Giants Live 4 – North American Championships (Indiana)
Last year, 47 year old Nick Best took home the title. Now, a year older, can he hold on to it against much younger and potentially stronger athletes? On top of that, some guest competitors will be competing for a podium finish to guarantee them qualification into WSM!
Zach Hadge – USA
Ken Nowicki – Scotland (but lives in Colorado)
Adam Derks – USA
Brian Clark – USA
Nick Hadge – USA
Casey Garrison – USA
Dave Daly – USA
Maxime Boudreault – Canada
Charlie Gough – England
Robert Kearney – USA
Iron Biby – Canada
Terry Hollands – England
Nick Best – USA
Not many names I’m familiar with, even though I’m sure some of them competed here last year. Nick Best, despite being 48, is a veteran of the sport and is probably still the favourite to win, but being so unaware of what the rest of the field is capable means I’m utterly clueless going in!
Event 1 – Super Yoke
1000lb super yoke needs to be run down the 18m course!
Zach Hadge is up first on his own, and gets a good time with 13.38 seconds! However, I see that time being beaten soon enough. Adam Derks now up against Ken Nowicki. Both men get off to a flier, but Ken finishes in 8.93 to blow away that 13.38 seconds! Just over 10 seconds for Derks lands him in current second. Nick Hadge and Brian Clark also get in the 8 seconds area, and I think they get 1st and 2nd so far! They just keep getting faster! David Daley JUST misses out on beating the time. Wow. Iron Biby beats the time with barely over 8 seconds… and he only comes in second place to Robert Kearney who does it below 8 seconds!!! Now its all down to Terry Hollands and Nick Best! Best just misses out on the best time, and Hollands, who does it below 9 seconds, looks slow!
Event 2 – Press Medley
172lb circus dumbbell, 230lb block, 360lbs axel and finally a 365lb log. All must be lifted overhead in order in the fastest time!
2 lifts seems to be the average here with everyone who has done so far, with just Maxime lifting 3 so far. First person we see attempt it is Terry Hollands. He’s never been the best at pressing, so we’ll see what he can do. Already he’s struggling with the dumbbell, but eventually gets it up. He’s beaten by the block, leaving him in current last place with just 1 lift. Nowicki is next, and the first 2 go up with ease. The axel is a difficult object to lift, but he does indeed get it up! Now, can he be the first to lift the log? Nope! He doesn’t even attempt it! Might as well save some energy for later! Iron Biby’s time now, and he looks like he should do all 4 with easy. He is a MONSTROUS man, reminding me a little of O.D. Wilson from back in the 1990 WSM event. The first 2 objects look lightweight. The axel, once on his chest, looks lightweight. The log? Light. Weight. THAT was impressive! I’d love to see this guy pushed in a pressing event to see just what he’s capable of! And now, its time for Nick Best, the defending champion. A former powerlifter, he should be good here, but I’ve seen him for years now and he does often struggle to lock his arms out. However, he makes me look like a moron with the way he MANHANDLES the first 2 objects, making even Biby look weak! However, he is unable to get the axel to his shoulders. 2 in such a fast time will still give him good points though! Kearney again continues the trend of making the first 2 objects look easy, and then he continues to make the rest easy too, and in a much faster time than Biby! Another 1st place!
Event 3 – Deadlift
350kg/800lbs (ish) deadlifted for reps. We’ve seen this weight a lot at Giants Live for reps, and 12 I think is the best we’ve seen from Eddie Hall. 7 or 8 will probably be the winning number here.
5 is the number to beat so far, as we see Adam Derks and Nick Best go head to head first. Best is looking good, wasting no time between lifts and gets to 8, then decides to end there! My prediction of 8 reps might come true! Derks leaves it at… 5, I think it was. Nowicki and Boudreault next. The Canadian cannot get a single rep, while Nowicki gets to 4 with some effort and has to leave it there. Kearney and Biby are the last pair, and if anyone can beat 8 reps, it might be one of these two men. Biby is actually struggling here, so it seems pressing is his best event. He’s stuck on two reps. Kearney gets to 6, putting him in second place alone, and probably realises that 3 more to take the win would be impossible. 8 reps was the winning number! I SEE THE FUTURE. Sometimes…
Sadly Terry Hollands has had to pull out due to exhaustion. Now to look at the overall scores after 3 events:
Kearney looks to be in control at this point, but Nick Best could still make up enough points to beat him. That poor performance in the deadlift looks to take Biby out of a potential 1st or 2nd place, and the battle for 3rd is looking tight at the moment.
Event 4 – Carry and Drag
350lbs in each hand run down a course. And then they need to drag a massive chain to the other end of the course! This will tire out a lot of athletes!
The Canadian is currently in 1st with just over 13 seconds, a very impressive time. Biby didn’t do too well, so he’s going to end up falling down the points table. Dave Daley manages it in 12.55 seconds for a current first place! Nowicki and Derks are head to head next. Both are next and next, but Derks gets a winning time of 11.90 seconds, though he falls over backwards at the end and lands on his head! Don’t think he’s injured, just a little hurt! Best and Kearney are the last 2 again, and Kearney is probably the favourite here, but its next and next with Kearney just edging him out at the end. Neither get a 1st place time, but Kearney beating Best is all that matters here for these two men.
Well, there are only 5 events in this competition, so lets check those scores going into the finals!
Kearney has a SEVEN point lead on Best, and realistically he’s going to take the win and the title here today. Biby’s poor performance on the last 2 events sends him way down, but a good finish in the stones could still see him on the podium.
Event 5- Atlas Stones
5 stones. Different weights. Platforms. Classic!
Iron Biby only manages 3, on his first ever attempt at the event. Sadly that will keep him of the podium. Only a couple of men have made 5 so far, so anyone else who can do 5 will be in with some good points. Derks and Nowicki are battling for that podium finish, but Derks just edges out the Scot to take the 3rd place finish. And now Best Vs Kearney. Kearney will need to fail miserably at this event and Best will need to finish around top 3 for a chance to win. However, Kearney is going well and goes AHEAD of Best and beats him!!! No question as to who wins the title here! Best did well to hang with the younger generation, but Kearney was just too much for him!
And the final scores:
Well, that impressive time on the stones gets David Daly on the podium as joint 3rd! Good for him! Best tried his best to retain his title, but Robert Kearney was simply the better man here today, and the new North American Champion! A super fun event, just like last year! Goes to show that even if you don’t know most of the men competing, they can still have one hell of a contest!