Giants Live 2 – Europe’s Strongest Man
Day 2 of Europe’s Strongest Man, where we will finally find out who wins! Here is a reminder of where the points are after day 1:
Event 5 – Axle Deadlift
350KG Axle to be deadlifted as many times as possible in the 60 second time limit! Forgasc didn’t attempt a lift due to a potential injury. O’Dwyer only managed a single rep. Same for Bilton and Toots. Aaron Page currently leading with 2 reps. We join in the action with Felix against Hicks, and these two should easily beat 2 reps. They both get 2 reps in after around 15 seconds. Felix is the first to take a rest, allowing Hicks to move ahead of him. In fact Felix stops completely at this point, staying on 3 reps, as Hicks takes 5 for the current lead. Just the final 2 men to go now. Bishop, the new Britain’s Strongest Man, and Richardson, the current overall leader after the first day. Bishop is excellent at this and is likely going to win, so it all depends on how far Richardson can go. Wow, both men go for 5 reps and its Richardson who gets it as Bishop puts it down and needs to lift again! So we end on a 2 way tie on 5 reps.
Event 6 – Stone Press
A brand new event that nobody going into the competition knew about! Simple enough though, just press an Atlas Stone overhead as many times in 75 seconds! Of course, the round shape will make things less simple, and the fact they were unable to train for it will make this a very interesting event! Felix went first and only managed 0. Hicks on the other hand got 3, nowhere near what he would like given the fact he is one of the best pressers on the planet right now. Forgasc doubles Hicks. We are joining in as Toots and O’Dwyer go head to head. O’Dwyer is making this look easy, while Toots is struggling a little. O’Dwyer gets to 6, but can’t get that 7th rep done, meanwhile Toots took his time and just squeezes out a 7th rep less than a second before the whistle blows! Next we have Bilton against Page, and poor Bilton is just built all wrong for this event. His massive shoulders are getting in the way, but he’s still managed to get ahead of Hicks. Page is on 6 with a few seconds to go and JUST locks out to get that important 7th rep! Lastly its Richardson and Bishop once again facing off. Bishop barely managed his first rep, but he understood where he went wrong and corrects it immediately in his second rep. And then he nearly smashes it on his head while trying for a 4th. Richardson gets to 3 then just can’t lock out no matter how he tries. Bishop manages the 4th eventually.
Event 7 – Nicol Stones
2 very large and heavy stones, at a combined weight of 252KG, must be lifted off the ground, one in each hand, using the incredible small and thin ring handles, then carried as far down the course as possible, with one 10 second rest period allowed. The small handles will dig into the competitor’s hands, and the weights are uneven, which will mess them up even more. A tough event for sure! Forgasc went first and only managed 2.33m, followed by Page at 6.76m. Hicks managed 7.82m, which was barely bested by Bilton at 7.88m. O’Dwyer took it even further with 10.93m for the current lead. Luke Stoltman is the world record holder for this event at just over 19m, and I’m surprised that he and his brother aren’t competing in this competition, but oh well. Time to join in on the action with Mark Felix giving this event a go! The man known for his grip is at an advantage, so it’ll be interesting to see how far he can take them! He passes the 10m mark with ease, then has a 10 second break, but is unable to move them again on a second pickup. 17.10m though, which is close to that world record! Ervin Toots is next to try, and while each step looks incredible uncomfortable (and why wouldn’t it be?), he keeps on moving and manages 9.85m! Now to find out what Richardson is capable of. Still leading the competition despite being so new, he just appears to be good at everything. This event though is something he is struggling with, but still manages 9.71m. The last man is Bishop, and he will need to try and get as many people between him and Richardson as possible, though there aren’t that many people ahead of Richardson overall. He passes the 10m mark which was crucial, and he continues on to 17.32m to take first place! Exactly what was needed from him!
Event 8 – Keg Toss
Nice to see this event back, as the last few years have had different implements to be thrown over the bar rather than the classic kegs that we saw for like 15 years in a row. The bar is 16ft high, and the barrels go up in weight to a maximum of 25kg. 6 men have been and gone, with only Gavin Bilton managing all 8 in a time of 55.80 seconds. Poor Mark Felix down in last place with 2 kegs in 18.49 seconds. First man we get to see is Ervin Toots. The first 2 go over easily, the 3rd hits the bar but goes over, and the 4th needs a second attempt when he doesn’t get the angle right. None of those mistakes matter though as he still gets all 8 over in a faster time than Bilton! 41.29 seconds for him! Richardson knows what he needs to beat, though he still has Bishop to go after him. First keg was a big mistake, but he recovers nicely and gets into a rhythm. Doesn’t look like he’ll beat the time for Toots, but he does beat Bilton. 47.62 seconds. Now to see where Bishop can land on the score board. No issues for him and he gets all 8 over in a time of 36.04 seconds for the win!
Only one event left, so time to check on the scores!
Bishop has climbed all the way up to first place now, after coming into day 2 a whole 6 points behind Richardson. Now he has 2 points over his rival going into the final event. Toots looks to be well on his way to a podium finish, though Page and even Hicks could potentially overtake him depending on placements in the final event, though I don’t see it happening.
Event 9 – Atlas Stones
Of course we end on the Atlas Stones, the only true decider of strongmen championships! If Adam Bishop can win this, he will be the first man to win both the Britain’s AND Europe’s Strongest Man in the same year since Jamie Reeves in 1989 (and he also won WSM that year too!). 3 men have been and gone; Felix, Bilton and Forgasc, and all 3 have put 5 stones up. Felix leading with the time of 23.28 seconds. We get to join the action as Hicks takes on O’Dwyer. Hicks is one stone ahead of O’Dwyer the entire time, finishing with a time of 20.08 seconds. O’Dywer not too far behind on 23.87 seconds. Toots against Page time, and Page will need to get a faster time than Hicks and hope Toots has a disaster of a run for any chance of stealing his podium finish. Page wins the head to head with a time of 20.73, just behind Hicks, and Toots managed it in 23.69. Don’t think it’s enough for Page to take 3rd. Now the final head to head, the one that will decide the winner of Europe’s Strongest Man; Bishop Vs Richardson! Bishop is JUST ahead, but a mistake from Bishop on the third stone might have screwed him out of the win! 25.08 for him, while Richardson gets all 5 in a super fast time of 19.44! I think we might have our winner right there! Yes! Luke Richardson is Europe’s Strongest Man!!!
Well that was unexpected! The 23 year old has come out of nowhere essentially and beaten some experienced athletes as well as the current and former Britain’s Strongest Man winners Bishop and Hicks! With Eddie Hall retiring after winning WSM in 2017, Hollands and Felix sadly getting too old to really make a dent in competitions like they used to, Laurence Shahlaei retired now I believe, we have a new wave of British strongmen looking to take the world by storm. Last year at WSM we had Bishop, Luke Stoltman and Tom Stoltman all making the final while Graham Hicks was unfortunately injured. This year we could see those 3, a recovered Hicks and now Luke Richardson all taking the competition by storm if things go well!