We’ve had 5 Giants Live qualifying events. Then we had 5 Heats, with the top 2 men all qualifying for the finals right here and now. 10 of the strongest men on the planet are ready to battle it out for the title of World’s Strongest Man!
Another incredible lineup this year, though it is missing the reigning WSM in Eddie Hall, who decided to retire from international competition after winning last year. However, not having the champion competing in no way diminishes this final, and the man who comes out on top to win the title will absolutely have earned it! For my predictions, click here to read my post from earlier today!
Event 1 – Frame Carry
370KG frames down a 15m course… and back again! A brutal event to start things off with! Big Z, Licis, Thor, Shaw and Kieliszkowski will start the event off, and I might have to go with Kieliszkowski here as he is well known for being insanely quick! And yes, he does it, beating some of the all time greats! Big Z struggles and doesn’t even make it to the turn, while Licis had some troubles too but did manage to finish. Now we have Caron, Belsak, Els, Oberst and Janashia who will be looking to beat that incredible sub-20 second time from Kieliskowski! Not sure any of them can do it, and wow, everyone but Janashia drops the frame almost as soon as they set off! He almost beats the time, but drops it before going fully over the line and loses around 10 seconds. Only Caron is able to make the turn from the others. A TOUGH event to start things off!
Event 2 – Deadlift
380KG jeeps need to be deadlifted as many times as possible in the 60 second time limit! Anyone who gets more than 5 reps can be considered world class. Expect Shaw and Thor to do very well here, and likely be in the top 2 spots at the end. Oberst sadly was unable to do any lifts, while Big Z got 3. Els managed 5 to show everyone what he can do, while Belsak currently leads with 6 reps! Licis against Caron now, and Caron is known for being a very good deadlifter. However he hurt his hands in the first event, and injured himself in his Heat as well. Will any of that effect him? So far, it seems not! He’s blasted his way past 6 reps, with Licis staying with him the entire way. Both men get 10 reps which is absolutely INCREDIBLE, and then Caron gets an 11th rep to take first place on his own. Shaw and Thor are going to have to really dig deep to beat that! Janashia and Thor are up next. Janashia is usually good as this event, but I don’t think he’s double figures good at this weight. Thor has an excellent max weight personal best in the deadlift, and should do well here for reps. Thor is going well as expected, while Janashia is struggling in comparison. 7 reps for Janashia is still an excellent result, while Thor makes 12 reps to overtake Caron! That puts even more pressure on Shaw now, who is up next going head to head with Kieliszkowski! Shaw with 3 reps in the time it takes Kieliszkowski to get 1. Not his best event, while Shaw is an excellent deadlifter who has held world records over the years. 3 is all Kieliszkowski can manage, while Shaw JUST locks out a 12th rep before the whistle blows! Thor tries to get the last rep disqualified, believing that the whistle went before the referee said “down” which is when the rep would officially count. But after seeing the footage again it was clear the rep counted. Thor tried to dispute a decision last year in an overhead event too, so this is not something new from the Icelander.
Event 3 – Max Overhead
Unlike the deadlift, athletes will only have to lift the weight here once. If they press it out, they will then have to lift again and again with the weight increasing each time, until we have a winner! Oberst and Big Z might be able to gain some much needed points here, while Shaw and Thor will look to do well once again. The starting weight of 175KG was too much for Janashia and Els who didn’t make it, while everyone else has lifted it successfully. However, Caron has decided to finish on 175KG, leaving 7 men in the competition. 190KG is the next weight, with Oberst, Big Z, Kieliszkowski, Belsak and Licis all lifting successfully. Now we join the action with Brian Shaw making his attempt, and I’m sure it’ll be fairly easy for him. Yep, a pretty easy press once he got it to his shoulders! Thor is last to take on 190KG and again I see it going up fairly easy. And easy it is! The next weight is 200KG and this is the weight that will eliminate more men. Oberst is up first, and he IS capable of it, but can he do it on this day? Sadly not, but he had a very good attempt. Kieliszkowski now, and he does a fantastic job. He’s well on target for a podium finish that I predicted earlier today! Big Z, one of the all time greats now, but he drops is almost as quickly as he picks it up, and it appears he has an injury in his arm. Belsak now, but he nearly falls back just trying to get it to his shoulders, and he is out of the event too. Big Z sadly has to withdraw from the entire competition. This could be the last time we see him at a major event. Licis next and he gets the lift, though may have wasted energy by not dropping it straight away when he got the all clear from the referee. Brian Shaw has a go, but on this day was unable to lift it. With Thor still to come, he would have really wanted that lift. Can THE MOUNTAIN press 200KG? Yes he can, and he does it with ease! There is definitely more in the tank if he needs it! The weight increases again to 205KG, and Kieliszkowski is the first man to attempt it. He tries once and doesn’t manage the full press, and he’s done. Licis next, and while he gets it to his shoulders, he cannot press it at all. Time for Thor who needs this lift to take 1st place on his own, and based on his last lift, he looks good for it. A little struggle to get it to his shoulders, but once its there, he presses it out and wins the event!
We are now halfway into the World’s Strongest Man 2018 Final. Who is leading the charge so far? Time to find out!
That win has elevated Thor into top position, but 2.5 points isn’t that big of a lead for the final. Shaw, Licis and Kieliszkowski are all capable of gaining points and taking the top spot. Caron is doing much better than I was expecting given his injury in the heats, while I am very sad to see Big Z retiring from the competition due to injury.
Event 4 – Bus Pull
28 tonnes of BUS need to be pulled along a 25m course in the fastest time. We have some of the very best vehicle pullers of all time competing here today, so it will be very difficult to predict a winner! However, I’m going to say Kieliszkowski will take 1st place! So far, Janashia completed the course in 43.40 seconds. Ahead of him is Oberst with 41.10 seconds. 2nd place so far is Caron with 41.00 seconds. Leading the way at the moment is Els with a time of 40.25 seconds! First man we see tackle this event is Brian Shaw, who will be expecting a win in this event. He does very well, and has a time of 36.76 seconds which places him in the lead for now! Belsak, one of the smallest men competing in WSM, will have to really put everything into an event like this. Despite his smaller size he always does well in this event, so he could surprise a lot of people. In fact, he surprises Brian Shaw by beating his time! 36.75 seconds, .01 seconds faster! Kieliszkowski will now try to beat that time, and if anyone can its him. And he does! 35.95 seconds! Licis is out next, and honestly I don’t expect him to beat the time. He does better than I was expecting, but “only” manages to finish in current 4th. Only the mighty THOR can challenge the time of Kieliszkowski, and even he will struggle to do it. He is JUST outside of the time, with 36.05 seconds, but he is still in 2nd place and is ahead of Shaw too.
Event 5 – Loading Race
105KG to 150KG. 5 different implements from an anchor to a safe. Athletes need to lift them up and place them onto a platform in the fastest time. Thor, Shaw and Kieliszkowski are once again the favourites for an event like this. Thor and Shaw for their size, and Kieliszkowski for his speed and fitness. 3 men have been so far, and all 3 managed to complete the course. Janashia is currently in 3rd, Oberst in 2nd and Caron in 1st with a time of 40.61 seconds. Els goes head to head now with Licis, and Licis could do very well here, and probably should have been mentioned with the “big 3” at the start of this by me. He slips on the anvil though and that will cost him a lot of time, especially with Els now being 1 implement ahead. Els now leads with a great time of 34.12 seconds, but Licis is really struggling with the safe and runs out of time before he can load it. Can Belsak keep up his momentum in this event? Can Shaw pull out a great performance and take 1st place from Thor overall? Both men are going very well, but its Belsak who is ahead after 3 objects. The massive sack proves problematic for the smaller Belsak, and that allows Shaw to steam ahead. However not even Shaw can beat that incredible time of Els, and he finishes in 3rd so far. 5th for Belsak. Finally we have Kieliszkowski against Thor, and if anyone can beat Els it will be one of these two men. The first 3 implements likely won’t mean much here, but once they get to the massive sack and the awkward safe, that will determine who is going to take first place in this head to head, and who might beat Els! They are neck and neck on the sacks which is very surprising, but its Thor who JUST beats out Kieliszkowski on the safe! Both men beat out Els which was fantastic for them. Shaw being further down the leaderboard here continues to push him further down the overall rankings, and gives Thor a bigger lead going into the final event.
1 event left. How are the overall scores looking?
Well, with just the Atlas Stones to go, it seems that Iceland will FINALLY have a new champion, 22 years after Magnus Ver Magnusson last won a title. Kieliszkowski has been incredible throughout this entire competition, and it appears that he might end up placing 2nd on the podium ahead of Brian Shaw. Licis likely has no chance of a podium finish now after coming in last in the previous event. Caron has done exceptionally well considering he’s injured, and he might place 5th for the 3rd time here today!
Event 6 – Atlas Stones
For some reason we aren’t show the full results for the final event, so here are the final standings! Hafthor Julius Bjornsson is, after 6 years of placing on the podium but never winning, THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN! Kieliszkowski finishes in 2nd, a place ahead of my prediction, while Shaw has to settle for 3rd. An incredible final, and I cannot wait for next year to see how much better Kieliszkowski gets, and to see if Thor can stay hungry despite finally winning!