Another day, another Giants Live qualifier! Here we are in Norway, looking to determine the World’s Strongest Viking, as well as help a few strongmen gain access into the World’s Strongest Man final! So, who are today’s competitors?
Hafthor Bjornsson – Iceland (3rd in World’s Strongest Man 2012 and 2013)
Kevin Larsen – Norway (11th in Giants Live Doncaster)
Harri Peltomaa – Finland (Under 105kg Strongman National Champion)
Bjorn Andre Solvang – Norway (WSM Competitor 2013)
Nicolai Hansen – Denmark (5 x Denmark’s Strongest Man)
Oyvind Rein – Norway (3rd at Norway’s Strongest Man)
Mikkel Leicht – Denmark (2nd in Denmark’s Strongest Man)
Rauno Heinla – Estonia (WSM Competitor 2011)
Sebastian Davidsson – Sweden (2nd in Sweden’s Strongest Man)
David Nystrom – Sweden (Swedish Log Lift Champion)
Terry Hollands – England (3rd in World’s Strongest Man 2007 and 2011, Guest Competitor today)
Terry Hollands, while still able to win the Giants Live show, is of course unable to win the World’s Strongest Viking. Which is likely going to the mighty THOR, if the first Giants Live was anything to go by!
EVENT 1 – SWORD HOLD
Hold a 22kg sword + 5kg of chain in front of them for as long as possible!
An extraordinary light weight for the strongmen, but having to hold it in front of them with their arms straight and not arching their backs is definitely a tough challenge! That being said, we got some great times from the early competitors, with the best time a little over 56 seconds with only a few guys left. The world record is just over 1 minute 20 seconds, will we see that beaten here today? 56 seconds has some and done, and there goes the now OLD world record as both Nystrom and Solvang break it, but Nystrom gets the leading time at 1 minute 33 seconds! Wow! 2 Giants Live events, and 2 new world records! Top finish this event off, we have THOR, and England’s Terry Hollands! Can either of them challenge Nystrom and his world record? Will they even try, or just go for good points and save energy for later events? Terry is out at around 55 seconds, and even THOR can’t get the leading time here as he finishes at just over 1 minute, which would be an impressive winning time on any other day!
EVENT 2 – SLEDGE DRAG
Pull 900kg of logs on a sledge down a 24m course!
An icy surface and thin air isn’t going to help anyone, and it shows early on as the leading time is a little over 7m. Can the heavyweights Terry and THOR use their size to their advantage and finish the course? I’d put money on both of them finishing, but who comes first is anyone’s guess! Being 2 of the best truck pullers in strongman history, both men are certainly well equipped, as Terry proves with a fantastic start, but the icy course and some small hills prove to be too much even for Big Tel! 15m still puts him in first for the time being, but we have Nystrom and THOR still to go! Nystrom might have won the first event, but he looks to be defeated here, until he changes tactics and uses his massive upper body strength to at least land a current second place! Not familiar with Nystrom personally, but he looks like he could be a future force to be reckoned with! Speaking of forces to be reckoned with, THOR absolutely DESTROYS this course, by finishing it with ease! Once against THOR is looking unstoppable!
EVENT 3 – LOG PRESS
130kg log, as many reps as possible in 60 seconds!
THOR is certainly one to look out for here, but I’m predicting Nystrom gets the win due to his experience as a log lift champion. Hollands isn’t the best log presser, but got an admirable 7, though that does drop him down the leader board for this event. Nystrom looks impressive once again with 10 reps, putting him in first place for now, with only THOR to go! Can he beat the Swedish Log Lift Champion? If anyone in this competition can, it’s THOR. At the 30 second mark he is actually 1 rep ahead of where Nystrom was, but he tires towards the end and “only” manages to tie Nystrom with 10 reps! THOR looked great as always, but it’s Nystrom who I’m most impressed with, especially since this is his first international competition!
With 3 events out of the way, this is how the leader board looks!
THOR and Nystrom tied in first place, with Hollands a distant 3rd. It doesn’t look like Terry will win the Giants Live, but 3rd place will still be a great result for him. The real battle here though is between the two men occupying the #1 spot. World’s Strongest Viking; THOR or NYSTROM?
EVENT 4 – LOADING RACE
5 objects, starting at 80kg all the way up to 110kg, must be carried down a short course and loading onto a platform in 60 seconds!
Some impressive times in the 30+ seconds mark from a couple of athletes early on, something I didn’t expect based on the similar event that finished the previous Giants Live competition from yesterday. Almost everyone finished the course, which is always great to see. One problem here for the athletes is the icy floor that will prevent them from moving as fast as they would like to. Terry Hollands is usually a very quick man for his size, but only manages 41 seconds for 4th currently, as you can visibly see him being careful with his footwork across the slippery ground. Nystrom on the other hands is going full speed ahead, hoping he can avoid slipping and get the fasted time. However even he can’t break into the top 3 positions, going into 5th and sending Terry down into 5th, with THOR still to go. And wow, THOR is wasting no time. He might as well be lifting pillows around because he is just manhandling them off the ground and throwing them onto the platform!
EVENT 5 – POLE PUSH
2 men battle against each other as they hold onto a pole and try to push each other out of the ring!
An odd event, but hey, we’ve had wrestling in the past so it’s nothing crazy for Strongman lol! Again the icy floor will prove problematic, but as Terry Hollands shows us, raw power and bulk can cancel that out! I think we might get a Hollands/THOR final here! Oh my, Hollands slips over and is out in the semi-final! A real shocker, but he will finish ahead of Nystrom who only manages a 7th place finish. Leicht Vs THOR is our final, and well, it does seem like THOR cannot be beaten in this event.
So after 5 events, with one left to go, this is how things look:
Nystrom’s 7th place finish in the previous event puts him out of any realistic contention for the #1 finish, but he should certainly be happy with finishing second to the mighty THOR. Terry finishing a number of places above Nystrom in event 5 closes the gap quite a bit between the two, which could potentially let Hollands sneak in a 2nd place victory if all goes well!
EVENT 6 – ATLAS STONE SINGULAR
Lift 1 170kg Atlas Stone over a small wall, then run around to the other side and do it again in the fastest time!
This again looks like it could be THOR’S event, as I saw him compete in a similar event earlier in the year and he did 8 in 60 seconds. Terry Hollands gets a great time with just over 15 seconds, but it’s only good enough for second place. Again it’s that icy floor that proves to be Terry’s undoing, or at least his slowing downing, anyway haha. Nystrom is up next and finishes behind Terry, so we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how the points go for who finishes in 2nd and 3rd between him and Terry. THOR, as I guessed, wins this event in ease!
The final results are:
THOR, unsurprisingly, becomes the WORLD’S STRONGEST VIKING. Nystrom impressed the hell out of me, and I look forward to seeing him in the main WSM competition. Terry was only 2 points shy of 2nd place, but in the end still gets a podium finish and of course qualifies for the WSM, which is what really counts here!
2 Giants Live events down, and 2 wins for the might Hapfthor Bjornsson! Not only that, but each event has given us a new world record, first in the deadlift and then here in the Sword Hold!
Again, people in the UK, watch the event for up to one year right here http://www.channel5.com/shows/worlds-strongest-man-2014/episodes/norway-the-iceman-qualifier