World’s Strongest Man 2020 – Predictions 1

The time is almost upon us! The 2020 World’s Strongest Man Final will air in the UK in just a few hours, and we’ll finally find out who is THE Strongest Man in the World!!! 10 men have qualified, and they will fight for the title!

  • Jerry Pritchett – USA
  • Luke Richardson – Great Britain
  • Kevin Faires – USA
  • Adam Bishop – Great Britain
  • Oleksii Novikov – Ukraine
  • Tom Stoltman – Great Britain
  • JF Caron – Canada
  • Graham Hicks – Great Britain
  • Brian Shaw – USA
  • Aivars Smaukstelis – Latvia

Majority of the field is North America and Great Britain, so the odds are certainly stacked in their favour of having a WSM at the end of today. Novikov however could provide the “upset” and bring it home to Ukraine for the first time since 2004 (Vasyl Virastyuk). Smaukstelis, while looking good in his heat, I don’t think will be any real threat to the title this year. Only four men from the previous WSM Final are back this year, and none of the 3 podium finishers, including the champion, are here either. Such a varied and fresh field will definitely make for an interesting final. Time to go over some of the men who I believe have the best chance of winning!

Brian Shaw – Of course I have to go with the 4 time champion. Despite not looking his best for the last few years, he is still a massively strong and fantastic athlete who can beat the best of the best at any event should he want to. We saw him in the heats basically trundle along, only putting in some real effort in the dumbbell press event to ensure his automatic qualifying place. With no Thor, no Kieliszkowski, no Licis, no Big Z etc etc, Shaw has the best chance at finally winning that 5th title in years. However, after competing for so long now (10 straight finals, around 14 years at WSM), will his body hold up and allow him to keep on top of much younger, fresher men? Only time will tell, but I’d expect Shaw to finish on the podium this year regardless.

Jerry Pritchett – It has been a good while since we last saw Pritchett at the WSM Final, but man oh man, he looked on absolute top form in the heats. Winning 3 our of the 4 events he needed to compete in, he made everything look easy. Speed is his weakness though, as in the loading medley he came in last. Depending on the events in the final, Pritchett could either have a fantastic competition, or a poor one. If there are plenty of static events such as press, deadlift and squat, he could steamroll over everyone and take his first WSM title.

Oleksii Novikov – Last year he JUST missed out on the final, despite almost beating Brian Shaw to the automatic qualifying place. This year there was no stopping him. One of the true all rounders in the competition, with seemingly no weak events that we saw in the heats. Not sure what events in the final could throw him off, so he might very well be THE guy to watch out for. A podium finish is what I expect from him, but which podium finish? Again, only time will tell!

JF Caron – The massive Canadian has been a mainstay in WSM Finals for some time now, and has managed to place top 5 for the last 4 or 5 years. He tore through his heat, looking better than he ever has before, and he’s looked really good in the past as well. Like Shaw, with the lack of the podium finishers from last year, this might be Caron’s time to really shine and prove to the world just how great he is. A personal favourite of mine that I have been rooting for for years now, and I really think he has what it takes for a top 3 finish at least!

Phew. 4 men with a real chance of taking top spot. But who out of them am I picking, and predicting, to win the overall competition? As much as I want Shaw to get that 5th title, and as much as I’d love to see Caron take it, my official prediction for the winner of the 2020 World’s Strongest Man competition is… Oleksii Novikov!!!

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