World’s Strongest Man 2020 – Giants Live 2 – Day 1

Giants Live 2 – Europe’s Strongest Man

Last week we crowned a new Britain’s Strongest Man in Adam Bishop. Now we find out who is the strongest man in Europe! Who will win all depends on who is competing, so lets have a look, shall we?

  • Terry Hollands – England
  • Gavin Bilton – Wales
  • Mark Felix – England
  • Alex Lungu – Romania
  • Ervin Toots – Estonia
  • Graham Hicks – England
  • Jack Forgasc – Hungry
  • Luke Richardson – England
  • Paul Benton – Scotland
  • Pa O’Dwyer – Ireland
  • Aaron Page – England
  • Adam Bishop – England

Well. Firstly, no THOR. He has apparently retired from Strongman now, and has taken up boxing along with Eddie Hall! Interesting to say the least. The rest of the line-up is… lacking, in all honesty. I can only assume its due to covid-19 and travel restrictions etc, as most of the competitors are from the UK. Still, NINE events over 2 days is going to be a gruelling task and the winner of the competition is absolutely going to be deserving of it! Graham Hicks and Adam Bishop are probably the favourites, and I’ll be keeping an eye on Toots, Forgasc and Lungu to see how they fair as we get further into the show.

Event 1 – Max Log Press

Simple enough, lift the heaviest log and you win! We join the action after most men have been, and now its Richardson attempting 170KG. He fails the first attempt, but managed to get it on a second! Now for Bishop who isn’t the best at log press, but does get 170KG up on his first try. 180KG now and Richardson is unable to lift it, and neither can Bishop. O’Dwyer does though, and he is the first man to reach that weight. Eliminated so far are Richardson, Bishop, Toots, Bilton (all 170KG), Benton (150KG), and Hollands and Felix who sadly didn’t manage a single lift. Never a good event for either man, but not making 150KG is something of a surprise. I guess age really has caught up to them. Moving on now, Lungu takes his shot at 180KG for a Romanian record. A bit of a stumble but he gets his balance back and he has taken the record! Great lift! Forgasc is next and he made 180KG look easy. Wonder how far he can go. Page up next and he makes 180KG look EVEN EASIER. He claims to be the best Britain at log lift and he’s doing everything to prove it. However, standing in his way is Graham Hicks who throws 180KG up like it was nothing. Still the Brit to beat! We are now up to 200KG. Only Page and Hicks are left in the competition, with both of them being more than capable of 200KG. The question becomes how much further can they take it? Page is first, and while he picks the weight up fairly easily, he cannot keep his balance long enough to stand STILL and get the lift. A huge shame there. Hicks on the other hand has no problems, and the even is his. That isn’t enough for him though, he’s after the British record, taking it up to 220KG. Aaaand… HE DOES IT! And continues to make his lifts look easy! Only 3 men have done this weight now I believe. Iron Biby, Big Z, and now Hicks. Oh wow, Hicks is now going for the WORLD record, moving up to 230KG, but after numerous lifts already, getting the log up his chest was just too much for him on this day. Next time, Graham. Next time!

Event 2 – Hercules Hold

Mark Felix got 0 points in the first event due to not making the opening weight. Now though, he has the chance to get ALL the points. Last year Mark Felix broke the world record. THREE TIMES. Another world record is always possible, but even if he doesn’t break his record yet again, first place is very likely at the very least. So here we go. 200KG in each hand, and the athletes just have to hold on as long as humanly possible. Mark’s current record is 1:27:52. Can anyone, Mark included, beat that here today? First to try is Graham Hicks, who only manages 35.60 seconds. Perhaps the log lift took too much out of him. 10 years ago and that time might have given him some good points, but in 2020 it’ll see him down the table for sure. Toots went ahead with 38.91 seconds, followed by Page at 50.74 seconds. Paul Benton went even further with 53.71 seconds, but the current leader is Gavin Bilton and a time of 59.53 seconds. Terry Hollands takes his turn now, and he will be wanting to get some points on the board finally. Seems he has a hamstring injury, which is why he didn’t get a single lift in the first event. He’s looking good here though, already taken first place before he really starts to look uncomfortable. Great effort from the veteran! 1:19:88 which is the best time from anyone not named Mark Felix! Given the fact 3 men will be eliminated from the competition at the end of the day 1 (something they only mentioned now lol), Terry will be thrilled to get such a good time, ahead of others at the top of the table after event 1. Adam Bishop is next, and he’ll want to do well to make up for a pretty disappointing log lift. He could have, and perhaps should have, done better. Now he has the chance to make up points. 50:55 seconds, while ahead of Hicks, is still a disappointing time in this field of athletes. Richardson now, and I think he might surprise some people and get a pretty good time. Not thinking he’ll beat Hollands, but maybe a full minute. The minute mark has been and gone, so how much further can he take it? 1:14:48! A little better than I was expecting! And now its Mark Felix’s turn. 30 seconds in and… Felix looks like he’s asleep! One minute been and gone and he’s just as steady as the first few seconds. Holland’s time is gone, but will he beat his record? Yes! 1:32:37! The 4th time he’s got this world record! The most insane thing? He claims that HE LET GO. Meaning he could have gone longer.

Event 3 – Forward Hold

Not often we see both the Hercules Hold AND a Forward Hold in the same show, never mind one after the other. Kind of… odd if you ask me. Hollands was up first, lasting 34.05 seconds. Benton just passed him with 34.63. Page went ahead with 38.63, followed by Hicks at 48.12 seconds. That should make up for his poor showing in the previous event. Felix got 43.53 seconds, and excellent time for him considering how long he held the Hercules Hold for, and considering this event is taxing on the body in a whole other way that is usually not good for him. We join in the action with Pa O’Dwyer and Ervin Toots. O’Dwyer drops it first at 35.63. 40.53 for Toots. How will Forgasc and Bishop fair next? 40.87 for Bishop who was DESPERATE to get more time. Forgasc lasted 46.62 seconds which lands him some more good points overall. Richardson and Bilton take their turn, and its bad news for Terry Hollands. 39.72 for Bilton, while Richardson gets 48.41 seconds for the win!

3 events down, one more to go for day 1, and at the end of day 1 three men will be eliminated. So lets see how things look going into the 4th event:

Richardson and Forgasc in the top 2 spots is something of a surprise, but Hicks isn’t far off and can still make up more than enough points. Bad news for Hollands right now as he is in one of those 3 elimination spots. He will need an excellent result in this next event while the likes of Toots and O’Dwyer have poor showings. Bishop will need to make sure he doesn’t falter as well, as a poor showing from him could lead to his early elimination.

Event 4 – Giants Medley

120KG anchor, 150KG barrel, 120KG sandbag and finally 100KG tire. All must be picked up, taken down the course and loaded into a skip in the fastest time. This is exactly the type of event Hollands would have wanted to try and gain points to avoid elimination. During Britain’s Strongest Man he came 4th overall with only Bishop beating him that is also here today. Shall be interesting to see how he does. First up was Aaron Page, finishing in 46.72 seconds, and Mark Felix in 46.14. Richardson continues his great showing with a time of 38.35 seconds. Lungu is against Hollands next, and this will be one to watch as both men are in those elimination positions. Hollands is ahead, though he does struggle running back due to his hamstring injury, and when trying to lift the sack he collapses down and that might be the end of his competition today. Lungu only managed 2 objects, but in a much slower time. Not good for either man, sadly. Paul Benton faces off against Ervin Toots. Benton will need to beat Toots here to avoid elimination, but its going to be difficult! Both men are speeding away, but its Toots who is just ahead going to the tire. 39.81 for Benton seconds and 38 seconds for Toots. O’Dwyer against Bishop, and Bishop should do well here. Neither men are likely to drop down to an elimination spot, so its all about how many points they can get. Bishop takes first place with 36.90 seconds! 40.76 seconds for O’Dwyer.

That brings an end to day 1, so lets see what the overall scores look like, and confirm who won’t be returning tomorrow:

So there we have it. Benton, Hollands and Lungu won’t be coming back tomorrow. Meanwhile the top of the table is looking interesting. Bishop, Felix and Hicks all doing well, but Richardson is 6 points ahead right now with only 3 events left to go! Can he maintain his 1st place position and win Europe’s Strongest Man? Only time will tell as we move on to day 2! See you then!

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