We are finally here! The finals of the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition! 10 of the best strongmen from around the world have qualified, and now it is time to decide who is THE strongest man on the planet! The men who qualified are:
What a lineup. The reigning champion, former 4 time champion and last year’s runner up. I made my predictions here, so be sure to check that out.
Event 1 – Loading Race
4 implements need to be picked up, carried down the course and loaded onto a platform. What will make this even harder is that they are having to run on sand, so their energy will be sapped much quicker. So what will they be carrying? A 120kg barrel. 140kg anvil. And TWO 140kg sacks which will undoubtedly be the most difficult. I won’t be expecting everyone to finish, while the taller men (Thor, Shaw, Tom Stoltman) should get everything up. Thor might be the best in this type of event, due to his size, power, and speed too. First up is Trey Mitchell III and Luke Stoltman. Neither are small, just not AS big as the 3 men I mentioned. Stoltman is off to a great start and gets ahead of Mitchell. A great result for both men as they get all 4 up, but Luke did it in a faster time. Don’t expect the time to hold up though, if I’m being honest. Now we have Adam Bishop going against JF Caron. Bishop is much smaller and lighter than most of the strongmen competing, so he will have to really push himself here. Bishop misses the pickup with the anvil, and loses valuable time and energy there. Caron is going very well, and edges out Stoltman! Bishop manages to finish, so he can be proud of that even if he is currently in last place. A lot of times when someone makes a mistake like that, it can knock their confidence and prevent them from even completing the event. Konstantine Janashia and Tom Stoltman go next, and this should be a great battle. Janashia is fast and powerful, and Stoltman is very much the same but also has the height advantage. Both men set off like a rocket, but Stoltman being so huge is able to gain the advantage on the anvil, then he makes the sakes look lightweight, finishing just under 40 seconds, I think. Janashia just misses out on Caron’s time to take current 3rd. Will be interesting to see how the final 4 men do compared to that. Licis against Shaw, and its Licis who is the faster man here, though he is unable to beat Stoltman! Shaw seemed a little sluggish, and as a result is only 6th atm. Not good for him considering who is still to come. Thor and Kieliszkowski; 1 and 2 last year, and they were so close to each other in the loading race in the final too. Stoltman’s time could be in jeopardy here! However, this year Thor has the foot injury, and running on sand cannot be good for him. Both men look good at the start, but Thor makes a mistake on the anvil just like Bishop made, and that allows Kieliszkowski to take the win in this head to head, but even he cannot beat Tom Stoltman’s time!
Event 2 – Overhead Press Medley
Another event with 4 implements, only instead of carrying them, they just have to lift them. Easy! Uhhh… not quite. They first need to lift 2 dumbbells overhead, weighing 60kg each. Then the circus dumbbell weighing 100kg. And then they have a choice of which to do first (but both need to be completed) the circus barbell at 160kg or the log at 170kg. Bishop went first, with 3 completed. Trey Mitchell III finished all 4 putting him in current 1st. Now its THOR Vs Shaw, and both are good at this. Shaw is in the lead, while Thor takes his time on the circus dumbbell, but quickly makes up time and only just finishes behind Shaw in the end. Both were FAST. 31.16 second for Thor, and 30.48 seconds for Shaw. Will be hard to beat those times. Luke Stoltman and Janashia will be the first 2 men to attempt it though. Janashia unfortunately injures himself on the circus dumbbell, and I don’t think he will be able to continue. Stoltman puts everything he has into the final log, and gets it up right at the end. Not a fast time, but the fact he got it up should keep him in decent points depending on how many men don’t finish. Time to see what Licis and Caron can do. Licis is insane at this, and BEATS the time of both Shaw and Thor! I did not see that coming! Caron completes all 4, but in a slower time. Lastly we have Kieliszkowski and Tom Stoltman. Both men will have a hard time beating Licis. That being said, Kieliszkowski looks almost inhuman, actually beating Licis! How was that even possible? Stoltman does well, finishing 5th. Someone invent a time machine so we can see Big Z and Kieliszkowski in their primes go head to head please!
Sadly Janashia is indeed injured and has to retire from the competition. Hopefully he’ll come back stronger and better next year!
Event 3 – Squat Lift
Haven’t seen the Squat event in any shows I’ve seen this year! 340kg to be squatted as many times in the 75 second time limit. Trey Mitchell III got 6, and Caron managed 7. We join the action with Bishop, who does 7 reps but 2 are disallowed as he doesn’t touch the pads at either side. Can Luke Stoltman do any better? He too gets 5. His brother Tom is next and I’m not sure if he can even match that number. Tall men don’t usually do well in squat, and while guys like Shaw and Thor are good at it now, they spent a good few years getting better at it. He DOES get 5 to match his brother and Bishop, which is an incredible number for him. Give it a couple more years and he can potentially improve a ton. Now for the champion THOR to show us what he can do. He looks good at first, then almost falls over on the second rep, but is strong enough to keep balanced and continue on! He matches 7 reps, then drops the bar and almost destroys the equipment! Better that than his body! Shaw takes his turn next, and looks very good despite how far he has too squat down. 8 reps for him to put him in current 1st, but he almost drops the bar on his head during a 9th rep attempt. They are all putting EVERYTHING they have into this event! Licis up next and my money would be on him besting Shaw here and putting Kieliszkowski under pressure. He gets 9 with 40 seconds left, and decides to finish there, believing that Kieliszkowski won’t do any better. But as we saw in the heats and deadlift, Kieliszkowski is taking his bad events and turning them into good ones. He starts off looking fairly uncomfortable, but gets into a rhythm and manages 7 reps! Tied for 3rd on one of his worst events is something he can be very proud of!
Event 4 – Deadlift Hold
Deadlift usually sees the athletes compete to either lift the most weight, or lift a single weight as many times as possible. This event, however, will have them deadlift a 230kg implement and HOLD IT for as long as possible. Grip strength will be tested, as will pure willpower. In the past this event has seen the top strongmen lose out to the ones down the bottom of the table. Literally anyone can win. Trey Mitchell III went first, getting a time of 23.28 seconds. Then Bishop, getting 36.69 seconds, and currently in first is JF Caron with 38.57 seconds. Next up are the Stoltman Brothers, competing against each other! Both men are shaking like crazy around the 20 second mark, and Tom drops it first. Luke goes a little further, just missing out on Caron’s time. Now its Thor against Kieliszkowski, and Thor will need a good result in order to have a chance of retaining his title. 35.72 seconds for Kieliszkowski, but Thor goes into the lead with 45.72 seconds. A good result that he needed for sure. Now, can Shaw or Licis do any better? Shaw goes down at 30 seconds and looks shocked, while Licis doesn’t beat Thor, but takes second with around 41 seconds. Like I said, this event is very unpredictable!
Just one event left, so lets have a look at the overall points!
Well, this is very interesting indeed. Licis is leading, and I honestly could not have predicted that. I was expecting him to be in the top 5 overall, but he seems to have kicked into high gear for the final! Kieliszkowski is still in with a chance, depending on how the final event goes, but I think the reign of Thor is over for this year.
Event 5 – Atlas Stones
The only event worthy of crowning the WSM; the Atlas Stones! So many men are good at this event, able to get all 5 stones up and in a fast time, so being able to predict who will come where is near impossible! Trey Mitchell has been and gone, getting all 5 stones up in 52.47 seconds. This is his first time here so he can be very proud of what he has accomplished, and he can only get better from here. Time to join in the action with Bishop facing off against Luke Stoltman. Stoltman is probably the better of the two, but both men end up stuck on 3 stones. After a hard couple of days, they are likely exhausted. Now its Tom Stoltman’s turn, and he is FANTASTIC at this. He will face off against Shaw which should be a great battle. Tom is ripping through this event, being ahead of Shaw by about a second going into the final stone, but its Tom who gets it up before Shaw! Both finish faster than Mitchell too. Incredible result for Stoltman, especially with this being the heaviest set of stones ever! Caron against Thor now, and Thor will be desperate to finish in a fast time and at least keeping a podium place. Stoltman and Shaw were impressive, but Thor is on another level, finishing over 5 seconds quicker than Stoltman! Caron makes it to that final stone, and after some real effort manages to get it up. He might end up finishing 4th overall now instead of his usual 5th place! We will have to wait and see the final results to be sure. And now the main event. Kieliszkowski against Licis. Licis is 5 points ahead, so he will need to really do badly to lose out on the title. I cannot believe it, but Licis even beats THOR’s time, winning the event AND the title of WSM! Kieliszkowski once again settles for 2nd place.
We know Licis is the champion, but lets see the overall scores to find out where everyone else placed!
What a final this was! A new WSM in Martins Licis, someone who I expected a top 5 finish from, but only around 5th place. Kieliszkowski held on to his runner up position again this year, and Thor was able to keep a podium place despite his injured foot. Caron finally does better than 5th, and Tom Stoltman gets in the top 5 ahead of Brian Shaw! Seeing Shaw finish outside of the top 4 is a rare sight indeed. Next year’s competition is already shaping up to be incredible as all of these men are very likely to get even better!