The last heat before the final, and the reigning, defending World’s Strongest Man, Brian Shaw, is back to make sure the title stays with him!
Gerhard Van Staden – South Africa (2nd WSM appearance)
Scott Cummine – Canada (2nd WSM appearance)
Martin Wildauer – Austria (5th WSM appearance)
Mikhail Shivlyakov – Russia (1st WSM appearance)
Graham Hicks – England (3rd WSM appearance)
Brian Shawn – USA (2 x WSM Champion – 2011 and 2013)
Event 1 – Loading Race
Must load all 4 anvils (125kg each) onto platforms in 60 seconds.
A very close race in the first grouping, with Van Staden just winning it. Cummine was so close to winning but dropped the anvil, leaving him in third place. The second grouping has the reigning champion Brian Shaw, and Englishman Graham Hicks, along with a newcomer from Russia! Shaw starts off the slowest, but makes it into first place when Hicks struggles with the final anvil at the pickup, and the Russian struggles to load the final anvil!
Event 2 – Fingal’s Fingers
5 fingers, ranging from 200-320kg, must be flipped 108 degrees within 60 seconds!
An event suited to people like Brian Shaw. I’d expect him to blast through all 5 with relative ease. Hicks might have come second in the first event behind the champ, but his shortness here is going to prevent him from likely getting a high place. He only makes 3, with everyone else that’s gone so far (3 people), making 4. Not good for him. Shaw is still to come as is the Russian Mikhail. Shaw completely obliterates the first 4, then stops and waits to see if Mikhail can catch up to him. He does, but cannot budge that last finger. Shaw doesn’t even need to waste the energy on it because he got such a fast time! The champ is without a doubt in great shape. He will be damn near impossible to beat, even if your name is Hafthor Bjornsson or Zydrunas Savickas!
Event 3 – Deadlift
Weight ranges from 280 to 370kg. Every time they complete a lift, another barrel is loaded onto the apparatus, and they must complete all weights in 60 seconds.
We have the “deadlift kid” in this event, none other than Martin Wildauer! Brian Shaw is a former record holder in the deadlift, so you gotta believe he and Wildauer are going to be impressive in this event. But can either of them get all 7? Scott Cummine does well with 5 reps, placing him in the current lead ahead of Van Staden. The champ is up next, so let’s see how he does! He is going super fast, perhaps looking to go for a good time rather than wasting too much energy trying for all 7. And yes, that is EXACTLY what he did! I sometimes surprise myself with how well I know some of these guys haha. Hicks’ time now, don’t see him getting 7, and certainly don’t see him beating Shaw’s time for 6, if he gets that many. 5 is all he can manage, and does it slower than Cummine which is not good for the Englishmen. Time to see what Mikhail can do! Only 5 for him as well, but in a slower time still. The Deadlift Kid is last to go, will he be able to beat Shaw’s time, or can he be the first (and only) man to get all 7 reps? 6 in a good time, not enough to beat Shaw I don’t think, but it doesn’t matter because the DEADLIFT KID gets all 7! Incredible! The only man to do all 7 in the heats, though you gotta believe Shaw could have done it too if he felt he needed to.
Halfway through the final heat, here are the scores:
Shaw on top is no surprise, but now Wildauer is in second place, 5 points ahead of his nearest rival! While I want to root for Englishmen Hicks, it would be great to see Wildauer get through to the final after he’s had a couple of VERY near misses in the past, usually just failing to qualify on the last event.
Event 4 – Car Walk
Athletes must walk a car, weighting 455kg, down a 25 meter course within 60 seconds!
Yet another event that Shaw should be great at. He really doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses! But before he comes out, the Canadian goes first and doesn’t do well unfortunately, and then the Russian gives it a go and he’s all over the place. Dropping it, going off balance and even turning it sideways. He does finish the course, but 53.94 is not a time that will hold up. Hicks is slow and steady, but has a great pickup and finishes in 35.44 seconds without dropping it once or losing any balance. A good showing, just a little slower than I’m sure he would have liked. Oh my, Van Staden is having some real trouble, and only makes it 11.5 meters. Seems he might have injured his leg, hopefully not, but we have seen an injury in this event already this year so it could be possible. The Deaflift Kid has awful balance early on, but he keeps going and picks up speed, finishing the course in 26.10 seconds! Only Shaw to go, so either way he’s going to come in second at least! Good points for him again! 20.35 from Brian Shaw as he continues to show everyone why he is the current champion!
Event 5 – Overhead Lift
Get as many reps as possible in 60 seconds with a 150kg log!
Hicks can hopefully make up some points in this event that is probably his best. Shaw is going to be very difficult to beat though. His power is amazing despite his height supposedly being a disadvantage in this type of event! Poor Wildauer only makes 2, while the Russian Mikhail gets 7 reps! Hicks and Shaw go head to head last, and these are the men to watch out for! Shaw takes his time, because he knows he doesn’t need to do that much here. Hicks gets to 6 for a second place finish, with Shaw only doing 5. All of these men in between Hicks and Wildauer is going to be great points-wise for the Englishman but terrible for the Austrian. One event left, could it be another disappointing finish for the Deadlift Kid?
One event left, and the scores as as follows:
Hicks is only 2 points behind now, so the final event is going to be one hell of a battle! Again! Almost every heat this year has had 2 men battling it out for a place in the final in the last event! Brian Shaw though has already qualified so he can take it easy.
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
Lift all 5 stones onto platforms, weighing from 130kg to 185kg, within 60 seconds as fast as you can!
Staden and Mikhail look to simply end their heat with a good performance, and both get 4 stones up. Brian Shaw Doesn’t even bother competing in this event since he is already through. The real battle is of course Hicks Vs Wildauer, and it’s Wildauer that gets the 5th stone up first, sending him to the final FINALLY!!!
The final scores are:
Well done to the ever impressive Brian Shaw, and very well done to Martin Wildauer who has finally make it through to the final after years of losing out on the last event! Hicks came close but this just wasn’t his year, but if he keeps working hard he looks good for qualifying next year for sure!