Charl Engelbrecht and David Muil

The final battle of the Richlieu/Red Square National Armwrestling Showdown was held on the 16th July 2001 at the notorious Caesars Palace Casino in Gauteng, South Africa.  With a first prize of R50 000 up for grabs the venue was filled to capacity.

 The competition was tough with reigning champion Gerhardt Strydom determined to maintain his title, Charl Engelbrecht, a strongman who pulls trucks in his spare time, Wynand Pretorius (past title holder of Texas Strongman) and past six times South African champion, Armand Du Toit, wanting to regain his victory.  Add to this some competitors weighing in at approximately 120 kg’s in an open weight category, the stage was set for the ultimate test of strength.

  As the night wore on, the men were quickly separated from the boys.  Wynand Pretorius checked out in the quarter finals to crowd favourite, Charl Engelbrecht.  Defending champion Gerhardt Strydom was sadly defeated by David Muil.  Armand Du Toit was steadily making his way through to the finals, almost thrashing his opponents with unbelievable speed.

 Down to the semi-finals and David Muil was set to go against the enormous bulk of Charl Engelbrecht.  Dubbed the battle of David and Goliath this gruelling match lasted almost 15 minutes with Charl being blown up by the referee for releasing his hand from the grip and David receiving a penalty for using his shoulder.  The perspiration was not only to be found on the competitor’s faces.  The crowd was going wild with spectators falling into the arena – the tension rose.  Charl and David gripped hands for the last time.  With a brief announcement of “May the best man win!” the fight was on.  With determination written all over his face David Muil finally slammed his opponent’s hand onto the pad and the most spectacular match of the night was over.  He had made it to the finals.  It seemed Armand had made light work of his opponents throughout the evening and secured his place in the final. 

 David and Armand shook hands before placing their elbows in the cuffs. Their first attempt was fouled due to both of them starting before time.  On the second start, Armand was penalised for using his shoulder.  With a final “Ready, Go!” the referee started the match which ended within seconds.  Armand Du Toit pulled through to win this prestigious title and the R50 000 cash.  David Muil was runner-up and claimed his R10 000 prize money.

 It was a night filled with astounding displays of strength and speed and ultimately the best man won.

 (Anybody interested in joining the South African Armwrestling Federation or for more information on the sport of armwrestling can contact David Muil at



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