Brian Shaw and Maxime Boudreault have already qualified for the finals, meaning only 8 places remain! Time to find out the next 2 finalists!
- Tom Stoltman – Britain’s Strongest Man 2021 & 2nd Place WSM 2020
- Trey Mitchell III – 8th place WSM 2019
- Johnny Hansson – 2020 Sweden’s Strongest Man
- Evan Singleton – 2021 World Open Winner
- Mark Felix – 16 WSM Appearance
A stacked Heat right here for sure! Tom was runner up last year and is a heavy favourite to win this year. Evan Singleton has massively improved over the last 2 years and definitely has what it takes to not only get into the final but to place on the podium. Trey Mitchell III has been in the final before, but lost out on making it last year when he was in the same heat as Tom Stoltman and the current WSM Novikov. Felix, while 55 years old, can still upset anyone on any day and get back into the final. Hansson, sadly, doesn’t factor into things imo just based on what I’ve seen of him. Overall, for me, Tom and Singleton are going to the finals unless injuries occur, and hopefully they don’t!
Event 1 – Loading Medley
Tom might be the best on the planet right now as this type of event… even if he potentially lost out on winning WSM last year due to a fumble with an Anvil in this very event. Hopefully he can keep hold of it now and take maximum points! First up is Mark Felix against Hansson. Felix isn’t the best at loading, but his grip is up there with the best so the frame carry part should be good for him. Next and next for the loading part, so it all comes down to the frame and my money is on Mark. He gets away the quickest, and only drops it at the half way point while Hansson barely lifts it to begin with. Felix finishes in a good time of 1:05:87! Now we get to see Mitchell III against Evan Singleton. Should favour Evan. He loses a second or two with the first barrel as it smashes into the platform, but he’s back in the lead at the frame carry. Sadly he isn’t going to beat Felix’s time, and at this rate I don’t think he’ll finish at all! Mitchell III can’t get anywhere with it. One of the toughest frame carries I’ve seen in WSM! Tom Stoltman is last out and has to go it alone, but I don’t think that will effect him. I expect a 1st place finish from him here. He goes for the Anvil first, almost like he’s trying to get it out of the way and prove it won’t hinder him this year. Doesn’t take him long to load everything, so it all comes down to the frame and WOW, he makes it look light. 49.69 seconds. He obliterated the competition!!!
Event 2 – Dead Lift
This will definitely help keep Felix in a high position, while Stoltman and Singleton are both good at this event too. Unsure on what Hansson and Mitchell III will be able to pull out here, so anything could happen! Mitchell III is up first, so I’ll find out what he’s good for here. First few look very good and strong, but he’s up against some major competition. 8 reps is a fantastic result, but we’ll have to wait and see how that number holds up. Hansson is up next against Singleton. Singleton should equal that 8, maybe make double fingers, but I’m not expecting him to outright win this event. Well, my faith in Singleton seems to be misplaced atm as he’s struggling after 5 reps. Hansson only gets 3. Not the result either man would have wanted. Stoltman against Felix to finish up should be a good battle. Despite his height, Stoltman is a good deadlifter and has done around 7 reps at a bigger weight on this same bar, so I’d expect him to beat Mitchell. Felix just keeps on going and will take some beating. They both get to 7 in no time at all, then really struggle for an 8th but they do match that and decide its over. We have a 3-way tie for 1st! Mitchell III deserves huge praise for not being able to be beaten here!
Heat 3 – Train Push
Oh hey, something a bit new! Not often we see events like this where they have to PUSH a vehicle. Due to his size, Tom Stoltman has to be a favourite once again, but sometimes its all about HOW you grip onto the vehicle to push it that helps you win, rather than simply being the biggest and strongest. Mitchell went first and did it in 36.31 seconds. A good time for everyone to aim for. Felix had his go, and finished in 42.58 seconds. Now we get to see Tom Stoltman have his go, and I’d expect sub-30 seconds for him. Well, he makes me look foolish and “only” manages 37.83 seconds for current second. Singleton up next, and he’ll certainly try to win, but I doubt he’s done much training on this type of event so it could go either way tbh. A steady start for him, but he picks up speed towards the end to finish in around just under 40 seconds. Not enough to beat Tom or Mitchell III. Can Hansson do any better? Yes, yes he can! In fact… he WINS! Excellent result for him!
Half way into the heat, so lets have a look at the scores so far:
Tom is comfortable in first place right now, but the second place is wide open to EVERYONE. Surprised to see Singleton at the bottom of the pile right now, but expect him to gain more points as we continue the competition. Felix is doing very well right now, but if a pressing event is coming up, he’ll be in trouble.
Event 4 – Overhead Medley
Well, here comes the pressing event that I was worried about for Felix. He has never been a good presser, and in this heat, I sadly expect him to come dead last. Stoltman again a favourite. Felix went first and only managed a single lift. We join the action with Tom Stoltman against Evan Singleton. Tom surprised everyone in the finals last year by winning the pressing event, ahead of some of the best pressers ever. He gets off to a poor start, but gets into his rhythm, however its Singleton that takes 1st here between the two. Hansson and Mitchell III are last up, and they’ll need to go fast to get good points. Mitchell III is going well, and in fact gets 1st place! Hansson makes a good effort but is unable to get the 4th lift. Stoltman only getting 3rd is a bit of a surprise.
Event 5 – Pickaxe Hold
Another event that I simply cannot call ahead of time. Makes things very interesting going into the final event though!!! Felix is first up, and he will need to win this event to stand any chance of making the final. He’s already better than anyone in the previous heat, and finishes around 40 seconds. That should be a good time in the end! Singleton against Hansson is next. Hansson has a crazy case of the shakes and goes down sub-30 seconds I believe, while Singleton has bent arms and also only manages under 30 seconds. A lifeline has been thrown to Felix, and will help Mitchell III and Stoltman out a lot too as this event shouldn’t favour Tom. Both beat the previous 2 men, which is all they really needed, but Mitchell III keeps on going and beats even Felix!
With that result, Trey Mitchell III gets to go through to the finals, while Felix and Stoltman have to face off in the Stone-Off!
Event 6 – Stone Off
Tom Stoltman is the best stone lifter on the planet right now, so it heavily favours him. Felix is a veteran and could always pull something special out to make the finals. If I were to put money on this though, I’d be silly to go against Tom. And unfortunately for Felix, I’m right. He is unable to pass the 210KG stone over, and Tom Stoltman makes another final.
Well, I honestly wasn’t expecting Trey Mitchell III to go through to the finals with Tom, but he did it and he did it in style! Singleton not making the final is probably the biggest shock to me, but there is always next year. Tom didn’t look quite as good as I was expecting, but he was consistent and is in the finals, and that’s what matters!