Tag Archives: John Mahon

OTSM in Australia

by Al Myers

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

When I was in Australia for the IAWA Gold Cup, meet promoter John Mahon hosted the very first International Old Time Strongman Challenge following the meet.  I was very excited to see this – as OTSM was started in the USAWA 5 years ago and now other countries in IAWA are getting interested in it.  The founding concept of OTSM is to bridge strongman with All Round Weightlifting by contesting lifts/movements that were favorites of famous Old Time Strongmen and contest them by following the basic format of a weightlifting meet instead of a strongman competition. This means having lifts that can be loaded with the weight of the lifter’s choosing, and allowing 3 attempts to accomplish a max. Also as part of these OTSM lifts rule infractions in the rulebook are a minimum and a lifter is on a 1 minute clock to perform a legal lift.

This was a truly international OTSM challenge. Lifters from Australia, England and the USA took part.  The challenge had a good variety of lifts with the Anderson Squat, the Apollon’s Lift, and the People’s Deadlift being the events contested.  The venue was outside on the lawn of the Belmont Club.  It was a beautiful sunny day for the competition which added to the enjoyment of lifting. Very rarely do you get a chance to lift outside.  It’s a special moment when that does happen.

Steve Gardner was appointed the head official and I assumed the role of timekeeper.  The Anderson Squat was the first event.  John had perfect stands for this event which allowed the plates to be rested on elevated stands.  Graham “Big Red” Saxton took control early with a big 260 KG Anderson Squat! John Mahon put up the biggest Anderson Squat with a 300 KG.  For the Apollon’s Lift, Peter Phillips had made up a beautiful set of replica Apollon’s Wheels for the event.  This made this OTSM event even more authentic! Denny Habecker “Steinborned” the axle to achieve a very fine lift of 56 KG’s. Newcomer Alex Biason performed a very solid 81 kilograms in the Apollon’s Lift.  The People’s Deadlift was very exciting.  I knew beforehand several of the lifter’s would be very close in poundage and it would be a showdown for top lift. Indeed it turned out that way.  Alex hit 215 KG followed by Graham at 225.  John and Peter finished off tied with 250 KG each.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon's Lift on a set of replica Apollon's Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon’s Lift on a set of replica Apollon’s Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

When all the dust settled, John Mahon came out as the overall champion, followed by Graham Saxton in second, and the USAWA OTSM reigning champion Denny Habecker in third.  I was very pleased to see  all participating countries represented in the top three in the inaugural international Old Time Strongman Challenge.  An award was given to the lifter with the top total poundage, and that also went to John with a 656 total.

I was so impressed with this event following the Gold Cup that I plan to  host the second international OTSM Challenge following the Gold Cup next year during my promotion.


2015 International OTSM Challenge
November 29th, 2015
Belmont Sports and Recreational Club
Perth, Australia

Meet Promoter: John Mahon

Head Official: Steve Gardner

Scorekeeper: Sharni Clifford

Lifts: Anderson Squat, Apollon’s Lift, People’s Deadlift

Lifter Age BWT SQ Apo DL TOT PTS
John Mahon 32 115.8 300 106 250 656 515.1
Graham Saxton 53 121.0 260 71 225 556 486.9
Denny Habecker 73 89.9 160 56 172.5 388.5 467.4
Alex Biason 48 118.2 230 81 215 526 445.6
Peter Phillips 62 104.5 120 66 250 436 443.8


Store Items IN STOCK

by Al Myers

Australian John Mahon wears his new USAWA Hoodie in the "chow line" following the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

Christmas and the Holiday Season is approaching fast and if you are like me, you still have gift shopping to do!  I want to remind everyone that the USAWA offers an online store that features several items that would make the perfect present for the All-Weightlifting enthusiast!  I have just recently upgraded the inventory on hand – and right now everything of all sizes  is IN STOCK.  It’s not too late to order as orders are filled and shipped out daily.  Please remember to “write the check” to the USAWA and NOT to me.  All online store items are found in the lower left-hand column of the front page.

ONLINE STORE ORDER FORM – Online Store Order Form (PDF)

The Australian Newsletter

by Al Myers

Australian allrounder John Mahon was featured in a promotional ad in a previous ARWLWA newsletter promoting the 2011 IAWA World Championships in Perth, Australia. John and Sam Trew are making plans to attend the 2012 IAWA Worlds in the US next October.

The ARWLWA (All-Round Weightlifting of Western Australia) just put out a copy of their newsletter, The All-Round Strength Athlete.  This past year or so they have been including a copy of this newsletter on their website so everyone in the World  interested in All Round Lifting can read it.  I am glad of this as I like to keep up on the news about all round weightlifting in Australia.  I recommend everyone go to their website and take a look at their newsletter: http://www.arwlwa.com/   I know I talked alot about this following the very successful IAWA World Championships the Australians hosted last November, but I was extremely impressed with the lifters and facilities at the Belmont Sports Club.   I am also very excited about their resurgent activity in the IAWA.   News has came to me that two Australians have already committed to the 2012 IAWA World Championships in the US (they have already bought the expensive plane tickets, so that qualifies them as committed!!!).  These two lifters are John Mahon and Sam Trew.  I met both of these guys at the last World Championships in Perth, and they are great guys and superb lifters. I will be looking forward to showing them the Kansas hospitality we have to offer here in the host state of next year’s IAWA Championships.  Actually, Kansas and Western Australia are very similar in terrain and landscape (both are flat and trees are scarce!).  We do have one favorable environmental factor over the Aussies – LOT LESS FLIES!!