New Zealand has two Arm-wrestler World Champions

Anton Van Der Westhuizen and John Henry Leach, Holdin The New Zealand flag at the World Arm-wrestling Championship 2023, Photo: Supplied.

Tauranga's Anton Van Der Westhuizen and John Leach, Gisborne, are the two men who waved the New Zealand Flag after winning the gold at the IFA World Arm-wrestling Championships, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This year the Championship receives more than 30 competitors from all around the globe who are looking for the glory that belongs just to a few.

Two New Zealanders are part of those few and from now, the names of Anton and John Henry will remain in the history of the World of Arm-wrestling championships.

Long hours of training and a strong commitment to himself, was the key to reaching the gold at the competition, says Anton.

“I have been training for at least one year, but the last six months were really intense, and also during the championship, I never stopped training and preparing myself for the contests.”

The Championship which started in 1962 in the United States, has gained popularity since then, and for the first time in history, New Zealand has two world champions, in two different categories, Anton Van Der Westhuizen 95kg Master Right Arm, and his fellow New Zealander John Leach, +105kg Master Left Arm category.

Anton Van Der Westhuizen, after receiving his title as  World Arm-wrestling Champion 2023, Photo: Supplied

“This title is something I did not expect.

“During the flight to Malaysia the only thought on my mind was not to be one of the first competitors eliminated, but after hours of training, wrestling, and more than seven victories the gold is now mine.”

The next championship will be in September 2024 in Greece, where Anton will be defending his world title.

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