Fire­fighter to face Auck­land’s strong­est

Central Leader - - LIFESTYLE & LEISURE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA

Rob Quin­li­van has three weeks to brush off any nerves he has about com­pet­ing in the strong­est com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land.

The 23-year-old One­hunga res­i­dent is at­tempt­ing the Auck­land Strong­man Se­ries for the first time, in its fi­nal round on Novem­ber 26.

The com­pe­ti­tion is def­i­nitely not for the faint hearted.

While it in­volves a lot of power, Strong­man re­quires strat­egy and tech­nique, at­tract­ing only the strong­est ath­letes who bat­tle it out in four gru­elling events.

Two months ago, Quin­li­van, a fire­fighter at the Otara Sta­tion in East Ta­maki, had not even heard about the Strong­man Se­ries.

Af­ter be­ing ap­proached to com­pete by a for­mer com­peti­tor, Quin­li­van dove straight in.

He put in more hours in the gym and gave up his favourite fast foods to learn how to cook health­ier and more nu­tri­tious meals.

‘‘I’ve only ever just been pow­er­lift­ing and I’ve watched the World’s Strong­est Man com­pe­ti­tion but I was al­ways too small for that,’’ he says.

‘‘The Strong­man Se­ries is far more re­al­is­tic for me, in terms of my weight and strength ca­pa­bil­i­ties.’’

Quin­li­van is an avid power lifter. His best squat is 250kg, dead lift of 270kg and a bench press of 150kg.

He has much more to prove against his other Strong­man com­peti­tors who have passed the test them­selves in the ear­lier two rounds.

Quin­li­van will com­pete in the un­der 105kg, in four events - the keg toss, squat for reps, Max Mon­ster dumb­bells and at­las stones (which in­volves con­crete balls).

The keg toss, Quin­li­van says, is his hard­est event.

It re­quires pick­ing up six 25kg kegs, and throw­ing them over a 4.2 me­tre high mark in 60 sec­onds.

‘‘From the out­side, look­ing in, you think it’s sim­ple but it’s a whole lot more than just power.

‘‘There is so much more tech­nique in­volved.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing, I’m just look­ing to hav­ing fun while I com­pete and if I do well than that’s great.’’

Quin­li­van is al­ready eye­ing next year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

How­ever, he first needs to prove that he truly be­longs in the same league as Auck­land’s strong­est men this month.

The Auck­land Strong­man Se­ries takes place on Novem­ber 26 at the Sub­urbs Rugby Foot­ball Club in New Lynn.

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