It’s Giants Live in Doncaster, just 20 minutes left from where I live! And it’s the Britain’s Strongest Man final! Also… this was supposed to be the second Giants Live show, but channel 5 seem to have shown them out of order…
Daniel Gracia (2 x Gibraltar’s Strongest Man)
Luck Stoltman (Scotland’s Strongest Man 2012 and 2013)
Graham Hicks (Competitor at WSM 2012 and 2013)
Ben Kelsey (Under 105kg World Champion 2013)
Simon Johnston (2 x Wales Strongest Man)
Lloyd Renals (London’s Strongest Man 2013)
Marco Guidi – Italy (Italy’s Strongest Man, guest competitor)
Eddie Hall (2nd at Giant’s Live Hungary 2013)
Brian Irwin (1st at Giants Live Ireland Qualifier 2014)
Mark Felix (8 x World’s Strongest Man Competitor)
Kevin Larsen (Youngest man in competition, guest competitor)
Terry Hollands (3rd at World’s Strongest Man 2007 and 2011)
Laurence Shahlaei (Britain’s Strongest Man 2012 and 2013)
EVENT 1 – Medley Race
Run a 150kg Farmers Walk implements down a 20m course, then carry a 200kg metal block back down the other way!
An event that definitely suits Hollands and Shahlaei, the two favourites, but of course Eddie Hall, Graham Hicks and Mark Felix shouldn’t be forgotten either. Felix proves me right by getting a great time, putting him in the lead for the time beating, with Hicks going next and beating that! Kelsey and Johnson, two guys I’m personally not familiar with both put in great times, not enough to beat Felix or Hicks, but enough to put them ahead of everyone else thus far! And they could have potentially gone faster had their grips not gone with the Farmers Walk part of the race! Hall just comes up short of Hick’s time too, but I believe he is currently in second. Hollands and Shahlaei are going to really have to motor to beat Hick’s impressive time. Wow. Hollands did it! Shahlaei unfortunately dropped the metal block on his way back, sending him right down into 5th place. Not the best start for the defending champion, but a great start of Hollands and Hicks!
EVENT 2 – LOG PRESS
Press a 150kg log for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds!
An event that will certainly favour Eddie Hall here, with Shahlaei and Hollands never being the best at overhead events. Shahlaei manages to get 5, putting him in the lead at the time, but Eddie Hall is out next and you just know he’s going to be the one to beat. Felix is his head to head opponent, and I wouldn’t put money on him doing well unfortunately. He was once perhaps the best deadlifter in the world at one point, but overhead lifting has always been his weakness. Hall gets 6, and stops, believing it will be enough to win. With Hollands still to come that’s a safe bet tbh, but Graham Hicks shouldn’t be forgotten! Terry gets 4, which he’ll be both happy with as it’s not a strong event for him, but disappointed because he didn’t beat or even tie with Laurence. Hall deciding to stay at 6 might cost him in the long run, and Hicks matches it! Very good event here!
EVENT 3 – DEADLIFT
340kg weight for reps in 60 seconds!
A good old fashioned bar here, no cars, no supersized bar, just something you’d find in the gym! Felix is probably still considered a favoured here, as he gets 8 reps, however both Terry and Laurence are tremendous deadlifters, especially for maximum weights, with both of them setting and breaking British records in the deadlift! They are out next an going head to head, but poor Terry seems to be struggling here. He’s had back problems in the past, so that could be the reason, or he might just know he cannot match the 8 reps and decided to get the minimum needed for good points without winning. Laurence is able to match that 8 from Felix though, putting him in good points. Hall and Hicks go head to head to finish, and this time last year I’d have put my money on Hicks in a deadlift contest, however Hall has improved dramatically over the last year, so maybe he can surprise me by putting on a great showing here! Well, this is definitely surprising. Hall is looking great, while Hicks is really struggling on 4. Hall is already on 8 with 20 seconds left! All hail the new British Deadlift King! One more gives him 9 reps, and Hall gets another win!
So, halfway through Britain’s Strongest Man, and here is the leader board:
Hall is coming into his own here, 5 points ahead of the previous champion! However with 3 events still to go, those 5 points between 1st and 4th place really isn’t much, and it’s still anyone’s game between Hall, Hicks, Hollands and Shahlaei!
EVENT 4 – CIRCUS DUMBELL
100kg Dumbell must be lifted overhead with one arm only as many times in 60 seconds!
Without a doubt one of the most difficult events. The sheer size of the bar makes it so hard for people to lift to begin with, then having to press it out with one arm is even tougher. No surprise that a number of people don’t even make 1 rep. Hicks though busts out 4 reps, which even in World’s Strongest man would be impressive. Felix gets 3, which shocked me tbh, so good for him! Hollands leads atm with 5, but now we have Laurence and Hall out! Laurence is more experienced with this type of event, keeping him ahead of Hall the entire time. Hall definitely has the POWER to get this dumbell up, but the technique is letting him down. 4 reps from him still puts him in decent points, tied with Hicks, while Laurence finally gets a win with 6 reps!
EVENT 5 – CONAN’S CIRCLE
Lift a bar, weighed down with a quad bike, and get as many revolutions as possible!
As I mentioned in a previous Giants Live post, this is a difficult event and will favour the bigger men. Hollands technically should do well here, and I’ve already seen Hall do well in this type of event too. Other than that, I have no idea who might do well and who won’t! Damn, Hall practically collapses at the end of his run after putting in a fantastic performance! Terry out next is disappointing after just over 1 revolution, either he completely gave out or decided he wouldn’t win and didn’t want to waste the energy. Hollands is known for being a very tactical strongman, and despite always wanting to win every competition he’s in, he only seems to truly go all out in the World’s Strongest Man competitions. Shahlaei beats Hollands here and gets a respectable third place, but the big surprise is Ben Kesley coming in first!
Just one more event left, and the leader board is as follows:
Hall looks on target to win his first major title, with Shahlaei and Hicks still in the running to potentially win should Hall have a terrible time with the final event. Terry Hollands on the other hand is pretty much out of contention, and even a 3rd place result seems unlikely for him. Is his age and 10 years in strongman catching up to him, or is he reserving energy for the main competition?
EVENT 6 – LOADING RACE
Load 4 objects weighing around 120kg into a skip at the end of the course!
An event that actually favours most of the guys, with everyone likely to finish, but the time will separate them! Hollands and Hicks go head to head, and it’s the lighter man being able to move faster and earns him current second place, with Hollands not looking like he was trying to hard in all honestly, and that will prevent him from a podium finish. So here we are left with Laurence and Hall, and the winner of this is likely to be the overall winner! Hall is behind with the first 2 objects, but comes back on the third and finishes ahead of the now FORMER champion! Hall wins and is now finally the Britain’s Strongest Man! Well done Eddie!!!
Here are the final results!
Eddie Hall confirmed the winner, and in a surprise, Graham Hicks takes second place, pushing the former champion Laurence Shahlaei down into 3rd! A fantastic competition, showcasing just how great the Britain Strongmen are getting now. The future definitely looks bright for us!
As always, people in the UK can watch the event for up to 1 year right here http://www.channel5.com/shows/worlds-strongest-man-2014/episodes/doncaster-britains-strongest-man-qualifier