KOTA KINABALU: Francis Ebi is Sabah's strongest man.
He won the title on his third attempt in the Orang Kuat Sabah (OKS) contest, beating 10 participants on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Dusun man grabbed the first place in the Tyre Flip category and second place in the Atlas Stone category at the United PasokMomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organisation's (Upko) Kaamatan open house.
He was crowned the overall champion in the event and received RM700 in prize money.
"I flipped the 250kg tyre 18 times in one minute and 30 seconds, but I only managed to carry three stones weighing 90kg, 100kg, and 110kg.
"I was injured during the Atlas Stone contest, but I'm happy with the outcome as I didn't expect to win," said the self-employed man.
Ebi, of Kampung Pinaung in Keningau, said he only trained a week before the competition where he flipped a 280kg-tyre.
He joined OKS for the first time last year, but lost. He tried his luck a second time in March, but went home empty-handed.
"This will not be my last competition. I enjoy participating in such contests because I like to test my strength."
OKS tournament coordinator Roger Frederick said the competition, opened to novices, was aimed at seeking the best potential candidate for international tournaments.
"From here, we will be able to gauge the contestants' strength and the winner will be participating in the Asia Strongman Competition."