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Sunday’s Black Ops elite at Stoke City finished in a way Hollywood film directors can only dream about. The last hour of the race (20km – 30 obstacles) was a pure sports drama with the day’s heroes being forced to mentally and physically dig deep. Athletes had to force their bodies through some real agony in a bid to win the R100000 prize. It basically boiled down to survival of the fittest.


Winner Michael Joubert, looked like a “zombie” as he worked his way through the last few obstacles.

To say that he was totally out of it would be to put it mildly. It was only pure guts and determiniation that kept him going.

Joubert caught and passed previous winner Claude Eksteen on the infamous “Wrist Breaker” that proved just too difficult and eventually forced Eksteen to withdraw. According to the onlookers Eksteen gut wrenchingly failed at the very last grip on his first attempt of the “Wrist breaker” that essentially cost him the R100000 prize money.


“I don’t remember that much. I think I sat down for quite a while after finishing. I was totally out of. I don’t think I even really realized that I have just won a R100 000. When it sort of started to sink in that I have won. I did a brief prayer thanking God.”

Michael Joubert 4

The “Wrist Breaker” turned out to be Eksteen’s “Achilles heel”. Try as he may he just could not do it. He kept falling down just as he reached out for the last grip. But being the champion he is Eksteen refused to give up. Each time he got up and started all over again. With each failed attempt he lost more skin. In the end in spite of his hands bleeding Eksteen still kept trying, but it was to no avail.



“I really needed to win so as to give something back to Dreyer. It is my way of thanking him for all his support throughout this year. If it was not for him I would not be able to live my dream. I owe him so much.�


On race day van Huyssteen wasted no time in taking the lead. By the time she got to the really tough obstacles she had comfortable lead of about 20 minutes on her nearest rivals, but then the “true fun� started. Try as she may, she could not get past the obstacle where it was the expected of the athletes to work their way forward using ropes.


Even after my fourth attempt I was still stuck at the same obstacle.

“The organizers realized that none of us were able to complete the obstacle so it was decided that we will be allowed to burpees. After the last obstacle I was neck in neck with Jetaime Ribbink who won the Black Ops event multiple times in the past.. Luckily we still had 1km to run.

I just told myself it is now or never and ran like never before to ensure the victory.� 9

ADVENTURE MEDIA Zoon Cronje official media consultant of the Warrior series.

Success has a new name

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