The ‘male slapping championships,’ an eye-watering new sport originating in Siberia, Russia, which sees men open-palm striking each other into submission, has proved a huge hit online – and has to be seen to be believed.

The brutal championships were held at the Siberian Power Show 2019in Krasnoyarsk and required each competitor to slap their opponent standing on the other side of the table into submission. 

Surprisingly, it featured no shortage of slap-happy sluggers eager to test their strength on each other’s cheeks.

The bizarre annual contest was eventually won by bearded hulk Vasily Kamotskiy, a 370-pound local weightlifter who had delivered a series of knockout blows to his opponents on the way to winning the coveted title. 

A video of Kamotskiy’s exploits, along with some of the best hits and knockouts from the event, has since gone viral online, shocking viewers who responded in either fits of laughter or just paling shock from countries as far as Nigeria, Denmark, the Netherlands, India, and the US.

Social media users begged for the sport to be included in the Olympics. Other, more political-savvy watchers, commented that such a system would be a welcome alternative to presidential debates. 

The championships, which promises to be a sports platform of interest “from elite athletes to youngsters” was held in the city over March 16-17, charging punters 400 rubles ($6) to feast their eyes on the extreme event, and featured special guests from the world of working out.

Its program also saw The World Strongman Cup and Siberian Dance Contest take place and included fringe sports such as arm wrestling, freestyle workout, and pole dancing.

Despite interest on the internet, we’re not sure the brand new craze from Russia will catch on, or merely slap the smile off the face of those wanting to give it a try.