And so begins Heat 2! Two more men will join the reigning, defending, World’s Strongest Man Hafthor Bjornsson and the pride of Scotland Luke Stoltman in the finals… but just who will they be?
Adam Bishop (Great Britain) – 2nd at Britain’s Strongest Man 2019
Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) – 6x Georgia’s Strongest Man
Robert Oberst (USA) – 6th WSM Appearance
Sigfus Fossdal (Iceland) – 1st WSM Appearance
Andreas Stahlberg (Sweden) – 1st WSM Appearance
Event 1 – Monster Truck Pull
Time for another 12 tonnes of monster trucks to be pulled down the 22m track! Can anyone come close to Thor’s time from yesterday? Or will it prove just as difficult as it did for the rest of the men in heat 1? Janashia, a man who has made the final 3 times in 3 attempts is up first, and if I was a betting man I might say he’ll finish the course in under a minute. He looks really good, then struggles a little towards the end when it goes uphill, and finishes in 50.41 seconds! Based on what we saw yesterday, that could very well be a winning time. Next is a new Icelandic strongman, and he looks like a pretty huge man, which will certainly help him here. His technique also looks good, so he could be in with a good chance here if he can keep it up. He looked like he was going to finish the course and in a faster time, but he fell over in pain and has had to withdraw from the competition with a leg injury. A real shame. Another new name next from Sweden, hoping to live up to the legendary Magnus Samuelson (WSM 1998). Like the man before him, he looks really good with a great technique, so hopefully he can finish the course and not injury himself. He is sooo close to beating Janashia, but comes to almost a complete stop at the end, just getting over the line in 54 seconds. Still a great run from him! Now we have Adam Bishop from England hoping to be the second Brit to get into the finals this year so far. Last year we had zero, so we are already 1 up this year. Can we go even better? This is only the first event, but it should be a good indication as to how Bishop is right now. As the smallest man in the group, his chances aren’t the best in this event, but he is certainly putting his all into it anyway, desperate to simply finish. Once the truck hits the uphill part, he slows down significantly, but he just keeps on going anyway and… wow, misses out on finishing the course by mere centimetres. Heartbreaking! Last up is the big American Robert Oberst. He doesn’t seem to understand the difference between England and Scotland. Aside from that he’s a great guy who loves to put on a show, even resorting to being the “bad guy” when he does shows overseas. If anyone can do as well as Thor in this event, it might be him. He makes it look easy to begin with, then starts to tire towards the end, so much so he is less than a second behind Janashia’s time. Only second place for him, but you know that’ll just make him want to do even better in the next event to make up for it.
Event 2 – Giants Medley
Farmer’s Walk, Super Yoke and then the massive 600KG Giant Yoke. Only one man could finish this course in Heat 1, and it wasn’t even Thor (who injured his foot during it). Can anyone do it in this heat? Oberst would be my pick for his sheer size, but Janashia is not someone to be counted out either. Oberst and Bishop are the first pair to go, and there is nothing between them on the first 2 implements, but its the final one that will make the difference, and wow, Bishop is the one to get the win! Neither were able to do it in one lift, but the fact they got it over the line at all is incredible! Not the outcome I would have predicted! Now we see what Janashia can do, against the newcomer. Janashia takes the win against the man from Sweden, but is unable to beat Bishop’s time! Stahlberg finishes last overall, but he should be very proud that he was able to complete the course regardless of the time!
Event 3 – Deadlift for Reps
60 seconds. 375KG. As many reps as possible! Bishop and Janashia are very good at this event, while in the past Oberst has done very poorly. Will be interesting to see how he can perform today. He went first, and only managed 1 rep, so unfortunately he still hasn’t improved when it comes to this event. Stahlberg was next and is the current leader with 6 reps, which is mighty impressive. Bishop simply getting 7 and putting Stahlberg between him and Oberst will be a huge boost to the overall standings, but he will absolutely want to beat Janashia too here. Before we see what he can do, we need to see what Janashia is capable of. 6 reps are done in under 20 seconds, but that won’t be enough to keep Bishop at bay. In the end, 10 reps by Janashia, and that will give Bishop a good target to try and beat. The question, though, is if Bishop will even try to beat it, or just get 7 reps and save his energy. Wow. I expected him to be able to match the 10 reps and probably get an 11th to win, but wow, he did the 10 reps in the first 30 seconds like they were NOTHING. The final rep was slower, but done well within the time and gives Bishop another win! Excellent stuff!
Event 4 – Overhead Press
The huge log weighing in at 155KG is back, with the 4 men needing to get as many reps as possible in the time. If Bishop can win this event he will be guaranteed his place in the final without going into the stones head to head battle at the end, so it is all on the line for him. First up though is Stahlberg against Oberst, and Oberst is a great overhead lifter so he can make up for the deadlift here. Both men look good with their presses, but were both pretty slow, so they weren’t getting the high numbers we saw in the previous heat (9 from 3 men), but 5 (Stahlberg) and 6 (Oberst). Good results, but I don’t think that will be enough to beat Janashia or Bishop. Well, it seems that Bishop has decided to only do 1 rep and go into the playoffs, while Janashia does 4, enough to send him straight through to the finals. Smart for Bishop I guess as he likely wouldn’t have been able to beat Janashia. And speaking of Janashia, he throws up another 2 reps for the crowd just for fun!
With one event to go, we should check on the scores and see just who will be joining Bishop in the atlas stone head to head.
As suspected, Janashia is into the final already for the 4th time in a row, while Bishop will face off against Oberst for the second qualifying spot of the heat.
Event 5 – Atlas Stone Last Man Standing Showdown
As much as I want to see another British competitor through to the final, I believe this event will favour the big American. Only time will tell, but Oberst would likely have to get injured to prevent him from making the final for a 3rd time. And as I typed that out, Oberst really struggled with the first lift and grabbed at his arm, and I think he is actually injured. Thankfully this all happened months ago but is only just airing on TV in the UK now so I didn’t jinx him, otherwise I would have felt pretty bad about saying that and it happening. Horrible for Oberst, but Bishop certainly deserves to go into the final based on his performances in previous events.