The second heat is about to get under way, with 6 more strongman athletes looking for a place in the final! The men in this heat looking to qualify are:
Eddie Hall – Great Britain
Grzegorz Szymanski – Poland
Jon Lane – USA
Jon Olav Granli – Norway
Adam Bishop – Great Britain
Nick Best – USA
Eddie Hall and Nick Best are the favourites on paper, but as we saw in the first heat, anything can happen, be it a bad event or an injury. In fact, Eddie Hall has already dislocated 2 of his fingers going into this event! He did come back after WSM and win, with relative ease, the UK’s Strongest Man event (for the 6th time in a row), so it might not effect him quite as much as you’d expect.
Event 1 – Loading Race
4 sacks, weighing 125kg each must be lifted and run down a 12 metre course, and loaded onto a platform!
Granli, Lane and Bishop are up first. Seen Lane before and he was very impressive, and Bishop is pretty good at these loading events. He has the current lead, with Lane just a few seconds behind, with Granli in firm third place only getting 3 sacks up. Lane makes a BIG mistake and also only gets 3 sacks up, but in a faster time than Granli. Good start from the Englishman! Szymanski, Hall and Best go last. All 3 should complete the course, but its just a case of who can do it in the fasted time. These sacks will be a problem for Eddie and his dislocated fingers. He is definitely having problems lifting the sacks up to begin with due to those injured fingers, and is in last place out of these 3. Szymanski finishes first out of the 3, and may very well have ended up in first place. Hall might be slow and in pain, but he still gets all 4 up to make sure he doesn’t end in last place.
Event 2 – Truck Pull
18 tonnes. It weighs 18 tonnes and needs to be pulled down a course in the fasted time.
Best, Granli and Lane have all gone, with Best in current 1st place with a time of 45.41 seconds. Eddie Hall is the first man we get to see tackle the event, and hopefully his immense body weight will make up for those injured fingers. He might not be flying, but he does best Best (hahahahahashutupitwasfunny) with 42.91 seconds! Bishop next, and well, I don’t expect him to do THAT well, but he could surprise me. He does manage to complete the course, but only in 54.97 seconds, so I think that has him in 4th atm. Szymanski is last, and like a lot of Polish competitors, he could do really well. It seems that Poland is able to produce great strongmen that never seem to have the body weight of guys like Hall, but seem to still be able to pull trucks just as well. He JUST misses out on beating Hall. 43.72 seconds for him, but it does land him in 2nd place!
Event 3 – Keg Toss
One of the most entertaining events to watch! 15kg kegs, and they need to be thrown over an increasing height!
Lane and Granli made 5.5 metre and no more. Bishop easily gets 6.5m and will continue in the event. Best only managed 6. Hall also only manages 6, while Szymanski lands 6.5 with ease. So its down to Bishop and Szymanski, as they attempt 6.75m now! Bishop fails the first attempt, but they get 3 tries on each height. Yes! The second one does go over, so Szymanski needs to match him to continue on. First time is the charm for Szymanski. He is looking really good in this event! 7m next, can Bishop do it? Yes! Can Szymanski match him? Oh yes! This is impressive as hell! Szymanski however bows out, realising he probably can’t make the next height. Bishop agrees and they take equal 1st place!
At the halfway point, lets see those scores!
Szymanski looks set for a qualifying spot atm, while Bishop and Hall are battling it out for that 2nd spot. Hall not looking quite as dominant with those injured fingers, but he’s still giving it his all and I would still be surprised if he didn’t make it through to the final. Best is also well within reach of a place in the final, and despite being 47 years old he can still get it done.
Event 4 – Deadlift
Well, looks like Eddie is about to gain some much needed points to make up for the last event!
Granli and Lane went first, with 3 reps and 6 reps respectively. Best gets to go head to head with Szymanski, and they both make Lane’s 6 reps look like nothing. Best, a former powerlifing champion is in the lead right now with 12 reps, while Szymanski finishes on 9. Hall and Bishop are last. Hall, even with injured fingers is still the favourite to win. So the real story here is how many reps can Bishop do? He’ll want to at least equal Best for some good points. Hall finishes with 13, just enough for the win, and Bishop gets 12 to equal Best, just like I thought he would want! Great effort from both men!
Event 5 – Viking Press
154kg weight must be pressed for as many reps as possible!
Lane and Grenli went first. Lane got 0, Grenli managed 6. Bishop and Best are up. Best only manages 2, and Bishop only gets 3. Disappointing for both men. Hall should do well for sure, as he’s also an excellent presser as well as deadlifter. Szymanski, if he’s anything like the other Polish athletes over the years, will also be excellent at this. Hall gets 9 like it was nothing, while Szymanski surprises me with only 5.
One event left, so lets take a look at the scores:
2 event wins in a row have shot Hall up into first place, proving that those injured fingers aren’t keeping him down at all. Bishop and Best could still earn a place in the final, but it relies on Szymanksi doing very poorly in the final event.
Event 6 – The Atlas Stones
Double points are up for grabs in the most classic strongman event!
Granli and Lane have gone, with no chance to qualify at all. They each get 3 stones. Bishop gets to go head to head with Best again, and both men need all 5 up in good times if they want to go to the final. Both men get 4 up, but that 5th stone is beyond them. Seems likely neither will go through. Hall Vs Szymanski time! Last year in the WSM final, Hall beat THOR, who up to that moment was considered the best in the world at the stones. A similar performance will guarantee his place in the final. Szymanski is always a stone behind Eddie, who gets 4 up in a fast time and knows he doesn’t need to event attempt that 5th stone. Szymanski also gets 4, but will his time be good enough? Yes!
For some reason they don’t show us the placements for the Atlas Stones, so we’ll skip to the overalls:
Well, dislocated fingers or not, Eddie is still THE BEAST and still has a chance to do very well in the final. Szymanski looked good throughout, while poor Adam Bishop just misses out on a place in the final.