Its time. Its time. Its… WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN TIME TIME time….
Giants Live 1 – Britain’s Strongest Man
We kick off 2020 Giants Live with Britain’s Strongest Man, but unfortunately Graham Hicks, 2019 winner, is injured and unable to defend his championship. This opens up the field to Adam Bischop and the Stoltman Brothers, 3 men who made the WSM Final last year and all have the potential to be Britain’s number 1!
Competing this year we have:
Paul Smith – England
Pa O’Dwyer – Ireland
John Pollack – Scotland
Ryan England – England
Aaron Page – England
Mark Steele – England
Luke Richardson – England
Ben Brunning – Wales
Terry Hollands – England
Adam Bishop – England
Tom Stoltman – Scotland
Luke Stoltman – Scotland
Mark Felix – England
Event 1 – Log Lift Ladder
120KG log to start with, ending with a 180KG log. 5 in total with a 75 second time limit! Up first was Terry Hollands, still competing after 15 years or so! He has massively slimmed down in recent years, and while its done wonders for his fitness, between his age and lack of weight compared to his prime, his strength has certainly suffered. Overhead was never his best event, and it shows here as he only manages 2 logs. Felix, older and worse at overhear, manages 1. Aaron Page gets all 5 in 55.4 seconds, and that will be difficult to beat! Can the favourite for the title, Adam Bishop, beat that time? The runner up from 2019 is desperate to finally win the title and a good start on event 1 will help his overall confidence for sure. The first 3 logs go up easy in just under 24 seconds, but he fails on the 4th log and that’s enough for him. Disappointing showing for him, but he can make up points in future events. Big Tom Stoltman takes his turn now. He finished 5th at WSM last year and has to be considered perhaps the best Britain has to offer. Despite being as tall as he is, he makes the first few logs look easy, though a stumble with his balance on the first log cost him valuable seconds, and when he fails on the 4th log he ends up behind Adam Bishop on the scoreboard. NO WAIT! After a couple of attempts he does indeed manage to get that 4th log up, and that could be a crucial lift going forward in the competition! Luke Stoltman now will want to beat his younger brother AND Aaron Page if he can. He’s looking very good, beating Bishop on the 3rd for time, but that doesn’t matter as he powers up the 4th fairly easily, placing him in second place for the time being, until he makes the 5th log look easier than the 4th! A well deserved 1st place!
Event 2 – Deadlift
330KG deadlift for reps! We join in on the action with Aaron Page getting 7 reps, Hollands getting 8, and Mark Felix currently in the lead with 10 reps, showing that he is STILL the man to beat in deadlift for reps! Richardson and O’Dwyer are out now. Not expecting big numbers for O’Dwyer, while Richardson is an unknown for me. He is doing extremely well though, matching 8 from Hollands with 20 seconds left, and he manages to grind out a 9th rep for current 2nd place! Only 5 for O’Dwyer which is about what I would expect from him in this type of event. Can Bishop and Tom Stoltman do better? Luke has already gone with only 5 reps apparently. No idea why they didn’t show it but oh well. Bishop I’d expect to be up there with Felix, while Tom will struggle due to his height but is still a powerful man. 30 seconds to go and Bishop is on 9, Stoltman on 8! Tom manages an extra rep, while Bishop with seconds to spare gets an 11th rep for first place! That should make up for a disappointing first event from him. Stoltman down joint 3rd is still good points for him, while his brother only managing 5 reps is not good news for him. He’ll have to work hard to regain those lost points now.
Event 3 – Duck & Load
An event more suited to those with good fitness, as they have to duck walk a 200KG weight down the course first, then load a 150KG Barrel, 150KG Sack (I think? Not sure they actually told us the weight of it) and 100KG Tire back down the course and load them into a skip! This will drain the athletes quickly for sure! Mark Steele is first up, finishing the event in 43.30 seconds, followed by Paul Smith in 43.50 seconds! Leading atm is Terry Hollands with an amazing time of 38.08 seconds, proving he might be older but he can still move! Now we join the action with Luke Stoltman and John Pollack. Not much between them on the duck walk, but Stoltman speeds away on the keg and makes light work of the sack which is very difficult to lift. The tire is last and Stoltman beats Hollands with a time of 37.88 seconds! Pollack behind with 42.50 seconds. Now for Tom Stoltman against Luke Richardson. 35.96 seconds and Tom BLOWS AWAY the competition with ease. Richardson not exactly slacking either managing a time of 40.99 seconds. Last up is Mark Felix and Adam Bishop. Felix probably won’t get big points here, but Bishop will be aiming for a top 3 finish at the least. He’s off like a rocket, but still can’t touch that time of Tom. 37.16 seconds for him ONLY places him in second. Felix with 46.78 seconds isn’t good for him, sadly.
3 Events down now, so let’s see who places where on the overall scores!
Bishop in 1st place with 2 events left, but he’s only half a point ahead of Tom Stoltman. Luke isn’t too far behind, but would need to finish multiple places ahead of Bishop and his brother to really put a dent in their charge for Britain’s Strongest Man. Unlikely anyone else will really challenge those 3 for a podium position though imo.
Event 4 – Conan’s Wheel
No time limit here, you simply have to carry the 350KG quad bike in a circle for as long as you can! 835 degrees is the current world record by Darren Sadler, so can anyone beat that here today? So far 3 men have tried, and failed. Richardson with 620, Hollands with 647, and currently in first place is Luke Stoltman with 659. How will that hold up once the event is finished with? Time to find out as we join the action with Pa O’Dwyer. A fantastic effort from him, ending with 792 degrees to fly past Stoltman! Bishop, the current leader of the competition, is up next. He is well suited to this event, so he should finish high. 775 degrees doesn’t land him first place or a world record, but it might be good enough for second overall depending on how well a certain Scotsman does. And here comes that Scotsman; Tom Stoltman! Only half a point behind so he’ll want to beat Bishop at the least here, but he stumbles backwards on the pickup which wastes energy and might be detrimental to his run. 657 is the best he can do, placing him behind his own brother which is not good for his campaign to become Britain’s Strongest Man.
One event left. Who will take the title of BRITAIN’S STRONGEST MAN? Not long to go until we find out, but first, time to see where everyone places after 5 events!
Bishop has a 2 and a half point lead, however, TOM Stoltman happens to be one of the very best stone lifters on the planet, practically guaranteeing him a win here if he doesn’t make a mistake. The only real question is how well Adam can do, and if he can win enough points to maintain his lead and win!
Event 5 – Atlas Stones
We finish on the ATLAS STONES as usual, with 3 men fighting for 1st place. However I feel its only between Adam and Tom for the title. Before that epic clash, we have Felix against Paul Smith. Felix should get all 5 up in a decent time, while Smith’s lack of height might come into play here and cost him good points. 25.12 seconds for Felix, placing him in current first place, with Smith getting just over 33 seconds. Richardson takes on Luke Stoltman, and I think the odds heavily favour Luke. The question will be just how fast he can be compared to his brother and Adam. 20.65 seconds and all 5 are up with ease! Richardson finishes on 24.11 seconds, a fast time, but not in this company! Now its the final battle. Tom Stoltman Vs Adam Bishop! Stoltman is for sure going to take 1st in the event, but Bishop just needs a good finish and he’ll walk away with the title. Away they go and Tom is insanely quick. 16.01 seconds and we have a NEW WORLD RECORD, beating Mateusz Kieliszkowski’s time by less than a second! Bishop on the other hand finishes in a time of 21.93 seconds… but is that enough to win?
Yes! Just HALF A POINT ahead of Tom, but Adam Bishop is indeed Britain’s Strongest Man for 2020! An incredible showing from him, finally achieving his dream after improving year after year to get here. Tom just missing out will be a disappointment for him, but with World’s Strongest Man coming up, he will still be the favourite out of all the British competitors imo due to his 5th place finish last year. Both men along with Luke all have a good chance of making the finals once again, and Tom could very well move up to a podium finish as well!