Giants Live 2 – Britain’s Strongest Man (Doncaster)
The second giants live takes place in Doncaster at the Donny Dome (the same place I go to for the retro gaming market every year!), and it will help crown Britain’s Strongest Man! Eddie Hall is the current champion, having won it for the past 3 years. Can he hold on for a 4th year? I guess it all depends on his competition…
Phil Roberts – England
Luke Fullbrook – England
Paul Smith – England
Pa O’Dwyer – Ireland
Mark Steele – England
Tom Stoltman – Scotland
Luke Stoltman – Scotland
Graham Hicks – England
Adam Bishop – England
Mark Felix – England
Laurence Shahlaei – England
Eddie Hall – England
Notable absence from that list is Terry Hollands, who is nursing a minor injury and didn’t want to compete and make himself any worse to prevent him from competing in other competitions. Eddie is definitely the favourite as the reigning 3 time champ, but Shahlaei, Felix, Bishop and Hicks have all been on the podium numerous times (Shahlaei winning twice), and could all be in with a shot if Eddie makes any mistakes.
Event 1 – Shield Carry
A 200kg solid steel shield. Athletes will need to pick it up and carry it as far as possible. Its also bigger than previous shields so nobody will be able to lock their arms around it, making it more difficult to keep a hold of it.
50.63m, an excellent distance, is the one to beat right now from Luke Stoltman. First up is his brother Tom going against Mark Steele. Tom is taller than his brother, and might very well be able to get a better grip on the shield and take it a little bit further. Less than 2 metres behind his brother’s mark, and Tom goes down. Steele on the other hand goes beyond that, getting 60 metres which might end up as a winning distance! We’ll have to see, as there are still 4 big names to come. Felix against Bishop are two of them, and Felix gets off to a horrible start as he nearly trips up over the stand the shield sits on before it could be moved out of the way, and Bishop falls down and nearly crushes his arm underneath the 200kg shield! Bishop is fine, but only got 15 metres, while Felix doesn’t make 30 metres as he was likely put off by the incident with the stand. A bad run for both men. So our last 2 men are the BIG DOGS. Laurence Shahlaei, former 2 time Britain’s Strongest Man and current Europe’s Strongest Man, and Eddie Hall, the reigning 3 time Britian’s Strongest Man! Eddie probably has the pure strength to hang on to the shield for as long as he wants, but his fitness isn’t the best and the sheer size of his chest means he can’t quite get the best grip. However Hall still manages 52 metres for second place, while Shahlaei is further down the points table.
Event 2 – Super Yolk
2 motorbikes and a big metal bar across your back. 1000lbs and a 20m course! Who can complete it in the fastest time?
Bishop has the leading time of around 13 seconds which is very fast. Can Felix and Hicks beat it? Wow, Felix is RUNNING with this and does it in 12.12 seconds with Hicks in just over 13 seconds! Fast from both men! Hall and Shahlaei will have a lot of work to do in order to beat that time, though Shahlaei is a record holder in events like this, usually with a car. Shahlaei is up against Paul Smith, and Shahlaei makes him look slow with a super fast 10.10 seconds! Shahlaei is pretty much unbeatable at this type of event! Stoltman Vs Stoltman now! Neither put in a super fast time, and both drop it at least once, but its the younger brother than beats out his older brother! Lastly, we have Eddie Hall and Mark Steele! Don’t expect Steele to put up much of a challenge, but also don’t expect Eddie to beat that time of Shahlaei. He doesn’t, but 10.48 seconds is about as close as you can get! Incredible time for such a big man! Another second place finish, with Eddie’s best events still to come!
Event 3 – Deadlift
350kg on the bar, most reps wins!
4 reps from Graham Hicks is the best so far, but with Felix, Shahlaei and Hall still to come, 4 won’t be the winning amount of reps! Stoltman brothers get to face off against each other again, and they seem stuck together on 3. While 4 from Hicks won’t win, at this rate it should keep him in good points! Felix and Bishop get their chance to lift now. 8 from Felix is my prediction for a second place finish with Hall beating him. We’ll see though! 7 each at the 30 second mark, so Hicks goes down into 3rd right now. Felix does indeed finish on 8 as I predicted, with Bishop on 7. That amount of reps with 350kg is very impressive! Now for Eddie Hall, the greatest deadlifter in history for max weight! And Shahlaei has in the past held records of his own in deadlift. However against Hall for reps, I don’t think he can do it. Hall makes 8 look easy and pulls out a 9th for 1st place. Shahlaei stops at 5. Eddie once again showing that he’s the best deadlifter on the planet right now, for max weight AND reps!
Halfway into the competition now, so lets have a look at the overall scores:
Hall is 6 points clear of Laurence, and with 3 more events that favour him, I wouldn’t bet against THE BEAST retaining his title for a 4th year. Felix and Laurence are currently battling for 2nd place, while the Stoltman brothers are having a battle of their own!
Event 4 – Safe Lift
Just like the Container Lift at the previous Giants Live, but the weights won’t wobble AS MUCH, but will still cause problems when it comes to balance. 150kg too.
Graham Hicks, known for his shoulder strength, is leading with 11 reps. Guys are doing much better with this equipment than the containers in Sweden, that’s for sure. Shahlaei and Bishop go head to head, but Bishop struggles to get 2 lifts. Shahlaei busts out 8 nice and quickly, then takes his time to get to 11 to tie for 1st place. Good lifting! However, Eddie Hall is still to come, and while he might be best known for deadlifting, he’s also one of the best pressers in the world too. 11 shouldn’t be too bad for him. Mark Felix on the other hand only managed 1 in the container lift in Sweden, can he do better here? I remember years ago when I first saw Felix, in 2004 I think it was, and he absolutely dominated this same event. Despite getting stronger and better at almost every event since then, overhead pressing is still his weakness. He doesn’t even manage a single rep here, meanwhile Eddie reached 12 with relative ease, as expected! As Bill Kazmaier said; HOLY CATFISH!
Event 5 – Hammer Hold
A 35kg hammer must be held straight out in front of the athletes. A super small weight, but holding it in position with straight arms is very difficult!
50.95 seconds is the current best time, from Sheffield’s own Paul Smith. That time is excellent and will be hard to beat, though Eddie Hall and Laurence Shahlaei could probably do it. Shahlaei goes past 50 seconds and drops it, while Eddie decides to hold on and go over the 1 minute mark because why not? THE BEAST is pretty much untouchable now, surely?
One last look at the standings before we go into the final event:
Hall would need to have the worst run ever on the stones to miss out on retaining his title for the 4th time. Shahlaei is pretty much set for 2nd place, with Hicks almost guaranteed 3rd place too. However, anything can and has happened on the stones, so lets get to it!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
100kg to 200kg, the atlas stones must be lifted onto their own little platforms in the fastest time. Both Eddie and Laurence are very good at this event, so really its all down to Hicks making sure he doesn’t miss out on that podium finish!
Hicks does beat Paul Smith on the stones, so that should guarantee his podium finish. Felix against Luke Stoltman is really just for pride now. Both will want to get all 5 stones up to finish off their day of competition. Great times from both men as they get all 5 stones up. Main event time! Shahlaei Vs Hall, though its almost set in (Atlas) stone that Eddie is leaving with the title. Hall is faster than Laurence and easily puts all 5 up in a fast time to ensure he wins. And he looked like he took it steady too! I reckon he could have done it sub 20 seconds if he was pushed!
And here to confirm everyone’s place are the final scores:
Congrats to Eddie on retaining his title for the 4th year in a row, beating out legend Geoff Capes who won it 3 times. Shahlaei still did fantastic, as did Hicks, and Luke Stoltman showed that he could be a big player in a few years time. WSM is going to be very interesting this year with the talent involved!