to see the progress SA had made in the health and fitness sector since he first visited the country in the 1960s.
“There are really great health clubs in South Africa now, and you have some of the most sophisticated regimens and health plans,” he said.
“You have everything here that we have in the United States, and that is what this expo has been all about, having everyone in South Africa seeing what is going on internationally with regards to dietary supplements, equipment and various other things.
“With this series, we can also learn from the people of South Africa, and the people of South Africa can learn from others around the world, so we’re all able to learn from one another.”
There was plenty of action throughout the third and final day of the second annual Arnold Classic Africa multi-sport festival. In the morning, Schwarzenegger had started the fun run, which attracted hundreds of runners, before going on another walkabout.
Interacting with fans and exhibitors at the health and fitness trade expo, the popular actor, politician and seven-time Mr Olympia also gave support to the competitors in various codes, including athletes competing in the strongman contest, which delivered spectacular results.
Multiple African open records were set in the log lift competition, which was held in front of a large crowd in the indoor arena.
Local contenders Ryno Bosch and Dewald van Deventer both lifted 110kg in the U-90 and U-80 weight divisions respectively.
Among the women, Brooke Sousa of the United States lifted 100kg in the open women’s category, while South African Brendali Theron picked up 80kg in her division.
The sports festival, which attracted thousands of competitors in 58 codes, came to an exciting close on Sunday night when the World Wrestling Professionals stars dazzled spectators with their high-flying acrobatic moves in the ring.
One of six events in the global Arnold Classic series, the Arnold Classic Africa was held in partnership with the Gauteng provincial government, the City of Joburg and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
Future stars of the chess arena plot their next move at the Arnold Classic Africa.
Cue sports was just one of many sporting codes featured in the three-day extravaganza.