Only 4 places remain now in the WSM Final for 2019, and 2 of those will be given out to the top athletes of this heat. The strongmen competing for those places are:
Laurence Shahlaei (Great Britain) – Europe’s Strongest Man 2016
Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland) – 2nd at WSM 2018
Kevin Faires (USA) – 1st WSM Appearance
JF Caron (Canada) – 5th at WSM 2016, 2017, 2018
Ole Martin Kristiansen (Norway) – Norway’s Strongest Man 2018
Event 1 – Monster Truck Pull
Its the 4th time this year for the athletes to pull 12 tonnes of monster truck down a 22m course. With a slight uphill section at the end, this event has defeated some of the best. Who can manage to complete the course today? First up is Ole Martin, and he definitely looks to have the arm power to do this, as they are absolutely HUGE! But does he have the stamina to keep on going? He unfortunately runs out of steam at 17.8m, but that is still a pretty good result! Kieliszkowski is next, and he has to be a favourite for this event and the entire competition. He was runner up last year, and is one of the best vehicle pullers in the world too. A tremendous pull, with a time of 38.63 seconds. Only THOR has managed to do better over all 4 heats thus far. Faires has to try and follow Kieliszkowski, and as the lightest man in the heat you would think he would have zero chance, but he pushes through and completed the course in 55.66 seconds! Not a winning time, but that is one hell of an achievement! Caron is up next, and he has been one of the most consistent strongmen over the last few years, getting 5th place 3 years in a row in the final. I don’t think he’ll beat Kieliszkowski here, but he certainly has the ability to finish the course. He does indeed finish in a time of 54.62 seconds for current 2nd place. Lastly is Shahlaei, who has announced this will be his LAST year at WSM. He has had ups (4th place in 2011), and his downs (multiple injuries), but he has always been one of the best Britain has had to offer in the last decade. Hopefully he can make it to the final one last time and show the world how good he can be when he’s healthy! Unfortunately for him, truck pulling has never been his best event, so he might not finish here. He gets close, but the uphill section is too much for him. He definitely put everything into that pull.
Event 2 – Giants Medley
We go from one of Laurence’s worst events to one of his best! He is great at the Farmer’s walk, but also one of the best on the planet at the Super Yoke too! Will be interested to see how he handles the massive 600KG Giant Yoke at the end! Ole Martin went first, and completed the course in 1 minute 7 seconds. We join the action as Faires goes head to head with Shahlaei! Being the lightest man, the Giant Yoke might prove to be a real issue for Faires. Shahlaei is first to make it to the Giant Yoke, and seems to injure his leg. I can only hope it is nothing serious and he is able to continue! Faires on the other hand completes the course in just under 40 seconds. Now for Caron against Kieliszkowski, and my money would be on Kieliszkowski. He is incredible fast and is able to complete the course in UNDER 20 SECONDS. Caron manages it in under 40 seconds but it looked hard for him. Kieliszkowski was just INSANE.
Sadly, Shahlaei has had to withdraw from the competition due to injury. He tore his achilles heel. I hope he’ll come back again next year for a true final WSM appearance, but if it is his last, he can still be proud of everything he has accomplished in the sport!
Event 3 – Deadlift for Reps
The one chink in Kieliszkowski’s armour. Caron on the other hand is fantastic at this event, which could help him take the lead overall here. First up was Ole Martin, and he managed 3 reps, followed by Faires with a fantastic 6 reps. Now for Caron, and he is truly world class at the deadlift. He has a great personal best in max, and has been known to just keep grinding out reps in events like this. He does 7 fairly easy reps, then calls it a day, believing that Kieliszkowski won’t be able to better him. He gets 4 slow reps, putting him above Ole Martin, and manages to continue on to 6 reps to tie for second. A great performance from someone who is not a good deadlifter!
Event 4 – Overhead Press
Well, we have a change here, as it is no longer the log, but instead the massive Circus Dumbbell weighing 100KG. It has to be pressed overhead with just one arm, and has proved to be a difficult event over the years for even the best. Kieliszkowski on the other hand is tremendous at this, so he will likely do well enough to go straight through into the finals, forcing Caron to go head to head in the stones with Faires (most likely). Kristiansen and Faires go first, and they both seem to get stick on 3 reps. Might not sound like a high number, but 3 is still a very good result. Caron and Kieliszkowski are up last, and Kieliszkowski can probably keep pressing the dumbbell until time runs out if he wants. Caron would be smart to get to 3 to tie with everyone else and save himself for the head to head, as he doesn’t stand any chance of actually beating Kieliszkowski. He does stop, but decides to get a 4th for good measure, while Kieliszkowski stops at 5.
We’ll check the scores to confirm I am indeed correct about things lol.
Yep, Caron Vs Faires in the stones head to head, while 2018’s #2 Kieliszkowski goes through to try and place 1 higher this year!
Event 5 – Atlas Stone Last Man Standing Showdown
Caron Vs Faires, and my money would be on Caron winning this. Atlas Stones is typically a great event for him, plus he’s bigger than Faires, which will help him out in this type of head to head contest. Well, Faires cannot even lift the stone over once, and as a result, Kristiansen will get a chance. My money will still be on Caron. That being said, Caron seems to be taking his time on the first lift, but he does get into more of a rhythm after a few turns. Kristiansen aaaaalllmost didn’t make a lift, just getting it over with 2 seconds left, then fails the next one. Caron advances to the final!
A very interesting heat. Kieliszkowski going through was almost guaranteed, and it looked in the beginning like it would be Caron and Shahlaei battling it out for the other place, until Shahlaei unfortunately suffered his injury. And then in the head to head, we have the first instance of someone not being able to make a single lift, and having to be replaced by the next man! Well, only 2 places remain, and tomorrow sees the 4 time WSM BRIAN SHAW take on Mark Felix and 3 other men to earn a place in the final to try and equal the 5 wins of Mariusz Pudzianowski!