Woo, final time!!! Who is gonna win? My pick is Brian Shaw retaining his title, but anything could happen!!!
Brian Shawn – USA – Current Champion
Martin Wildauer – Austria
Terry Hollands – England
Mike Burke – USA
Laurence Shahlaei – England
Zydrunas Savickas – Lithuania
Jerry Pritchett – USA
Eddie Hall – England
Hafthor Bjornsson – Iceland
J F Caron – Canada
Dave Ostlund – USA
Warrick Brant – Australia
Event 1 – Loading Race
Participants must load 3 tyres, each weighing 100kg, across a sand course within 60 second.
6 men have already gone, and poor Eddie Hall is in last place, just finishing at 57.07 seconds. Dave Ostlund, who entered into the final via a wildcard, is current in first place at 49.66. Now to see how some of the true heavyweights of this competition can do! It’s Hollands, Burke and Shahlaei next, and Burke starts off well but allows Terry to catch up a little when he almost drops the second tyre. He does win this group though, with Hollands behind him by about 10 seconds, and Shahlaei after that. Burke is currently the leader now, with Hall still in last. Finally, the last group. The 3 podium winners last year. Thor, Big Z, and Brian Shaw! I think Z’s age and weight will be a disadvantage here, with Thor and Brian being able to fly down the course. Oh wow, Thor is REALLY putting everyone else to shame. And hell even Big Z can beat Shaw, who doesn’t even beat fellow countryman Burke!
Event 2 – Overhead Medley
2 implements, one at 105kg and one at 163kg, must be lifted twice each, in order, within 60 seconds!
Well, Big Z finished second in the first event, but he has to be considered the favourite here. Hall has excellent overhead power too, as does Shaw. In the end, I think it will come down to time, as most of the guys should be capable of lifting both weights twice. Big Z might be the most powerful overhead lifter in the competition, but he isn’t always the fasted, which could open the door for someone like Hall to come in and get a high placing, making up for his poor performance in event 1. Well, seems a few guys had a real tough time, with some not lifting any at all! J F Caron currently leads with 3 reps. Time for Eddie Hall and Laurence Shahlaei to see what they can do! Both men get the first one up twice, Shahlaei actually 3 times, but one didn’t count. Onto the second implement and they both get the third rep, with Hall who surprisingly doesn’t make it, but Shahlaei does! Was expecting Hall to be one of the top placing athletes here tbh. Burke and Shaw up now, and you gotta believe Shaw will dow this and in a good time too. Burke should get all 4 reps done as well, but not sure he will beat Shaw’s time. Wow, under 30 seconds for Shaw, and 30.58 for Burke! Very impressive from the two Americans. Big Z will need to pick up the pace if he wants good points here. Thor too. They are neck and neck here, and Big Z, wow, he beats Shaw by about 5 seconds, and even Thor beat Shaw! My prediction of Shaw winning again might make me look like a fool when it’s all said and done haha! But, this is only the second event! Nice to see Zydrunas looking like the greatest of all time here, rather than how he looked in the heat where he didn’t seem to be trying hard.
Event 3 – Keg Toss
8 kegs ranging from 17kg to 24kg must be thrown over a metal bar 4.9 meters high!
One of the funnest events to watch as a fan! Explosive power and good technique is what you need here, and extra height is a definite advantage. We have seen some insane times in the past from the likes of Big Z and Brian Shaw, but can Thor keep them both down? Hall and Hollands both gets 6 kegs, as this has never been their best event. Burke on the other hand has all 8 kegs in 28.94 second, placing him in first with just the top 3 men left to go! Shaw up first, and expect to see these kegs fly! 16.59 second. HOLY SHIT! Did someone forget to fill the kegs? That was AMAZING. Z and Thor have a Mountain to climb (pun intended)! Let’s see if Thor can come anywhere near close to that! 16.35 seconds for Thor! He did it! The Mountain has just beaten the champion! Wow! THIS is why the keg toss is one of the best events to watch! I would not want to be Big Z now, having to top THAT! Oh my, Z made a HUGE mistake by not getting the second one over, and having to do it again. Huge disappointment for him. He got the height and THEN some, but didn’t get the distance needed to get it over the bar! He ends up in 4th place!
3 events down, and this is the leaderboard:
Thor is sitting on top with a 3 point lead over Big Z and 5 point lead over Brian Shaw. In the heats, that would be a pretty good lead. But in the final, with 12 men, one small slip could place Bjornsson down near the bottom in an event, and the amount of people between him and someone like Big Z or Brian Shaw could really change this entire competition.
Event 4 – Truck Pull
A 24 tonne truck (well, 2 together!!!) must be pulled down a 25 meter course within 60 seconds!
DOUBLE what they had to do in the qualifiers!!! 8 men have done, with Ostlund in the lead at 50 second. Terry Hollands, a former king of this event, is up next. A great start for him, getting both trucks moving almost immediately. Now he just has to keep up the pace and keep on moving! 50 seconds? Nah, 43.35 for Big Tel! Good points for him, he knows even if the next 3 men beat him, he’ll still be in 4th place for the event. Brian Shaw is out to beat that time next. He really needs some good points here to help him retain his title. His start doesn’t look as good as Terry’s, but he might be able to make up time the rest of the course as he is such a big powerful man, more so than even Terry. 40.56 for Shaw, but as we saw in the keg toss, even a fantastic time like that could still be beaten! Big Z is slow and steady, seemingly easily moving the truck, but not gaining the kind of speed he would need. 44.15 puts him behind Hollands, so that’s more great points for Terry. It all comes down to Thor now! Another seemingly slow start, but he has the trucks moving and moving quickly, however he ONLY comes in second place.
Event 5 – Squat Lift
340kg weight must be squatted as many times as possible in 60 seconds!
Hollands only gets 2 here, not a good event for him. Surprised that Shahlaei only got 8, with the current leader having 11. Eddie Hall is up next and he is great at this event, but can he beat 11? Last year he got 9, this year he makes 14!!! Even the mighty Thor, who is currently dominating this contest, is going to struggle to beat that! Big Z is next and he definitely needs to at least match that 14 reps. Once he gets into a rhythm he is just busting out rep after rep after rep. 14 has come and gone, and Zydrunas stops at 15. A former world powerlifting champion still going strong at 38 years old! Shaw isn’t the best squatter in the world, but he is such a fantastic strongman that even a weak event for him is better than most guys in their strongest events. 10 reps for him isn’t as much as he would have liked, but it’s going to keep him in good points still. So finally we have the current leader, Thor Bjornsson! Again, like Shaw, he isn’t the best squatter, but he will try to power through as many reps as possible regardless. Unfortunately 7 reps is all he can do, which gives both Shaw and Big Z a chance at making up points.
5 events down, 1 to go, here are the points!
Wow, that last event really did help out Big Z and Brian Shaw! Big Z is now on top, and only half a point separates Thor and Shaw! The last event is going to be dramatic as we find out just who is the World’s Strongest Man!!!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
Lift all 5 stones onto platforms, weighing from 130kg to 185kg, within 60 seconds as fast as you can!
It all comes down to this! All 3 men (Shaw, Z and Thor) can win on this final event. Thor imo goes in with the advantage as he is likely the king of the stones, but so often even the best stone lifters have slipped up on this final event and just lost out on the title. Hollands currently leads at just over 28 seconds for all 5, and now it’s a battle with Shaw and Burke. Oh wow, the stand gets knocked over by Burke on the first stone and that puts an end to his run. Shaw on the other hand has no problems and currently leads at just over 23 seconds. So now it comes down to this. Thor Vs Big Z. A former 3 time champion Vs a man who has never done better than 3rd. Thor is the quicker of the two, but Z is putting up one hell of a fight! Thor gets the win in under 20 seconds, and Big Z comes in second, which means… THE NEW WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN IS ZYDRUNAS SAVICKAS!!! 4 times the Champion!
All 6 events are done, and this is how it all looks:
Big Z is back on top of the Strongman world, winning his 4th title, putting him up there with the 2 great Icelandic strongmen Magnusson and Sigmarsson, and with Mariusz Pudzianowski (who actually has 5 to his name). Thor, despite looking like he was going to win almost the entire competition, and even winning the final event, just misses out by half a point. But he still gets a place on the podium and increases his position from 3rd to 2nd! Brian Shaw is once again the former WSM, only getting 3rd this time around. Well done to Mike Burke who got an impressive 4th place finish, and to Terry Hollands for staying in the top 5. I absolutely cannot wait for the 2015 competition, because this one was incredible and you know everyone is going to get stronger, faster and better for next year!!!