Zikhali faces challenge in Strongest Man contest

Zimbabwe's Chido Maenzanise on the far right stands on the winners podium at the Africa's Strongest Woman competition in Zambia.

Self-proclaimed Zimbabwe's strongest man Arnold Zikhali, is facing a strong challenge for 'his title' after it was revealed that his claim to the throne can only be after winning the Zimbabwe Strongest Man competition.

Zimbabwe Strongest Man title aspirant Francois Tafadzwa Chikukwa has challenged Zikhali that he can only be Zimbabwe's strongest man after beating all the other contestants in Zimbabwe's Strongest Man competition and not through pulling train wagons and lorries on the streets.

"We have heard of Zikhali but we have not heard or seen of anywhere he has competed with others. So, he cannot be Zimbabwe's strongest man without competing with other strongmen. We refuse to accept that he is Zimbabwe's strongest man," said Chikukwa.

However, the president of the Zimbabwe Strongman Federation Knowledge Musengi has revealed that Zikhali has accepted the challenge and is one of those vying for the strongest man title.

Zikhali - on his part - has been pulling huge crowds around the country with his strongman antics which include pulling a 56-tonne train wagon for about 100 metres and two-30 tonne trucks for a longer distance.

Some of the notable names who have also thrown their names into the strongest man competition include Elton Rice and GS Mhaka as well as Chido Maenzanise who is seeking to land Zimbabwe' strongest woman title.

Coincidentally, Maenzanise has just returned from Zambia where she came third in the Africa's strongest woman competition which is organised by the Strongman Africa Union.

Maenzanise believes charity begins at home and the Zimbabwean title could be the tonic she needs in her build up for international engagements.

"I am training three hours a day and sometimes I go up to five hours. I am ready for the challenge even if the Zimbabwe competition was to be held today," says Maenzanise who is trained by Moses Nyambotsi

On the other hand, Chikukwa said he was training hard with one thing in mind that is to win the Zimbabwean title and qualify to represent Zimbabwe at the Africa and World's Strongest Man competitions.

"I am not training to lose and will not accept to be defeated. I am working hard to see to it that by the end of the competition, I will be Zimbabwe's strongest man," said Chikukwa.

According to Musengi, the search for Zimbabwe's strongest man will be conducted in all the four corners of the country starting off with Masvingo, then Gweru and Bulawayo, before rounding off the contest in Harare.

The Zimbabwe Strongman Federation was registered with the Africa Strongman Union and the World Strongman Federation and Musengi says his ultimate goal is to see the athletes earn a living through the sport as happens in football.

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