The inaugural Trinidad and Tobago’s Strongest Man competition took place on Saturday 20th August 2016 at the Lions Cultural Centre in Port of Spain. Twelve athletes competed for the title of ‘Trinidad and Tobago’s Strongest Man’ and the stacked field included a contingent of Strongmen from Grenada who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience with them. The tests of strength were designed to also test the grit and determination of the competitors and they would require the athletes to push their bodies to the limit in order to even complete the tasks set out for them by the organizers.
The competition began with a Deadlift event where competitors were given 60 seconds to get as many repetitions as possible with a standard barbell loaded to 405lbs. Athletes were not allowed to use lifting straps and this made the event even more difficult. Vishall Singh was first at this event and he used his experience competing in powerlifting both locally and internationally to set a blistering pace to score a massive 26 repetitions to start the competition. Vishall Singh took first place in the event while Strongman Calvin Romain from Grenada took second place with 21 reps. Grenadian Strongmen Marcus Alexander and Raedon Gill tied for third place with 20 reps apiece. However the competition did not end with the deadlift and there were still four more events with each being very different from the other and testing strength in a variety of ways.
During the intermission those in attendance were invited to step forward and attempt the events with prizes at stake. There was an intense deadlift battle between two audience members which was action packed and incredibly entertaining.The next three events were done with two athletes facing off against each other in a head to head racing style and there was a 90 second time cap within which athletes had to finish the events. These events required not only strength but speed, endurance, the ability to tolerate pain and discomfort as well as a great deal of mental strength.
The second event was a farmer’s walk in which the strongmen were required to lift a total of 400lbs and carry it a distance of 50 metres. The apparatus used was awkward and difficult to pick up due to the thickness and slipperiness of the freshly painted handles and it was a difficult task. The event was made even more challenging when it started raining heavily and the athletes were faced with the daunting task of moving this load in less than ideal conditions. However this was strongman and the athletes fought bravely against the elements and put on an inspiring performance. Amrit Ramlogan set a blistering pace in the pouring rain and completed the course in 27.9 seconds. However Calvin Romain fresh off his recent runner up placing at the recently held Strongest of the Strong competition held in Grenada used his extensive strongman experience to complete the course in only 23.35 seconds, leaving Ramlogan to take second place. Raedon Gill who placed first in the same competition rounded out the top three in the event with a time of 32 seconds.
Event number three was a Tyre flip in which the competitors flipped two extremely heavy tyres over a distance of 25 metres in a head to head race. The rain had stopped by this time and the athletes smashed into the imposing objects as they made their way down the wet track to the cheers of the appreciative audience. The grip on the tyres proved very difficult to get a hold of but the Strongmen persevered and completed the course. Vishall Singh placed first in this event with a time of 35.54 seconds, while Marcus Alexander took second and Krishna Lutchman sped to a third place finish.
The fourth event was a medley in which the athletes had to lift a 95lb dumbell overhead, then carry a near 200lb sandbag a distance of 25 metres, run back and pick up a tyre which they had to carry 25 metres to the sandbag and finally run back to the finish line. This event was gruelling and the blazing hot sun was back out in full force to add to the challenge which the strongmen faced. This event included a great deal of running as the athletes ran back and forth carrying objects that most people would struggle to just lift off the ground. Marcus Alexander was first in this event completing the three tasks in an impressively quick 32.24 seconds. Amrit Ramlogan was second and Calvin Romain took the third place.
The final event was an arm over arm truck pull where the competitors were expected to pull a loaded truck weighing approximately 3 tons over a distance of 25 metres. Vishall Singh, Calvin Romain and Marcus Alexander were all tied for first place at this time and this made for a nail biting finish. Calvin Romain completed the task in a speedy time of 21.91 seconds to secure third position and Amrit Ramlogan beat him with a time of 21.88 seconds to take second place. Vishall Singh beat them both with an amazing time of 21.69 seconds and broke the three way tie to win the competition and take the title of ‘Trinidad and Tobago’s Strongest Man’.
The competition was intense and there was no clear winner until the end. The competitors faced extreme conditions ranging from blazing hot sun to heavy torrential rainfall which added an element of difficulty which could not be predicted. The events were all quite difficult and tested the athletes physically and mentally. The audience remained enthralled during the event and also visited the various booths which were promoting health, wellness and fitness.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Strongest Man – Vishall Singh
First Runner Up – Calvin Romain
Second Runner Up – Tie between Amrit Ramlogan and Marcus Alexander
Individual Event Results
Vishall Singh – 26 Reps
Calvin Romain – 21 Reps
Marcus Alexander and Raydon Gill – 20 Reps
Calvin Romain – 23.5 seconds
Amrit Ramlogan – 27.9 seconds
Raedon Gill – 32.0 seconds
Vishall Singh – 35.54 seconds
Marcus Alexander – 36.58 seconds
Krishna Lutchman – 38.42 seconds
Marcus Alexander – 32.24 seconds
Amrit Ramlogan – 34.00 seconds
Calvin Romain – 40.03 seconds
Vishall Singh – 21.69 seconds
Amrit Ramlogan – 21.88 seconds
Calvin Romain – 21.91 seconds