So, it’s all come down to THIS. 10 of the strongest men on the planet will compete to determine THE World’s Strongest Man for 2017! A quick reminder of the finalists:
A super strong lineup, one of the best ever. For anyone who missed it, check out my Predictions post to see who I think will win the 40th World’s Strongest Man!
Event 1 – Tire Flip
500kg tires are to be flipped 6 times in the fasted time, with a 60 second time limit! This will be HARD.
Kieliszkowski, Shahlaei, Licis, Savickas and JF Caron will be the first men to take on this event. Caron gets off to a fantastic start, but Kieliszkowski is doing his best to catch him up/ He doesn’t manage to beat the Canadian though, but does get a second place so far with Shahlaei in current third. Savickas the only man to not finish the course. He clearly isn’t 100%. Now for the other 5 men to have their chance. Best, Janashia, Hall, Thor and Shaw. Thor and Shaw should breeze through this. Hall has the power, but maybe not the stamina. Janashia and Best MIGHT struggle. Shaw wins followed by Thor, then Eddie. Janashia comes to a halt right at the end, but Best doesn’t get anywhere.
Event 2 – Squat Lift
The massive 320k bar need to be squatted as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Eddie Hall should win this one, or at least tie for first!
Janashia has been with only 2 reps. Kieliszkowski got 3, and Best with 6. Licis and Best tied for 1st right now with 13 reps. Yes, 13! Really going to push Hall with that number! Now for Big Z. He made a mistake in the heats which almost cost him a place in the final, but he’s making NO mistakes here as he reaches 13 with 20 seconds left! However, the 14th doesn’t come so he too ties for 1st right now. Great effort from him. Now for Shahlaei, one of the best in the world. However, he HAS injured himself on this same event in the past and that might be on his mind. So far so good, but I’m not sure if 13 will happen. 12 and he looks in pain, and he cannot get that 13th. Thankfully he isn’t injured, so that’s something! He will be disappointed though. And now for perhaps THE MAN at Squat; Eddie Hall. When it comes to these pure, static strength events, Hall is almost unbeatable. If he doesn’t make a mistake, 13 will be NOTHING for THE BEAST. And with only Thor and Brian left to go, he only has to really beat Brian. 15 reps and Eddie is in the lead. Even Shaw will have problems with that number! Big THOR now, and while he should be good at this event he keeps proving every year that he can pump out some big numbers. However, 15 is definitely out of his league, so he just needs to get as close to that 13 as possible. He’s taking his time the closer he gets to 13, and sadly he can only manage 12. Still, this might be the best performance we have ever seen from the Icelander in this event! Finally, we have Brian Shaw. Again, his size should mean he isn’t good at this, but like Thor he is always proving people wrong, even more so than Thor. He is the only man who could match Eddie if everything goes right. Brian doesn’t look comfortable on the way down, but standing back up he is having no problems here. The time, however, is beating Shaw as he can only get 13 as time runs out! If he went a little faster, 15 would have been within his grasp for sure.
Event 3 – Viking Press
Not too often we see this event any more, so good to see it here in the finals. 160kg for reps in 60 seconds. Again, another good event for Eddie Hall who should take first place again, be it alone or tied with someone else.
4 men have gone so far. Kieliszkowski and Shahlaei with 7 reps each, then Janashia and Caron with 8. All very good numbers, but in this final, with some of the men still to come, it just won’t be enough. The first pairing we get to see is Thor against Best. In previous years Best has been horrible at this event due to a bad lock out and difficulty with the implement. Thor on the other hand has already gone into the lead with 13 reps in 30 seconds. Best meanwhile cannot get past 3. 14 is as much as Thor can get in total as he began to “double dip” with his presses. Still, 14 reps is definitely a strong performance for him and should keep him fairly high in points. Big Z next head to head with Brian Shaw. Normally one of Z’s best events, but again his injury will definitely hinder him. So much so that the former 4 time winner ONLY gets 2 reps. He takes a rest and tries to come back, but not being 100% is preventing him from dominating this event. Shaw only manages 12, which is a bit of a surprise. I would have placed him above Thor here. Last up now is Hall and Licis. Hall should easily get to 14, then I only see him getting one more to confirm his win unless Licis pushes him. Licis is going well, but compared to Eddie he looks slow. 11 and 8 respectively as both men take a rest before attacking it again. Licis cannot go beyond 8, while Hall gets to 15 and wins as expected. 2 straight event wins for THE BEAST!
Some slight controversy with Thor and not getting reps due to double dipping, but Magnus Ver Magnusson, the referee and fellow Icelander (and 4 times WSM) remains confident that Thor WAS double dipping. Moving on from that, we are 3 events down so lets have a look at the overall scores so far:
Those 2 event wins in a row have propelled Eddie to top of the leaderboard so far! Shaw is only half a point behind though, and is ever dangerous. Thor and Caron are going well, and Licis still doing enough to be in contention for a podium finish.
Event 4 – Plane Pull
26 tonnes to be pulled up the 30m course! No wimpy buses for the final, this is a bloody plane! Shaw came second in the Truck Pull Championships earlier in the year, so he should do well, and Thor is often the winner at this event too. Hall might drop some points here though, as its never been his strongest event. Big Z in the past would be right up there for a top 3 finish, but again that injury of his will play a big part here.
5 men have been so far. Nick Best in last atm with a distance of 21.38m. Ahead of him is Caron with 29.81m, so close to the finish. Janashia finished it in 50.25s, then Licis in 49.30s. Big Z currently in the lead with a time of 47.73s. A good result from him all things considered, and it might keep him high on the leaderboard at the end of the event too. First man we get to see is Kieliszkowski. He’s powerful and fit, and could set a new leading time here despite being the lightest man in the final! A couple of slips, but he gets the plane over the line in 40.07s! Excellent pulling from him! Shahlaei next, and I’m honestly not sure he’ll beat the time set by Kieliszkowski. He does however take second place with 44.14s! He does unfortunately strain his calf muscle, so while he is still going to continue, it will hinder his performance in the next 2 events. Big Brian Shaw gets his turn now. His pull looks… ugly as hell in terms of technique, but his size and power should make up for it. He doesn’t get a winning time, nor does he beat Shahlaei, but 47.60s does place him ahead of Z. THOR is probably the favourite for this event, as he rarely loses a truck/bus/plane pull. His technique too looks bad, but he usually still wins anyway. However he too doesn’t beat Kieliszkowski, but at 41.10s he gets current 2nd place. If Eddie can just keep above Shaw’s time he will be in a very good position going into the last 2 events. Eddie’s technique is much better, and he does a great time of 42.92s for a 3rd place finish, though simply being ahead of Shaw is exactly what he needed! Congrats though to Kieliszkowski for coming 1st in this event despite being the lightest man in the final and going up against some of the best in the world!
Event 5 – Deadlift
Well, if Hall could pick any event to go before the final one, I think deadlift would be it! Another almost guaranteed 1st place finish for the Englishman, though Shaw can also gain some much needed points here and potentially tie Eddie for that 1st place just as they did last year. 350k for reps was in the heats, but now its all about MAX WEIGHT and starts at 380k!. Eddie might have done the biggest deadlift ever, but Shaw is without a doubt the second best deadlifter in the world. I am expecting Eddie and Shaw to settle for joint 1st here to save them going all out and really pushing themselves.
Best and Kieliszkowski have been eliminted from the event with 380k being their best. Big Z and Shahlaei also eliminated with just 400kg as their best. In the past both men have been known to lift much more, but both are currently injured and not at 100%. Everyone else is still going, and the weight has jumped to 440k!!! Caron gets it to match his personal best. Janashia also managed it, going a whole 20k above his previous personal best! Licis is about to attempt that same weight. 400kg is the best he’s ever done in a competition, but 440kg is not out of his reach and he too achieves the huge number that 2 or 3 years ago would have been a world record and one of the most impressive lifts ever! Brian Shaw now, and 440kg should be simple for him, and it is. Hall makes it look simple too. Thor is up last, and 440kg I think is his personal best? He needs it, and he gets it! So many men getting 440kg is just insane!!! 460kg will definitely separate the remaining men now. Caron is first to attempt it, but I don’t think he’ll do it. He gives it a good attempt but as predicted, he doesn’t make it. Janashia now trying for 40kg over what his personal best was before today. Its a huge ask, and he cannot manage it either. Licis also fails at this weight. Just the BIG 3 left to go, and 2 of them are guaranteed to get it up. It all depends on Thor. If Thor doesn’t lift it and the other 2 do, I expect them to settle for joint 1st. Shaw goes first and he struggles with it, more so than I have ever seen him in the deadlift, but he gets it up! He looks completely drained after the lift, so hopefully he just needs to rest up and not in some way injured. Hall makes 460kg look easy, just reminding everyone that he’s still 40kg below his personal best! I spot Hall and Shaw talking, and it might be about what they do if Thor gets this lift or not. Wow, Thor gets it up too, and looks to do it easier than even Brian! I didn’t see that coming! Shaw decides to leave it at 460kg, while Eddie and Thor move up to 472kg! Still way below Eddie’s max, and he lifts it easily. If Thor gets it up I will be utterly shocked, but he definitely has a chance! It gets to his knees, but not even Thor can get it up. A great attempt, but just too much. Eddie gets another 1st place and doesn’t have to share the points with anyone!
With just one event left to decide the 2017 WSM, lets go back to the scores and see where everyone currently sits:
Wow. Just one event to go and EDDIE THE BEAST HALL is sitting in first place with FOUR points ahead of Thor and Shaw who sit in joint 2nd place. Hall just needs a good finish on the stones and he will become the first Brit to win the title of WSM since 1993!!!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
Finally, none of that bullshit Last Man Standing stuff here! The title of WSM will be crowned in the most legendary event in the history of the sport. 5 huge stones, ranging from 150kg to 210kg, must be lifted onto platforms in the fastest time possible. Shaw is incredible at this event. Thor is incredible at this event. And, as we’ve seen in recent years, Eddie is incredible in this event. He doesn’t have to beat Shaw or Thor here, but I think a 4th place finish at the least in the event will guarantee him the title! Its all to play for!
4 men have competed in this event already, with Janashia in current 1st with 4 stones in 35.36s. Big Z and Shahlaei only managing 3 stones, and Best with 2. Licis and Kieliszkowski are going head to head now, with Licis looking to do well enough for a 4th place finish over Caron. Licis gets all 5 stones up in around 33 seconds, while Kieliszkowski can only get 4. Caron against the mighty THOR now. Caron will want to beat Licis’ time to keep 4th place, while Thor will want to beat everyone’s time if he hopes for that 1st place finish he’s been so close to for 5 years. Well, that 33 seconds for 5 stones is shattered by Thor who beats it by 5 seconds. Caron got 4 in a good time, so we’ll have to wait and see if he did enough to stay ahead of Licis. And here we go. Shaw Vs Hall. Can Brian Shaw win his record equalling 5th title? Can Eddie win it for Britain for the first time since 1993? Or will Thor have done enough? Hall is AHEAD of Brian here, and now all Eddie needs to do is get the 5th stone up to guarantee his title win… but no, he doesn’t do it. Shaw does and hurts himself… and Eddie gets the 5th stone up with seconds to spare… and that’s it. Eddie Hall is the NEW World’s Strongest Man!!! Holy shit!!! THE BEAST is now THE BEST!!!
No results for the Atlas Stones, but I guess it doesn’t matter. EDDIE HALL is the champion. Thor came within 1 point of winning and again has to settle for second place. Shaw loses his title and only manages 3rd place. Get result for Licis to beat out Caron for the 4th place. And Big Z for the first time in 11 finals fails to make the podium. We can only hope he fully recovers from injury next year and can get back on the podium. Eddie Hall also tells us that he is finished with Strongman. He’s been UK’s strongest man 6 times in a row, Britain’s Strongest Man 3 times in a row, lifted 500kg in the deadlift and now won World’s Strongest Man. He has sacrificed everything to get here, and now he’s done it, he can go back to his family. Sad to see him go, but we will always remember Eddie Hall as a champion and he will go down in history as the winner of the 40th WSM event!!!