World’s Strongest Man 2014 – Giants Live Qualifier 3


We are in Hungary, Budapest for the next Giants Live event! So, who are competing this time around?


Michael Votter – Austria (2nd at Austria’s Strongest Man 2013)

Mike Caruso – USA (2nd at American’s Strongest Man 2012)

Peter Puzser – Slovakia (Slovakia’s Strongest Man 2012 and 2013)

Graham Hicks – England (Competitor at WSM 2012 and 2013)

Jason Bergmann – USA (2 x WSM Finalist, Best was 9th place in 2008)

Eddie Hall – England (Britain’s Strongest Man 2014)

Mark Van Der Haer – South Africa (7th at Giants Live Budapest 2013)

Tomas Hajnal – Hungary (Hungary’s Strongest Man 2014)

Konstantine Janashia – Georgia (5 x Georgia’s Strongest Man)

Matjaz Belsak – Slovenia (Slovenia’s Strongest Man 2014)



Pull a 7.5 tonnes truck 17 meters!


Different from the usual Truck Pull, as this time they must use only their arms to pull it from a static position at the other end of the course! The technique here is to make sure the rope stays as tight as possible so it continues to move. If the rope goes slack, the truck slows down and you have to use more power and energy to re-start the momentum again. Eddie Hall from England is the favourite here, not just for the Truck Pull but the entire event. He is a massively build man, and has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. I saw the UK’s strongest man final a couple of weeks ago and Hall was in a league of his own there. With Terry Hollands getting older and likely stepping down soon, Eddie Hall looks to be the UK’s next best chance at winning the competition in the future. Unfortunately he gets off to a bad start in this event, missing the rope a couple of times, putting him into 4th place. Can England’s Graham Hicks do better? He’s another new English competitor who just gets better every year. However he is a smaller build guy compared to a lot of other athletes, which will put him at a disadvantage here. He puts in a great effort but fails to impress with a 9th place finish. Slovakian Belsak apparently had a big reputation coming into this event and he did a great job with winning the first event! Can he keep up the momentum?





140kg log, pressed as many times in 60 seconds!


Eddie Hall didn’t do so well in the first event, but overhead pressing is one of his strongest events, breaking the British Record last year, so if all goes well he’ll make up for his 5th place finish here! Belsak did well getting to 7, but couldn’t go any further, and I believe that has him tied for first with Jason Bergmann at the moment. Mike Caruso is looking very impressive here, and coming in second at USA’s strongest man definitely places him up there as one of the strongest men in the world, so this isn’t much of a surprise to me even if I believe this is my first time seeing him. He makes it to 9 when the whistle blows, putting him in current first and setting a high bar for the 2 Englishmen! Hicks is out next against Puzser, and both are doing extremely well with 6 reps each at 30 seconds! Puzser manages to get 1 rep ahead of Hicks, and equals the American on 9 while Hicks manages a very respectable 8, still putting him in second place currently. Van Der Haer and Hall are the final 2 men, and Hall is definitely the one to watch! His power overhead is extremely impressive, but he struggles early on with the balance, costing him precious time. Because of that he only manages 8 for a joint second place with fellow Englishman Hicks, while poor Van Der Haer only managed 2.





Life a bar around a circle as many times as possible! Weighed down by 4 fitness models!


Another of those events that really favours the taller man, as getting the bar up as high as possible is definitely an advantage. But as long as you can keep your grip you should do well. Oh and you absolutely have to be careful with your movements, as I’ve seen a couple of athletes in the past suffer severe injuries on this event. 1110 degrees for Jason Brergmann! Over 3 reps around the circle. That will be very hard to beat, especially for Eddie Hall who actually dropped the log on one of his toes in the previous event! 835 is all he gets, but that is still one impressive number in this event, more so with a potential broken toe! But following Hall was Belsak who managed an excellent second place!




After 3 events we are now halfway into the competition, and these are the current standings:




Hall is doing well in second place, but somewhat surprising is the leader Belsak, who has impressed everyone throughout this show thus far! Can Hall overcome injury and take first place? We’ll have to wait and see!



144kg Stone must be lifted to the shoulder as many times as possible in 60 seconds

We’ve seen this event already at Giants Live, and it’s definitely a difficult event mainly due to the size for the stone. Hicks and Caruso do well with 6 and 7 respectively, putting them in the top 2 places so far. Hall is out next and I’m not sure he’ll do too well here. He’s never been the best at the Stones in general, but lifting it to the shoulder is different to putting it on a platform or lifting it over a wall. He does well with 6 reps, putting him in joint second once again with Hicks. Belsak is next and wow, he’s literally dropping the stone from his shoulder and bouncing it off the floor to catch it on his knees, saving him energy lifting it from the ground! He gets 8 and another win. Jason Bergmann now has to follow that, and he’s using the same bouncing technique and reaches 8 with 20 seconds left! With 15 seconds left he takes the lead and stops there as he’s already won. Very, very impressive and I wonder how many other people will adopt that method in the future!




Another great performance from Bergmann and Belsak moves Hall down into 3rd overall, and it’s not looking good for the Englishmen.



Deadlift a 370kg car for as many reps in 60 seconds!


Hall did extremely well in this event last year, winning it with 18 reps. Can he repeat his success? And how will Bergmann and Belsak do here? The early competitors all do pretty well, most getting into double figures which would have been spectacular just a couple of years ago. Hall is out now and is blasting the reps out, while Hajnal can’t event lift it for one. With 15 seconds to go, Hall equals first place with 13 reps, and manages to get another 2 out before the whistle goes. 15 might not be as good as last year, but could still be the winning number! Caruso and Hicks are up next to try and better that, can they do it? Hicks is looking very well, while Caruso seems to have found a weakness, but still gets a respectable 8 reps. Hicks manages 11, which again would have been great a couple of years ago, but with 2 men still to go he will likely go down the leader board even further. Belsak and Bergmann are going like rockets, but Belsak gets a rep taken away from him for bouncing it off the floor, and ends at 11. Bergmann reaches a very impressive 14, with seconds left, and somehow manages to dig deep and pull out 1 more rep to tie Eddie!!! Superb!




With just 1 event left to go, let’s take a look at the scores!




Hall’s performances in the last couple of events, while still keeping him in 3rd place, has helped close the gap a hell of a lot in terms of points. Belsak is still leading by 1 point over Bergmann, but with 1 event left to go it really is anyone’s game!



Lift a 160kg Iron Cross up and down a 10m course as long as possible!


This event isn’t anything new, but the implement that they have to carry definitely is. And I honestly can’t predict which of the top 3 men will be victorious! It’s one of those events where literally anything can happen, and guys who think they will do well often don’t. Positioning the implement correctly and keeping the grip are the two most important things, both of which are VERY difficult to do. With no time limit, Hall uses his brain to take his time and even stop on one of the turns, use his knees to hold the cross and re-grip so he can keep going, and he manages to put himself in first place currently with the top 2 men still to go. Both men take their time to start, and they are both looking impressive as hell, passing Hall! Now it’s all up to who drops first, and it’s Belsak! Bergman wins!




That incredible finish puts both Bergmann and Belsak in joint first place!!!




However due to having more individual wins in events, it’s the American Jason Bergmann who takes the win overall! Belsak must be gutted, but for his first major tournament in World’s Strongest Man he has to be proud of his performance, and he’s yet another newcomer that we all need to look out for! As for Bergmann, it’s nice to see him back on form, and I wonder how well he’ll do overall in the main competition!


As always, people in the UK can watch the event for up to 1 year right here

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