1 of 7
On a seaside podium in Lebanon, Halim el-Achkar locks hands with an opponent, exerting pressure until he slams both contestants' forearms down with a fearsome growl, to win the bout. His rippling biceps etched with tattoos, the 25-year-old is thrilled that the country's century-old pastime of arm wrestling has been given a new lease of life.
2 of 7
A single fight can last a few seconds or several gut-wrenching minutes, with at least two referees hunched over the table to spot fouls.
3 of 7
The tournament in Jounieh, a Lebanese town just north of the capital Beirut, is the second annual nationwide contest organised by the country's arm wrestling federation
4 of 7
Established last year, the body already boasts 750 members whom it trains to perform at international standards, founder Karim el-Andary said.
5 of 7
A competition was also held for male and female members of the army and security forces.
6 of 7
Men compete in an arm wrestling championship in Lebanon's coastal city of Jounieh.
7 of 7
Watched closely by judges, Lebanese men compete in an arm-wrestling championship in the coastal city of Jounieh