World Tour Finals 2022
The final WSM Qualifier, and its the World Tour Finals! Last year, Luke Stoltman took the title after Tom Stoltman and Evan Singleton had a horrific time on the final event, the castle stones, which was a major shock to everyone. Can something like that ever happen again? We’ll have to wait and see!
Eddie Williams – Australia
Aivars Smaukstelis – Latvia
Rauno Heinla – Estonia – Deadlift World Champion 2022
Andy Black – Scotland
Pa O’Dwyer – Ireland – 2nd at Britain’s Strongest Man 2022 & 2x UK’s Strongest Man
Paul Smith – England – UK’s Strongest Man 2022
Pavlo Kordiyaka – Ukraine
Mark Felix – England
Kevin Faires – USA
Louis Jack – Scotland
Mitchell Hooper – Canada – 2nd at Strongman Classic UK 2022 & 2nd at World Open 2022
Pavlo Nakonechnyyy – Ukraine – World Open Champion 2022
Sure, this competition is missing the Stoltman brothers, Novikov and a couple of other names, but the line up is nothing to sneer at. Hooper and Nakonechnyy are the favourites here, with Faires being one to watch out for along with Smaukstelis, Heinla and Kordiyaka. This could end up being a really close competition!
Event 1 – Nicol Stones
An incredibly brutal event to start off with, these two massive stones weight 138kg and 114kg, meaning you will be off balance from the get go. The small handles will hurt the hands too. The object is to simply walk as far as possible, with only one 10 second drop allowed. The world record holder is Kevin Faires, who managed 22.2m last year. Will he break his own record? 6 men have been and gone (O’Dywer, Kordiyaka, Heinla, Felix, Jack and Smaukstelis), and Smaukstelis leads with a distance of 20m, so very close yet so far away at the same time. That distance could be a winning one though! We join the action with Eddie Williams, and despite going slow, he goes pretty well. A drop just after the 10m mark, but how much further can he go? 16.58m for current 3rd place. A good attempt! Paul Smith is up next, but I’m unsure how good this event will be for him. He gets off to a faster start than Williams, but can his grip hold out? So far so good, closing in on the 20m mark and he makes it! He now gets 10 seconds to drop them, turn around and pick them back up. And he’s done it! 23.10m for a NEW world record! Fantastic stuff!!! With 4 men left, can that record hold up? First of those 4 men is Andy Black, and he seems to have gotten off like a rocket. Well, a rocket for this event. He makes it to the 20m mark in no time at all, and DOESN’T drop them on the turn! He has now passed the world record distance, a record he once held himself, and makes it 24.08m after he drops and picks them up again. 2 new records already! Can the other 3 men go further? Nakonechnyy is out now and he looks perfectly built for this if his grip can hold up. He’s much slower than Andy, and drops them just after the 10m mark too. 15.91m is all he could muster, but for this event its still an amazing performance. Mitchell Hooper is quickly becoming one of the best in the world overall in Strongman, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles this event. Like Andy Black, he makes the turn without dropping it, but does have to drop them RIGHT before the record breaking distance. He manages 24.14m to take the record for himself! This is outstanding stuff! Finally we have the now former record holder Kevin Faires, and you know he wants to take back HIS record. Makes the turn without dropping, but goes down right after. He will have a LONG way to go after the pickup now, but he does it!!! The record is back with him! 24.61m! What an extraordinary event!
Event 2 – Carry & Drag
A 40m course in which to carry a 125kg anchor, then drag a 350kg chain! This should be good for Hooper, and an event for Nakonechnyy to gain some much needed points after finishing 9th in the first event. Nakonechnyy went first, finishing in 27.78 seconds, not far off the record time set earlier in the year by Kovikov. He seemed to struggle connecting the anchor to the chain which lost him valuable time, otherwise I think he would have broken that record. Paul Smith was able to just beat him though with 27.30 seconds. Smaukstelis though is leading the way with 26.45 seconds, very near the world record! Kordiyaka against Pa O’Dwyer are up now, and Pavlo absolutely obliterates the world record in a time of 22.96 seconds, and Pa also beats it in around 25 seconds! Felix against Williams. Williams is like a rocket, but slows down towards the end finishing in over 30 seconds. Felix completely messed up linking the 2 implements together, finishing in 40.40 seconds. Hooper and Faires are the final pair and both men are FAST. Hooper gets the world record in this event! Faires wasn’t too far behind either.
Event 3 – Axle Deadlift
A massive 350kg must be deadlifted as many times in 60 seconds. Heinla holds the world record in this event with 9 reps. That will be HARD to beat, or even match. 6 men have gone, with Faires, Smaukstelis and Felix all tied for 1st place atm with 6 reps. Pa, Black and Smith have 5, 4 and 4 respectively. We join the action as Williams goes head to head with Louis Jack. Jack can only manage 2 reps, while Williams got 4. Nakonechnyy against Heinla time! Both men are making this event look easy compared to the previous pair, getting 7 reps each in less than 30 seconds. We have a new world record as Nakonechnyy gets ELEVEN REPS, as Heinla is “only” able to match his record of 9. 3 events, and 3 records broken (some multiple times!). We still have 2 men to go as well! Can Hooper and Kordiyaka get anywhere near those last 2 reps? Hooper reaches 7 and decides to save energy there. He’s in 3rd place and still plenty of points for him. Kordiyaka manages 5.
3 events down, 2 to go. Time to look in on the points and see who places where!
Hooper in control of this competition so far, with Faires his closest rival. Nakonechnyy still a bit behind but that event win for him in the deadlift has lifted him up into a good position. Smaukstelis Has been very consistent so far, always being in the top 5 places, which has helped keep him in 3rd overall. 1st and 2nd places are likely going to go to Hooper and Faires, but that 3rd podium spot is up for grabs with a number of men being well in range to take it depending on their results in the final 2 events!
Event 4 – Dumbbell Press
100kg dumbbells to be pressed overhead with one arm as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Kieliszkowski holds the record with 9 reps, and while I would say I don’t see anyone beating it… I also didn’t think the 9 reps in the deadlift could be beaten just yet and I was wrong about that! Nakonechnyy has been and gone, managing 4 reps which I think will be a big disappointment for him, and is likely to ruin his chances of making the podium in all honesty. Smith has 5 reps, and currently leading the event is Smaukstelis with 7. He might be holding onto that 3rd place after all! We join the action with O’Dwyer against Kordiyaka. 5 for Pa, and 7 for Kordiyaka! Good results for both men, but bad news for Nakonechnyy who is pushed further down the table. Faires against Hooper as they continue their top 2 places battle. Faires isn’t looking too good, having really struggled to get the first 2 up, while Hooper makes it to 6. Faires finishes with 3. Good points for Hooper, while Faires will be disappointed.
One event left, and after that 4th event the scores might have changed drastically. Best have a look and see!
Ok, nothing TOO drastic, but Kordiyaka has flown up the table into 4th place ahead of Nakonechnyy. Smaukstelis with his great result in the dumbbells compared to Faires’ poor result means they will have a real battle on for 2nd place. Hooper is pretty comfortable in 1st and is likely to win unless we see a repeat of last year with Tom and Evan on the stones.
Event 5 – Power Stairs
Well, not much chance of a repeat of last year happening as we aren’t finishing on the stones! Instead its the Power Stairs; 5 massive weights ranging from 200kg to 250kg to be carried up 3 steps. 6 men have been and gone, with only Nakonechnyy and Heinla completing all 15 steps, with Pavlo doing it in the faster time of 38.81 seconds. He could make 4th overall if Kordiyaka finishes 2 places below him. Louis Jack against Eddie Williams now, with nothing but pride on the line for them. Eddie manages to finish in 46.90 seconds for current 2nd, while poor Jack only gets 9 steps in total. Kordiyaka against Smaukstelis, with both men needing to do well. Smaukstelis is looking great early on, really wanting that 2nd place overall finish. Kordiyaka knows his 4th place is in jeopardy, but manages to finish 1 place (so far) behind Nakonechnyy. If either Hooper or Faires get in between their times, the Pavlo’s will swap positions. Smaukstelis on the other hand does a fantastic job of finishing in current first, really putting the pressure on Faires to do well and keep his 2nd place. Hooper and Faires are of course our final 2 men. Both men are going well, with Faires beating out Hooper but not by much. Both of them come between the Pavlo’s though, which I believe means a swap in positions for them.
Hooper has definitely taken the win overall, but I do believe Smaukstelis has grabbed 2nd place while Nakonechnyy has managed 4th. Lets check and see!
Congrats to Hooper as he is the 2022 World Tour Champion! Smaukstelis does indeed take 2nd with Faires finishing 3rd. Nakonechnyy, while not quite living up to the expectations everyone had for him, did manage to finish in 4th in the end. A great competition!