The biggest multi-sport event, with over 65 sporting codes and over 18 000 athletes, once again reached South African shores.
This three-day extravaganza, the Arnold Classic Africa, was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 18 to 20 May 2018.
Over 90 countries were represented at the South African leg of the festival. Speaking at the launch, the President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Gideon Sam, lauded the tournament for being a platform that promotes lesser known sporting codes.
“People from lesser-known sporting codes also want the opportunity to compete and showcase their talent in a large festival, and this festival certainly helps with recognition of those sporting codes. This is an opportunity to expose a wide variety of sport, many people might not have heard of some of these sporting codes,” said Sam.
Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko beamed with excitement. “Sport builds bridges, it brings countries together and as a province we are excited to once again host this tournament and the people from across the world. We are honoured to partner with the Arnold Classic.”
MEC Mazibuko further highlighted the economic spinoffs that come with the tournament. “This festival encourages tourism and promotes our tourist destinations to the rest of the world. As we speak, all hotels in Sandton and surrounding areas are fully booked for the duration of the tournament.”
It was indeed a spectacle to behold in Sandton as people from all walks of life came to the festival to participate, cheer or volunteer services. Standout codes included martial arts, darts, ice hockey, musicals, chess, art competition, body building, dead lift competition and boxing. There is a sport for everyone.
Various code winners were announced on the final day. Some of the winners included art competition winner Poeletso Phahledi, Frank Fan for the Drifting Championship, Gomora Future Stars for The ACA Got Talent competition, and to top it off, a record in the men’s double deadlift competition was smashed by an Iranian team, beating a previous record of 545kg between two men starting with a 550kg lift.