It’s time for 2 more people to join the 4 athletes who have already qualified for the WSM final!
Dimitar Savatinov – Bulgaria (1st WSM appearance)
Grzegorz Szymanski – Poland (1st WSM appearance)
Mike Caruso – USA (1st WSM appearance)
Lauri Nami – Estonia (3rd WSM appearance)
Jerry Pritchett – USA (3rd WSM appearance)
Eddie Hall – England (3rd WSM appearance)
Event 1 – Loading Race
Load 2 barrels (120kg) and 2 sacks (125kg) down a course and lift them onto a platform!
3 newcomers to the WSM in the first group here, but Caruso is certainly one to watch based on his performances in the Giants Live events. The other 2 are completely new to me (I think haha), so I have no clue what they might be capable of. Szymanski surprises me by beating Caruso in this first event, and is the current leader! Let’s see how come of the more experienced strongmen can do compared to the Pol! All 3 men in the next group have been here 3 times now, with Eddie being super impressive this year so far, and Jerry Pritchett being probably the favourite to go through into the final with Hall in this heat. Hall is off like a rocket, but makes a mistake on the first sack, allowing Nami to steal the win, with Pritchett coming up the rear, not doing as well as I would have expected. Still, Nami only gets second place, with the Pol finishing first overall after 1 event! A good start for the newcomer!
Event 2 – Truck Pull
Pull a 12 tonne truck down a 30 meter course in 60 seconds.
Eddie got off to an underwhelming start, but perhaps he can get back on top here in the Truck Pull. He is incredibly powerful and has a lot of body weight, and in the last year has shown he can really move too; all things that make you a GREAT Truck Puller!!! I wonder how long Szymanski has been doing strongman before making it to the WSM heats, because he looks like a pro already based on his win in the first event and just how well he was in the Truck Pull. Most people when they are new to the sport take a while to get used to all the different techniques needed for events, but so far he looks like he knows exactly what he’s doing. Maybe he’s been training with a certain 5 time WSM from Poland? As good as Szymanski’s pull was though, Britain’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall comes out and beats his time! Can it stand up with Nami still to come? We’ll soon see! Ooops, forgot we still have American Jerry too! Before the first event I’d say he would be a favourite to win here, but that first event was a poor showing from him and I’m not too sure. That being said he does well, but just misses out on the 1st or even 2nd place by about a second. It’s down to Nami! Despite a good start, he doesn’t even beat the American, and ends up in 4th place. Works out well for Eddie of course, but there are still 4 more events to go!
Event 3 – Squat Lift
Weight ranges from 280 to 370kg. Every time they do a squat, another barrel is loaded onto the apparatus, and they must complete all weights in 60 seconds.
Another good event on paper for Eddie, but I am interested to see how Szymanski does. He is the current leader, albeit by 1 point, but the leader nonetheless. Wow, surprisingly he only does 3, and Nami only manages 5. Caruso finally proves why I thought of him as a favourite going into the heat by getting all 7, so Eddie is going to have to beat him on time to get another event win. Dimitar Savatinov then shows up and beats Caruso before Eddie even got a chance! More pressure on Eddie Hall now, but if he does win, it will be great for him having the 2 men in the bottom half getting places above the 1st and 3rd placing men going into this event! And oh my, Hall make it look EASY. They could have sneaked in 2 or 3 extra barrels and I doubt he would have noticed! Jerry Pritchett is last, but can he dethrone Hall’s excellent performance moments earlier? Nope! He does make all 7, but 3 seconds slower than the Englishmen!
At the halfway point let’s take a look at the leaderboard:
Just as I expected, having the likes of Caruso and Savatinov going ahead of Nami and Szymanski in the squat and Eddie winning it gives Eddie a huge boost in points over all the other competitors. 4 points ahead of his nearest rival, he’s looking good for his first WSM final!
Event 4 – Super Yoke
Run a 25 meter course carrying a 455kg yoke in the fastest time within 60 seconds!
In the past this has been a problem for Eddie, but like I keep repeating, his improvement over the last year means that he just doesn’t seem to have many weaknesses, and while he might not win this, I don’t see him struggling like he would have done in the past. 20.44 seconds is the leading time by Caruso so far, and Hall and Nami go head to head in the second grouping. A slow start for Eddie, but he just keeps accelerating and beats Nami, but still only earns him a 3rd place result so far. Hmmm… if the final 2 men can beat his time, I guess the Super Yoke can still be called a weakness for Eddie. Pritchett and Szymanski do indeed beat Hall, with Pritchett winning overall! Looks like it could be him and Eddie going through if all goes well for them.
Event 5 – Overhead Lift
Get as many reps as possible in 60 seconds with a 150kg log!
From an event that doesn’t favour Eddie, to perhaps his favourite event! His 4 point lead at the halfway point went down to just a 2 point lead due to his poor performance in the Super Yoke, but he certainly has a chance to not only keep a points lead but maybe even increase it after this one! Savatinov and Nami are first out, and Nami only gets a disappointing 1 rep, with Savatinov setting the bar at 5. It’s a battle of the American’s next, and I would expect both men to match 5 reps at least. Caruso is a great lifter, powering the log up and busting out 6 reps, while Jerry goes slower and ties for second with 5 reps. I would put money on Eddie doing at least 7, but the Pol is a total unknown for me and could shock people here. Szymanski is struggling, managing 4 reps, and to my surprise Hall only gets 6 to tie with Caruso. But that’s still an event win, even if he’s sharing it.
Here is how the leaderboard is looking with just 1 event left:
Hall still has a good lead on top, so I’d say it’s safe to say he’s going through. The second qualifying spot could be any of the 3 people below Eddie, so the final event is going to be suspenseful!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
Lift all 5 stones onto platforms, weighing from 130kg to 185kg, within 60 seconds as fast as you can!
Last year, Eddie lost out on a place in the final on this event, the Atlas Stones. But he has that 4 point lead again, and unless he screws up monumentally, he SHOULD get through to the final this year! Eddie knows this, and doesn’t try to go for a super fast time, and like fellow Englishman Terry Hollands, does nothing more than needed, so he can save energy and hopefully prevent injury. So congrats to Eddie Hall for getting redemption for last year! And now the final showdown to decide who makes it to the final along with Hall! Pritchett only needs to beat Caruso here to guarantee his place, and he gets all 5 stones up before Caruso even starts to pick up the 4th! A little surprised at Caruso’s performance this entire heat tbh, as he looked great at the giants live show, but Pritchett was simply better overall!
So the final leaderboard looks like this:
Eddie Hall and Jerry Pritchett are indeed through to the final, with Jerry winning the group overall. Had Eddie gone all out in the stones he would have scored higher than Jerry and won the heat, but what really matters here are the top 2 places, not JUST the top position. It’s off to the final for them, but We had a great showing from the other newcomers who will surly be the future of the sport in years to come.