Giants Live 3 – Europe’s Strongest Man
The second biggest Strongman contest of the year! Not only will Europe crown a Strongest Man, but we might also break a world record in the log lift! The mighty THOR has dominated this event over the last half a decade, with only Laurence Shahlaei being able to take the title from him a couple of years ago. As for the log press, Big Z has held, and broken numerous time, the record for a very, very long time. Will we see it broken today? Will Big Z be the one to do it? Or will Eddie Hall add another massive world record to go along with his half-ton deadlift? Of course, they aren’t the only men competing here today, so lets have a quick rundown of the competitors, including a couple of guests just here to take on the log press championships!
- Mark Felix (England) – 2nd place Britain’s Strongest Man 2015 & 2016
- Matjaz Belsak (Slovenia) – 2x Slovenia’s Strongest Man 2014 & 2015
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland) – 3x Poland’s Strongest Man 2015, 2016 & 2017
- Graham Hicks (England) – 3rd place Europe’s Strongest Man 2014
- Krzysztof Radzikowski (Poland) – 2nd place Europe’s Strongest Man 2015
- Terry Hollands (England) – 3rd place Europe’s Strongest Man 2017
- Vytautas Lalas (Lithuania) – 2x runner up Europe’s Strongest Man
- Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) – World Deadlift Champion 2017
- Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) – 4x World’s Strongest Man, 3x Europe’s Strongest Man, 4x Log Lift World Record holder
- Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland) – 3x Europe’s Strongest Man 2014, 2015, 2017
- Rob Kearney (USA) – North American Open 2017 winner
- Robert Oberst (USA) – American Log Lift record holder
- Iron Biby (Africa) – 7th place North American Open 2017
- Eddie Hall (England) – World’s Strongest Man 2017
Wow. Just add Brian Shaw to that list and you’d think this was the World’s Strongest Man, not just Europe’s! While Thor is a definitely favourite to take the title once again, you simply cannot count out the majority of this incredible line up. Big Z, despite age and injuries, is always a contender. Lalas has twice been a runner up and could also challenge for the 1st place. Hollands, Hicks, Janashia and Kieleszkowski are also genuine contenders as well, be it experience (Hollands) or sheer hunger and determination. Eddie Hall would normally be right up there with Thor as an absolute favourite to win, but due to an ankle injury not too long before this event, he will only be competing in the Log Press championships.
Event 1 – World Log Lift Challenge
The massive log, weighing in at 170KG, will simply have to be lifted overhead by our competitors. Once that is done, the weight will keep going up until we have our winner! 228KG is the current world record, set by the legendary Big Z in 2016. Sadly with his injuries over the last few years, I don’t see Big Z being able to break his record or even press as much as usual to win this event. Eddie Hall on the other hand is the hands on favourite to win this event and maybe even take the world record! Numerous men have been and gone, with some already eliminated. We join the action with Robert Oberst as he attempts 200KG which is a mighty lift by anyone. Despite having a personal best of 211KG, on this day he couldn’t manage 200KG. He’ll be disappointed with that for sure, but no doubt he’ll be back next year. Janashia, Radzikowski and Kearney all manage 200KG, but fail at 213KG, eliminating them from this event. Graham Hicks is out next attempting a new British record that he co-holds with Eddie Hall. 212KG is the record, and 213KG is the current weight here, but he just can’t lock it out. THOR is next, and for a man his size, being able to keep pace with some of these other pressers is incredible. Not only that but he GETS the 213KG lift for a new personal best and Iceland record! The Mountain is proving every year that being a near 7 foot tall man is no longer a hindrance in pressing events! Iron Biby, a new comer last year that seemingly came out of nowhere, is a massive presser and makes 213KG look easy. He could definitely go further! Eddie Hall, the Strongest Man in the world for now, is about to take the British record if he lifts it, and I’m sure he will. 213KG goes up… and is locked out like it was nothing! The world record might very well be in jeopardy! Big Z comes out now to try and maintain his position as the greatest log lifter in history, but again, at 42 years old and with some serious injuries to his shoulder/neck a couple of years ago, even 213KG is proving a bit too much for him these days. Well below his own record, but the record IS still his. THOR has decided to retire from the challenge, as he will take 1st place from this event going forward as Eddie and Biby are just guests and not competing in Europe’s Strongest Man. Both men have decided to jump right up to 230KG, which will be a NEW world record! Iron Biby is the first to attempt it, but its just too much for him. Can THE BEAST do any better? Will any of his injuries play a factor? He lifts it… he rolls it up his chest… he presses it but can’t get it. However, he has a second attempt and he is going to take it! A quick drink of water and he’s back! He lifts, he rolls it to the chest, he presses it… and is SO DAMN CLOSE, but is unable to break the world record. That was a fantastic attempt, and if he wants it, he could easily come back next year with more training and take it imo.
Event 2 – Deadlift
380KG must be deadlifted as many times as possible in 60 seconds! This is a HUGE weight, and is probably up there for some competitors as a personal best! 1st place so far is Lalas with a massive 5 reps. I don’t see anyone going double figures here, so 6 or maybe 7 could be the winning number. Radzikowski and Janashia are the first men we get to see, and with Janashia being the deadlift champion from 2017, he should do well. Radzikowski isn’t the best deadlifter, and despite being a real contender for the WSM a number of years ago, an injury a few years ago seems to have really taken a lot out of him. 3 reps for him, and 5 for Janashia. Big Z and Thor go head to head now, and Big Z does not look very comfortable from the start. Thor is an excellent lifter, again proving that being so tall is no longer a hindrance in these types of events. With 15 seconds to go, Thor gets a massive 6 lifts to take first place! Big Z settles with 3, and that’s good enough for him. He probably knows he isn’t the same Big Z from a few years ago, and is just here to have fun and do his best regardless.
Event 3 – Farmer’s Walk
160KG in each hand must be carried down a 20m course… then back again! Grip is a must here, and the key will be to go as fast as possible to prevent dropping it! Having to lift the weights up again and again will drain their energy and stop them dead in their tracks. Mark Felix is currently leading with just over 45 seconds, and we first see Hollands and Kieleszkowski. Hollands was once was of the best in the world at this type of event, and Kieleszkowski can go like a train. A good pairing here, as both men should bring out the best in each other! Mateusz just takes it with 19.90 seconds, and Hollands is in current second in under 23 seconds. Great times that will take some beating. Radzikowski and Big Z are going up next. Both are neck and neck at the turn, but its Big Z who gets away first and is moving faster than a man his size should. He doesn’t take the event, but does get a 3rd place so far by coming in just behind Hollands. Radzikowski is really struggling, and because of a couple of re-lifts he doesn’t get all the way to the end. He’ll be disappointed for sure. Janashia against Thor now. This should be good. Thor is big, strong AND fast, and Janashia isn’t called “The Georgian Bull” for nothing! They are neck and neck, but a mistake from Thor causes him to drop it and Janashia takes the win in this little battle! Neither take the win overall, placing 4th and 5th. Thor being so low down would usually be bad in a contest like this, but most of his main rivals finished below him still, so he will still likely maintain a decent point advantage.
Only 5 events instead of the usual 6 here, due to the log press championships taking a great deal out of them no doubt. So after 3 events we might as well take a look at the scores still!
Yep, Thor is still in 1st with 3 points between him and Janashia. Big Z, despite doing poorly in the deadlift, did enough in the log press and farmer’s to put him in current 3rd! Hicks, Radzikowski, Kieliszkowski and Lalas are all still within reach of a podium finish though.
Event 4 – Car Walk
1000lb car. 20m course. Unfortunately they won’t be driving with it, they’ll be LIFTING IT and running! Technique with the lift is key here, so a good lift will always overcome brute strength. 4 men have been and gone, with only Hicks finishing the course in a time of 14.71. That might seem like a tremendous time, but in this company he’ll be lucky to finish top 5 tbh! Felix and Thor are the first men we see, and Thor has definitely learnt his lesson from a couple of years ago when he came in LAST, which lost him the title. Today he gets in at over 13 seconds for a current 1st place. That time still might not hold up, but will keep in him good points. Felix finishes but in a slower time than Thor and Hicks. Janashia goes head to head with Big Z, and Janashia might be one to watch here. Big Z gets off to a fast start, and ends up with 16.20 seconds for 3rd atm. Janashia surprisingly does it much slower at over 20 seconds. Hollands and Kieleszkowski, and Mateusz again is one to watch. He is off like a rocket and gets it in 11.22 for the win! Hollands is slower with 18.07 for 5th place. Mateusz might very well challenge the world record in the next year or so!
Hicks did well to remain in 3rd place there, and of course Thor and Mateusz had excellent runs too. Bad luck for Radzikowski and Lalas who didn’t even get started.
1 event left to go, so lets go back to the scores!
Thor remains in 1st with a good lead, while Janashia and Big Z keep their current podium positions. Mateusz and Hicks are very close behind though, so it would end up being a battle for 3rd place!
Event 5 – Atlas Stones
The classic event will once again decide a championship in strongman! 5 stones, 140KG to 200KG, must be lifted onto platforms in the fasted time possible. Thor is one of the best ever at this, so look to him to finish in 1st and cement his 4th Europe’s Strongest Man title. Hollands Vs Hicks is the first battle we get to see. Hicks will want to do as well as possible to try and take that 3rd podium spot. He’s currently doing it quicker than Hollands, but Hollands catches up and gets a fast 4, knowing he can’t challenge for the top 3 places. He doesn’t have to do the 5th, but takes a little time and gets it up just to give the crowd a show! Hicks unfortunately only gets 3 stones up, and you have to believe a podium finish is lost to him. Kieleszkowski and Big Z are up next. This will likely determine who takes 3rd place. Mateusz gets the win again Big Z here with a great time, putting him in current third, and Big Z knows he is beaten and doesn’t waste energy on the 5th stone. Last up, its Janashia and Thor! I think its safe to say these men are finishing 1st and 2nd. They both go well, and Thor waits for Janashia to catch up to the 5th stone so they can try and finish together, which is nice to see. Thor beats Janashia, but only takes 2nd place overall, but it doesn’t matter; he’s once again Europe’s Strongest Man!
Lets go to the overall scores and double check to see who takes which podium place!
Thor does indeed take his 4th Europe’s Strongest Man title, with an 8 point lead. Janashia and Kieliszkowski both did tremendous, and I have no doubt they will be podium finishers at World’s Strongest Man in the next few years. Big Z did well to take 4th place, almost finishing in 3rd, showing that he might not be the Z of old, but he can still hang with the best of this generation!