Lightweight outperforms heavyweights

Happiness: Heng (middle) flanked by runner-up Lambkin (right) and second runner-up Clair during the prize award ceremony at the championship in Gold Coast, Australia

KOTA KINABALU: Being the lightest of them all did not stop strongwoman Joyce Heng Shu Xia winning the Women’s Open title in the Static Monsters World Championships 2019.

The 32-year-old won gold, beating 10 other finalists including Australians Emily Lambkin, who was first runner-up, and Alirene Clair (second runner-up) during the event in Australia’s Gold Coast on Sunday.

Weighing at 85.6kg, the Sabahan was the sole Asian representative at the finals, where she completed a log press feat of 90kg and axle deadlift of 240kg, totalling 330kg.

Lambkin, who weighs 135kg, completed 315kg while 145kg Clair completed 310kg.

“I’ve been eyeing that trophy since last year (at the qualifiers). I did not expect to win first place since it was only my first entry into the Static Monsters finals and my opponents were all bigger than me,” Heng said in a text reply.

Started in 2015, the Static Monsters is now the biggest strongman event of its kind in the world.

Strongmen and strongwomen who made it to the qualifiers participated in various feats including deadlifts and log presses during the two-day event.

Last month, The Star highlighted Heng’s financial challenges to travel to tournaments abroad, and Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry reached out to her in the hope of supporting her endeavours.

Heng has been forking out her own money to attend events on a very tight budget that includes flying on standby and staying at dorms.

Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Ginger Phoong, when contacted, said he had personally congratulated Heng.

“I will be seeing her when she comes back.

“We will reimburse her full cost of travel,” he said when asked if the ministry would provide any token or recognition for her achievement.


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