It’s the final heat, with the last 2 qualifying places before we go into the final!!! Tonight, England’s Eddie Hall will be battling against USA’s Mike Burke and Mike Caruso, Matjaz Belsak from Slovenia, Grzegorz Szymanski of Poland and Norway’s Ole Martin Hansen to try and make it to the 2015 World’s Strongest Man final!!! Burke finished 4th last year, Hall finished 6th, and I would bet good money on those 2 being the men going into the final.
Event 1 – Loading Race
The tyres of DEATH are back for this heat. Can anyone here get all 3 objects loaded? The first 3 men to tackle this event tonight all make easy work of the sack, then it’s Belsak who manages to load all 3 objects the fasted in a very impressive performance, with Caruso also getting all 3 up just before the time was up. Hansen struggled with the first tyre and ends up only getting the sack up. Next 3 men now, and you have to believe Eddie and Burke will load all 3, and I’d think Burke would do it in the fastest time. He’s a tall guy and very fast on his feet while also being very powerful. And yes, he wins with ease, while both Eddie and Szymanski race for second place, and it’s Eddie that places the tyre on first, getting a 3rd place finish overall. Maybe not the start Eddie would have hoped for, but he still has 5 events left to rack up all the points needed!
Event 2 – Deadlift
Well, Eddie should do well here as he IS the current world record holder in the deadlift for a single lift, and he’s not too bad at reps as well! Burke being so tall might fall down the leader board here though, as often the deadlift does not suit the taller athletes as they have to lift the bar higher than everyone else. Hansen and Belsak go first, and while I don’t think Hansen will pull out a high number, Belsak looks like he’s do well in this type of event. Well, as I write that, Hansen gives up after just 1 rep, while Belsak squeezes out a 6th rep to finish. Good result for him, and given the numbers we’ve seen in previous heats, that could keep him in the top 2 once again. Time to see what Caruso and Szymanski can do. Caruso takes his time and already looks to be struggling after 2 reps, while Szymanski gets up to 5 before running out of steam. Burke and Eddie, the 2 favourites for this heat overall, get to go head to head last. Like I said, I expect Eddie to do well here, with Burke struggling. Will my predictions come true? Eddie is blasting through reps, while as expected, Burke is struggling and quits at 3. Hall gets to 7, knows he’s won, and decides to stop.
Event 3 – Circus Barbell
Poor Hansen was unable to get a single rep, while Caruso was only able to get 1. Time to see what THE BEAST Eddie Hall can do. He is great at overhead events, so I expect a good result. He’s going up against Burke, who, like in the deadlift, might be at a disadvantage due to his height and having to press the weight so much higher than anyone else. Hall just POWERS the bar up, while Burke takes his time and manages 3. Hall is the current leader with 5 reps. However this does seem like an event Belsak might just edge out Hall if he can just be a little quicker and have more time for a 6th rep. Szymanski though is the man who ends up taking the lead while Belsak is struggling. Wouldn’t have called that, though Belsak IS only 23 and doesn’t have the experience. Szymanski gets 4 reps, separating Hall and Burke, while Belsak only manages 1. More good points for Hall!
So with 3 events down, here are the scores!
Hall is doing well, in first place and 3 points ahead of his next rival. However the fight for second place is very tight between 3 men, and Burke will need to get back into top form to keep his second place spot.
Event 4 – Kettlebell Toss
Well, Burke’s height should finally be an advantage for him here, while Hall might not do too well despite having great power. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Caruso manages 3 followed by Hansen, who did it much faster. Szymanski gets 4 in a decent time, and that might very well give him good points after this one is over and done with. The young Belsak is out next, and he goes ahead of Szymanski with 4 in a faster time, but is unable to get that 5th one over, and even provides us with a funny moment! Time for Mike Burke to show us what he can do. He looks very good here, getting 6 over with ease but not quite making the 7th. I think he does have the 7th in him if he does get to the final and this is one of the events. Finally, Hall gets his turn, and similar to Felix he messes up early on, however unlike Felix he is able to comeback and get 4, but he NEEDS a 5th to take good points. Unfortunately he doesn’t get it, as the time runs out before the bell hits the floor. That costs him big time.
Event 5 – Bus Pull
The near unbeatable bus is back! Hansen, Caruso and Belsak have all gone, and none have crossed the finish line. In something of a shock, Szymanski crosses the line, becoming one of the very few men this year to complete the course. That is an excellent result! Eddie Hall, the current co-leader overall gets his turn to tackle this monster. Hall is built perfectly for this type of event, so as long as he can keep going he should finish this course and maybe even beat Szymanski. He does, by 3/10th of a second!!! Burke last, and like Hall he’s perfectly build for this event. The only question now is if he can beat Hall or Szymanski. This is a very good pull, and he beats Hall and Szymanski by 4 seconds!
Alright, 5 events down and 1 to go. Before we move onto the Atlas Stones, let’s see where everyone stands on the leader board!
Burke and Hall both occupy those qualifying spots as we all expected going into the final, but with double points on the line, and only 6.5 points separating the top 4 men, one mistake on the stones could be very costly!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
Caruso and Hansen cannot quality, but it’s always a matter of personal pride for the athletes to still do their best no matter what. They both lift 3 stones in a decent time, giving the rest something to work towards. Belsak and Szymanski are out next, and these two men really need to get at least 4 up in a fast time, and a 5th stone from either of them would really put the pressure on Hall and Burke. Belsak gets the 4th up, and very nearly gets the 5th one up, while Szymanski only manages 3, and I think he knows he doesn’t really stand a chance now unless both Eddie and Burke screw up monumentally. Hall doesn’t have good memories with this event, but if he can keep his cool and get at least 4 up, he’s through. Both men lift 4 and that’s it, both men are into the final!!! Good showing from both men!
The final scores to confirm Hall and Burke going through to the final:
So congrats to Eddie for making the final, and Burke as well! That’s all 10 men now confirmed for the final, which airs tomorrow night! Stay tuned though as tomorrow afternoon I will be posting a predictions post!