2 men made it through to the final yesterday. 8 more to go, and we find out 2 of them here today! Competing for those 2 places in the final are:
- Adam Bishop – Great Britain
- Mark Felix – Great Britain
- Evan Singleton – USA
- Kevin Faires – USA
- Mikhail Shivlyakov – Russia
If I had to pick 2 men from that list, it would be Adam Bishop and Mikhail Shivlyakov. However Singleton could upset Bishop. He likes to run his mouth (such as calling himself a former WWE Superstar despite being a developmental wrestler for around 3 months), but he has backed up his claims in the last year or so, so he could be a finalist when this heat is all said and done.
Event 1 – Farmer’s Walk
We start things off again with those 150kg farmer’s walk implements in each hand. 60 seconds to go as far as you can! Faires is up first, and he looks VERY good after doing 2 laps! We saw some fantastic athletes do very poorly at this in the first heat, so this shows how good Faires can be. 52m for him as he runs out of time! Excellent showing! Shivlyakov goes next, managing 42m. Back to the action as Bishop takes his turn. Britain’s Strongest Man and second at Europe’s. He made the final last year, can he do it again? He isn’t looking nearly as comfortable as Faires did, and he drops them at 30.48m. A disappointing result for him, and the best he can hope for now is 3rd place. Mark Felix will have something to say about that, though. He is the GRIP MASTER, and could potentially overtake everyone. He doesn’t have some of the best pickups though, causing the implements to swing about and bash against his legs, causing him to slow down. Only 42.67m, but current second. He will have wanted to do better, but it was still a great result. Lastly we have Singleton, who is relying on his sheer power to pick up the implements and go, no matter how they wobble. He JUST gets them across the line and a little extra to beat out Faires with 52.25m!
Event 2 – Deadlift
345kg must be deadlifted as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Bishop goes first, and this SHOULD be a very good event for him. He has beaten Mark Felix at this event in the past and he’ll be looking to do that again here, along with beating everyone else. 8 reps in around 32 seconds, and I think he’ll need 2 more to guarantee a win. He manages 9, which is still fantastic, but I feel he might tie for 1st. Shivlyakov is next and he could be a threat to Bishop. That being said, he’s pulling a little slowly, and might run out of time before he can get to 9. He does manage it, but fails to get 10. Another excellent result in the deadlift! Now comes Mark Felix, the former KING of this event. He can still grind out a good number these days, but every so often he seems to struggle when you wouldn’t think so. Today does not appear to be one of those days! 8 reps in around the same time as Bishop, but I don’t think he can go beyond 9 in the time remaining. Nope, 9 for him as we have a 3 way tie in 1st now. Faires and Singleton both have their turn, neither of them getting to 9. Good result for the Brits and Shivlyakov!
Event 3 – Monster Loading Medley
115kg Engine Block, 140kg Rear Differential, 100kg Tyre Rim x2, and a Wheel Hub at 115kg. They must be picked up and moved down an 8m course and loaded onto a platform as fast as possible within 90 seconds! A tough event, but Bishop might be able to score big here due to his speed. Singleton went first, finishing in 46.47 seconds, which would have placed him 2nd place in Heat 1. How will that do for Heat 2, though? Bishop is next up, facing off against Faires. Bishop was the one I was expecting to win this with his speed, but Faires is going even faster! 42.94 seconds! Bishop “only” manages 44.81 seconds, but its still better than Singleton’s time. Finally we have Felix against Shivlyakov. Neither man is charging down the course here, with Shivlyakov finishing in 51.18 seconds, and Felix realising he was in last place and didn’t bother with the last implement as it would have just wasted energy.
3 events down now, and the next event is crucial, as whoever is in 1st place overall at the end of it will automatically qualify for the final, while #2 and #3 will battle it out in the Atlas Stones!
A very close heat all the way. Faires might be in 1st position now, but one mistake on the next event and he could be down in last. Shall be interesting to see who makes it through!
Heat 4 – Dumbbell Medley
75 seconds, and the athletes have to press multiple sets of dumbbells over their head as quickly as possible, ranging from 50kg (in each hand) to 66kg, and then one final 100kg monster dumbbell! Felix was up first, and he only managed 2 lifts. He has never been good at overhead pressing. Now we join the action with Evan Singleton against Mikhail Shivlyakov! Both men overtake Felix, getting all 4 pairs, and it comes down to the single dumbbell at 100kg. They both get one rep, then Singleton seems to injure his arm, allowing Shivlyakov to overtake him with another rep. Bishop and Faires go last, and they both need a good result here. Not looking good for Bishop, as he cannot get that 4th pair up, while Faires manages a rep of the 100kg single dumbbell. No idea how the scores will look, other than the fact Faires makes it straight into the final!
Faires has qualified, but who are the two men who will compete for that second place in the final?
Well, that sadly means no Brit will make it into the Atlas Stones event, instead Shivlyakov and Singleton will battle it out for the place in the final!
Event 5- Atlas Stones
8 massive stones to lift onto platforms in the fastest time. Only 5 was lifted in the first heat, so will anyone go further today? Well, we have a change of plan. Evan Singleton did indeed injure himself in that previous event, and has to pull out. That will be heartbreaking for him, as he was looking good for making the final on his first attempt. Next year! What this means though, is that Adam Bishop gets a second chance. He will be out to redeem himself after losing Europe’s Strongest Man on the stones. Bishop is up first too, so he will set the marker for Shivlyakov to beat. 5 stones up fairly easily for him, though he isn’t speeding through it due to them being very slippery, something we saw in the first heat. 6 stones down, but the 7th is just too much for him. Now it all depends on what Shivlyakov can do. 53.06 seconds for 6 stones. If He can beat that, the Russian will go into the final. He is going much faster, and seems to be lifting them easier too, but he slips on the 6th stone and starts to run out of time, and he seems to have injured himself. What this means is that Bishop makes the final, but unfortunately we have another injured athlete.
There we have it. Faires and Bishop make the final, but Shivlyakov and Singleton are heartbroken after losing out due to injury.