World’s Strongest Man 2016 – Heat 5


Heat 5


Only 2 places for the final remain, and the reigning, defending WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN Brian Shaw is looking to cement his place and hopefully go on to win the title for a 4th time! As always though, 5 other men will be looking to qualify too, and they are:


Brian Shaw – USA (2015 World’s Strongest Man)

Gerhard Van Staden – South Africa

Charlie Gough – Great Britain

Eben Le Roux – Australia

Johan Els – South Africa

Mateusz Kieliszkowski – Poland


Brian Shaw is without a doubt THE man to watch out for here. In reality there is only one qualifying place up for grabs in this heat because Brian is going through no matter what!


Event 1 – Loading Race


Those nasty heavy sacks are the objects to load in this heat.

Els, Le Roux and Gough will start off this event. Els and Gough are new to me, so I am curious to see what they are capable of, especially the Brit who trains in Terry Hollands’ gym. Els gets off to a flyer, but seems to smash into the platform instead of slowing down, but he is still able to maintain first place and doesn’t look like he’s tiring! Gough is slow and stead, while Le Roux is struggling with the 3rd sack. Don’t think either Gough or Le Roux are going to get that 4th sack. Impressive stuff from Els! Van Staden and Kieliszkowski have the unfortunate task of being paired with Brian Shaw, but Kieliszkowski has been impressive in previous competitions so he could challenge the WSM in this event! Kieliszkowski like Els is off to an absolute flier! He is currently ahead of Shaw, putting on the 4th sack before Shaw has even run back for it! Van Staden is slow, but DOES finish.



Event 2 – Truck Pull


Well, the reigning champ might not have finished where he wanted to in the first event, but he might be the best suited athlete in all of WSM for the Truck Pull!

Le Roux goes first, but doesn’t quite finish. Gough is next and also doesn’t finish, but beats Le Roux. However in first place right now is Van Staden who does it in 50.54 seconds. Brian Shaw knows what he needs to do to get in current first place, and hopefully remain there after the next 2 competitors. 41 seconds exactly for Shaw, and that time might very well hold up! The newcomer Johan Els is up next and gets off to an ok start, but he definitely isn’t going to challenge Shaw’s time. He completes the course in a time of 50.87, just missing out on a second place. Kieliszkowski is last, and while he’s not the biggest man, given how fast he was in the first event, and his sheer fitness, he could do well here. A slip early on is not good, but he’s keeping the truck moving and that’s what’s important. Turns out he came 3rd in the Arnold Classic, and that is very impressive. Shaw’s time holds up but he comes VERY CLOSE with 42.16 seconds! We might have a new Polish Power strongman!



Event 3 – Keg Toss


The old keg toss event, with 6-8 barrels that need to be thrown over in the fastest time, was one of Shaw’s best events. For height though, I am unsure how well he can do. Who am I kidding? Shaw is likely to blow away the competition here, and could very well challenge Thor’s world record if he wants to!

Everyone has had at least one turn, but 4 have been eliminated and we are left with Shaw and Kieliszkowski. Their last throw was 6.75m. Can they do 7m? Shaw goes first and I wouldn’t bet against him getting this. First attempt… goes over with ease. Kieliszkowski now needs to match him to stay in the event. First attempt for him and… hits the bar. He has 2 attempts left. He’s getting the height, but not the right angle. His last attempt is close too, but that’s him out. Will Shaw attempt a world record though? Yes he will! 7.25m is what he’s going for, a whole 0.1m higher than Thor! Holy shit, that was incredible. He could go 8m is he wanted to! A new world record for the reigning WSM!



3 events down, and 3 more to go. Lets see the scores halfway:



Shaw is finally on top of the group, but only by 1 point. Kieliszkowski is looking good for that 2nd qualifying spot, and while Else and Van Staden COULD catch him up, I don’t see it happening now. The champ might not look like he’s dominating atm, but he ALWAYS holds back in the heats, doing what he needs to in order to qualify, then goes all out in the finals. Eben Le Roux has unfortunately broken some fingers and is out of the competition.


Event 4 – Deadlift


This should again be a good event for Shaw, who is a previous world record holder for max weight. Kieliszkowski is the one I want to see though; he’s been good at everything else and if he does well in the deadlift, he’ll cement himself as a world class strongman for sure.

Els has been, and managed 2 reps. Shaw Vs Gough next, and we’ll see what shape Shaw is truly in with this event. He’s very fast at this event, and won it in the final last year with ease. Gough on the other hand is also doing very well too, getting 7 reps! Shaw gets to 10 and decides to stop, realising it’ll likely be good points for him no matter what Staden and Kieliszkowski do. I would LOVE to see Shaw show up for the deadlift championships next year. The last 2 men are up now. Staden looks the better here, with Kieliszkowski going slow and not looking too comfortable with the lifts. He is suffering from some back pain though, though his 5 reps is still a good score. 7 from Staden has him tied for 2nd. Good result for him and Gough!



Event 5 – Viking Press


154kg weight must be pressed as many times as possible! Not the heaviest weight for these guys, but not the easiest event to get the hand of due to the equipment used.

Els is up first and only manages 1. A good attempt for him though, and being new, he can only get better. Gough looked great in the deadlift, so is he as good as pressing events? Van Staden is the man he’s going up against. Gough is only able to get 1, while Van Staden gets a very good result with 6. Shaw is a good presser, but his size with this equipment could put him at a disadvantage. Kieliszkowski looks like he should do well here though. Both men do incredibly well, and get to 9 reps before giving up!



With 1 event to go, these are the overall scores:



Shaw is on his way to the final no doubt, and unless Kieliszkowski makes a big mistake in the final event, he’s going through too.

Event 6 – The Atlas Stones


Look for Shaw to maybe do 3 stones here, 4 if he feels he needs to. Kieliszkowski I can see going for all 5 to ensure his place in the final.

Gough managed 3, a good result for a newcomer. Van Staden and Els will go head to head now, and both will be looking for all 5 if they want any sort of chance to go to the final, though even then I doubt they can. They have a huge battle to get that 4th stone up, but both drop it and 3 is all they can do. Shaw and Kieliszkowski are last and well, they are through. I know it, you know it, they know it. They both get 4 stones up like it was nothing, and confirm their places.



So the final scores are:



Shaw was never in any danger of not making it through, and the new Polish Power athlete Kieliszkowski looked exceptional and could place high in the final!

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