WHF 2014 crowns a new Ironman
IT DIDN’T MATTER where you went in Sarawak Cultural Village this weekend, there was always something exciting happening and interesting people to talk to during the World Harvest Festival (WHF) held there from May 2 to 4.
While the spotlight was mostly on who was going to be crowned the next Miss WHF 2014, my focus was mainly on the Ironman competition.
The competition which took three days initially saw 43 contestants competing with each other for the top 15 finalists by participating in various cultural-oriented games that tested their stamina, endurance, strength, fitness and mental focus.
On the first day, the contestants were required to participate in the preliminary round which saw them competing in three different games which included throwing a 15 kg sack, carrying a 50 kg gunny sack while running across the field and weight pulling.
The preliminary round saw the 43 contestants narrowed down to finalists Abg Mohammad Safrizar, 31; Addy Jawa, 25; Aminzani Zainudin, 36; Amirhanafi Ali, 44; Eswandy Ismail, 38; Fazri Sedi, 35; Iskandar Damaimi, 22; Jury Amrullah Ibrahim, 40; Majid Maidin, 30; Mohamad Zakri Bujang Ranani, 34; Muhammad Raihan Wahid, 34; Neil Iskanda Haijee, 39; Nurhazari Ali, 25; Reinto Jamal, 37 and Zulkiplie Pani, 46.
The following days of the competition were harder and tougher, testing how strong and resilient these men were: the second day of the event required them to participate in blowpipe shooting, flipping tyres, carrying wood blocks, carrying jerrycans and wood-chopping.
While watching the finalists from among the rest of the crowd at SCV, I learnt from the coordinator, Ibrahim Abdullah Chong that the jerrycans weighed about 50 kg and these contestants had to carry one in each hand while running back and forth across the field. For a moment I was stunned and amazed.
Wood chopping was proven to be a laborious and strenuous task; I could see the contestants were struggling to chop the wood. Did I mention they actually performed the task in the middle of a freakishly hot afternoon? While strength, fitness and stamina played important roles, heat may also be one of the obstacles that the participants had to endure.
Finally on the third day of the competition, as anxious as the finalists seemed to be, they looked focused and determined on completing the three final and last games for the day which included rafting, coconut dehusking and commando crossing.
I imagined that for the finalists on those three long, strenuous and exhausting days, Amirhanafi Ali could finally rejoice when he was announced the winner of WHF Ironman 2014.
Clearly overjoyed and excited upon hearing his name being called up as the winner of WHF Ironman 2014, Amirhanafi threw his arms in the air and started running across the stage amidst being congratulated by his competitors. He received his prize of RM1500, a trophy, a Milo Hamper and certificate sponsored by M.E. Gym & Fitness Centre, Eyesight Optic Sdn. Bhd and Milo.
First runner up, Fazri Sedi looked equally happy when his name was announced. He received a cash prize of RM1250, medal and certificate.
Second runner up was Muhammad Raihan Wahid who walked away with RM1000, medal and certificate.
All in all, it was an exciting and memorable event for the men as there were no hard feelings on who won the Ironman title because at the end of the day, it was not with each other that they are competing but more towards challenging and pushing themselves over their limits and also the brotherhood that they shared from this competition.
See you next year!