What an outing for strongman Chris Van der Linde. The South African native competed in the 2021 Africa’s Strongest Man contest on Nov. 27-28, 2021, against seven of the other top strongmen on the continent. During the max deadlift event, Van der Linde forwent a lifting suit or knee sleeves, opting for only a lifting belt and wrist straps, and pulled a new African deadlift record of 440 kilograms (970 pounds).
According to Strongman Archives, Van der Linde ranked fourth overall at the end of the two-day contest:
2021 Africa’s Strongest Man Results
- Thobelani Mabaso
- Jaco Schoonwinkel
- Ben Bucarizza
- Chris Van der Linde
- Dean Shelley
- Terence Bosman
- Greg Poolman
- Victor Ampofo
The above results will be updated with point totals as soon as they are made available.
Check out Van der Linde’s new African deadlift record without a lifting suit in the video below, courtesy of his Instagram page*. For clarity, Van der Linde options for a rather large hitch during his deadlift once the bar is above his knees to secure the weight to the lockout. Although hitching is illegal in sanctioned powerlifting competitions, it is a legal maneuver in strongman contests.
*Note the video was initially posted to Van de Linde’s TikTok page @chrisvanderlinde
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According to South African strongman Gerhard van Staden, who has made six World’s Strongest Man (WSM) appearances, Van der Linde beat the previous African deadlift record by a whopping 20 kilograms (44.1 pounds).
The previous deadlift record was held by Australia’s Eben Le Roux at the 2016 Arnold Africa. Le Roux was the first of five men to pull 420 kilograms (925.4 pounds). The other four men who succeeded at that weight were Rauno Heinla of Estonia, Martin Wildauer of Austria, Dimitar Savatinov of Bulgaria, and Iceland’s Hafthor Björnsson. Björnsson went on to win that contest.
Van der Linde made his WSM debut in 2021 but withdrew during the qualifying stage due to illness. We’ll see if his new African deadlift record is a sign of big things to come for him in 2022. If Van der Linde can convert this momentum into a return to the WSM stage, perhaps he will score his first WSM Finals appearance.
Featured image: @chris_vd_linde_strongman