Only two places in the final remain. Lets see who the 5 strongmen are who will be competing for them today:
Brian Shaw (USA) – 4x WSM
Mark Felix (Great Britain) –
Trey Mitchell III (USA) – 1st WSM Appearance
Gerhard Van Staden (South Africa) – 6th WSM Appearance
Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) – 1st WSM Appearance
Event 1 – Monster Truck Pull
Wanna pull 12 tonnes of monster truck down a 22m course? No? Well, our strongmen are going to have to do it one last time here! Van Staden is first up, and this is an event he could do pretty well in. He looks like he’s struggling at the half way mark, but he just seems to keep on going and gets across the line around the 1 minute mark! Next up is Brian Shaw, the former 4 time winner of WSM, and a man who could finally beat THOR’s time from the first heat. He is close, but the truck crosses the line at 38.69 seconds, a couple of seconds behind Thor. That being said, Shaw is well known for not putting in a full effort in the heats, rather just doing enough to get into the final and THEN go all out. Felix is up next, and I don’t think he’ll finish the course tbh. Truck pulling has never been his best event. He gets to the uphill section and the truck just won’t move any further. A great effort, but that is about what I expected. Now for Trey Mitchell III, making his first appearance at WSM, though we have seen him at some Giants Live events over the last 2 years. He is a big man and could power the truck over the line, and he does in just over 1 minute! His technique wasn’t exactly perfect, but his sheer power got that truck moving anyway! Lastly is Novikov, a newcomer to WSM, but he has already made a name for himself with a 3rd place finish at the World Tour Finals. He is definitely a man to watch. Despite being “small” for a strongman, he takes second place in this event! A good pull, and he still has some very good events to come as well.
Event 2 – Giants Medley
Farmer’s Walk, Super Yoke, and the massive 600KG Giant Yoke! A brutal event, and unless they increase the weight for the final, this will be the last time we will see this event for a while. Felix went first, and was unable to finish the Giant Yoke, which in this group could very well send him down into last place again. Not looking good for Felix atm. We join the action with Trey Mitchell III going against Van Staden. I reckon both men are capable of finishing this. Van Staden struggles with the Super Yoke, which was surprising, and is defeated by the Giant Yoke. Mitchell on the other hand becomes only the 2nd man to carry the Giant Yoke over the line in a single lift! And now its Novikov against Shaw, and it’ll just come down to time here as both SHOULD finish the course with little problems. Novikov is super fast, though he does keep dropping both Yokes, but as quickly as they fall he picks them back up and carries on. Shaw isn’t as fast, but catches up on the Giant Yoke and misses out on 1st place by les than a second! Fantastic time from both men!
Event 3 – Deadlift for Reps
Felix hasn’t had a good competition so far, but up next is the deadlift for reps, and event that Felix rarely loses, and rarely drops out of the top 3 in. Shaw is also tremendous at this, and if I had to guess, Novikov is also very good. This could be very tight from all 5 men! Van Staden went first and managed 2 reps, followed by Mitchell III who got an impressive 8 reps. We join the action with Mark Felix. Just how many can he get on this day? He matches the 8 reps of Mitchell in 30 seconds, then has some time to rest and grind out one more. Shaw and Novikov will have to put in maximum effort to go ahead. Shaw is up, and he definitely has it in him to get 10. But will 10 be enough to keep Novikov in check? Shaw doesn’t think so, and he gets 11 reps! Now for the Ukrainian to show us what he’s got! He finishes with 10, though he did get an 11th rep that wasn’t allowed as he dropped it before he was told to. He also really used his straps to his advantage, barely gripping the bar, making it so he didn’t have to pull the bar up as high as usual. Controversial, but technically within the rules.
Seems that Van Staden is unfortunately injured and out of the competition. Bad for him, but gives Felix a chance at going into the head to head.
Back to the circus Dumbbells, and this is not the event Felix would have wanted. He goes up against Mitchell III, who is just 1 point ahead of him and likely to meat with either Shaw or Novikov in the head to head. Mitchell is on 4 when Felix sadly has to give up with 0. That means that he is unfortunately out of WSM this year. Mitchell continues on with 6 reps. Now to see who will join Mitchell in the head to head and who gets straight into the final. Shaw Vs Novikov! Being shorter, Novikov is able to get the dumbbell up a little faster than Shaw, and as long as he can either stay one ahead or match Shaw in a faster time, he will go through and leave Shaw to the head to head! What a battle!!! Wow, Shaw gets a 10th rep in right at the end, while Novikov got it up but couldn’t stay still long enough to get the rep! What a finish!
That really was a close as you can get. Best check the overall scores to confirm who is through to what!
Event 5 – Atlas Stone Last Man Standing Showdown
This should be a great battle between Mitchell III who has the size to be very good, and Novikov who just seems to be great at everything. My money would be on the man from Ukraine, but anything can happen as we’ve seen before! Mitchell III almost loses out on the second lift as he just stands there doing nothing, until he is told he has to lift it immediately with no time to rest! As soon as he is told that, he picks it up and dumps it over like it was nothing! They have been going at it for a little while and both men are still looking good, though Mitchell seems to be tiring just a little more. Shivlyakov is cheering on Novikov, and Oberst is cheering on Mitchell. This is one of the best head to head battles we’ve ever had! Both men are clearly tired, but both men just keep on going! The longer this goes though, the better Mitchell seems to be getting as he is the taller man and it takes less effort to get it over the bar. We could end up seeing an upset! In the end, Novikov cannot get it over one more time, and Trey Mitchell III makes the final! Incredible!!! Novikov might have been the better overall athlete, but on this day, in this event, Trey Mitchell III was able to best him! This head to head showdown will definitely go down in WSM History, and you just know we’ll be seeing clips of it for years to come.
We now know the 10 men who will compete for the title of World’s Strongest Man 2019. It should be one hell of a contest and I cannot wait! Before it happens though, I’ll be sure to post my predictions!