Only 4 places remain for the finals, and 2 of them are being taken today! These 5 men are all vying for those spots in the 2021 WSM Final:
- Terry Hollands – 2x 3rd Place WSM
- Adam Bishop – Britain’s Strongest Man 2020 & 6th Place WSM 2020
- Jerry Pritchett – 4th Place WSM 2020
- Konstantine Janashia – 4th Place WSM 2016
- Chris van der Linde – 1st WSM Appearance
4 athletes have made the final at least once before, with veteran Terry Hollands being there 9 times in total, and a 3rd place finisher twice. However he hasn’t made the final since 2015, with his better days far behind him. Pritchett looked phenomenal last year, losing out on a podium finish by just 2 points. If he’s still in great shape, he’ll be a shoe-in for the final once again. Bishop is one of the best in Britain right now and has what it takes to make the final, however Janashia has a habit of preventing British athletes from making the finals, and he’s been in 4 of them already. While I’d love to see another Brit in the finals, I think in the end it’ll be Jerry and Konstantine making it through. As for Linde, he’s a total wild card so I can’t predict anything from him either way.
Event 1 – Loading Medley
In his day, Hollands was fantastic at this. In his later years he has actually slimmed down a lot and has better fitness, so he could still get a good time. Bishop might be the best in this group though, with Janashia a close second. Pritchett always seems too BIG to move as fast as everyone else which will impact him. Shall be interesting to see what Linde is capable of though! Van Der Linde and Terry Hollands are up first, and its Hollands looking the best. Linde is struggling a lot, but manages loading all 3 objects at least. The frame is proving too much for Terry, but at least he gets some distance, while Linde barely gets over the starting line. Terry is complaining about his arm, hopefully its not something that will put him out of the competition. Up next we have Janashia, returning after injuring himself in the final in 2019. Pritchett is his head-to-head opponent. Well, Jerry is moving much faster than I was expecting, keeping up with the massive Georgian, but after struggling on the final barrel, Janashia is able to move ahead and get to the frame first where he does incredibly well to get around half way. Jerry does better than Linde, but not by much, and he seems to be suffering from back problems right now. Only Bishop left to go, and while the loading part shouldn’t be much trouble for him, I’m not sure how well he’ll be on the frame carry as it has stumped so many incredible strongmen across all the heats so far. He takes his time with the loading part, maybe saving energy for the frame, but it doesn’t help any as he is beaten by the 375KG implement. A bad start for him as even the small distance he moved the frame, it isn’t counted as it was determined to have slid there.
Heat 2 – Dead Lift
Well this event will suit Bishop MUCH better as he is one of the best deadlift for reps strongmen ever. Hollands used to be one of the best, but I don’t see him winning this one. Pritchett is one of the beat deadlifters for max weight, but with a hurt back, this might be too much for him. Bishop goes first and alone due to finishing last in the previous event, but he might end up taking first when its all said and done. If he gets 9 or 10 I think it’ll be a winning number. He gets to 9 before taking a break, but he’s unable to go any further. Now to see if the number will hold, and I think it will. Pritchett and Linde are out now. Linde is a massive human being so I look forward to seeing what kind of POWER he has. Both look good getting to 4, but Linde seems to be exhausted and can’t do any more. Jerry gets a 5th but seems to be in pain. Normally we’d expect more from Pritchett but again, that back injury will be preventing him from doing more. Janashia and Hollands are supposed to be up next, but Hollands has announced he has indeed torn his left biceps. However, he’s still competing in this event just for sheer pride and to go out on a high note! 6 reps for Terry which is an insane number considering his injury, while Janashia does extremely well with 8 reps for 2nd place. Also, that means he’ll get points for 3rd place, costing Pritchett an extra point, helping out Bishop!
Event 3 – Fingal’s Fingers
Well, as we go into event 3, we find out that Linde is also out of the competition due to heat exhaustion. That leaves us with just Bishop, Pritchett and Janashia fighting for the 2 qualifying places. This event should be a good one for Janashia and Pritchett, while I see Bishop coming last. Pritchett is first and goes it alone. His back seems to be slowing him down, with fingers 3 and 4 looking difficult on the pickup, but pushing them over isn’t much of an issue. The 5th is very, very hard, and proves too much in the end. If Bishop can do 4 in a faster time it will help him out immensely. If Janashia is as good as I remember, he’ll definitely beat the time for 4 and maybe even get the 5th over if he feels he needs it. Well, neither are able to get that 4th up, which I’m very surprised at!
Well we are now half way into a very strange heat, so lets have a look at the overall scores.
Janashia looking good in first place right now, while Jerry and Adam will likely be battling it out to simply be 2nd overall going into the final event so the other man has to pass each stone first. Definitely an interesting heat as we know which 3 men will be top 3 going into the final event, we just don’t know exactly which 2 will have to face off in the stones and who gets into the final automatically!
Event 4 – Overhead Medley
Bishop is better suited at deadlifting than overhead pressing, so unless Janashia and Pritchett have a bad day, I see him taking another last place. Well, he gets through 3 fairly easily, and decides against the 4th. TACTICS, maybe, hoping one of the other 2 men have a bad day, or simply save energy knowing he’ll be going into the stone-off. Janashia going it alone here, not sure why, and just doing a single press gets him enough points to go into the final already, but for some reason he continues on and makes the third barbell look like a child’s toy! He isn’t able to get the 4th one up though and decides against trying too hard as he injured himself on this event 2 years ago. Now for Jerry, who seems to be having that bad day I mentioned. He isn’t even able to press the first one, but it doesn’t really matter as he is in the stone-off anyway. Bishop takes the event win!
Event 5 – Pickaxe Hold
And now we have… essentially a pointless event! No matter who places where here, the overall positions won’t change. Janashia is in the final, and Bishop has the advantage going into the stone-off. So… will any of them even bother trying? The answer is yes, for pride and to give the crowd a show. Good for them!
Event 6 – Stone Off
Bishop is a great stone lifter and has gone through to the final twice I believe on similar events. Pritchett is normally a very good stone lifter too, but his injured back might be too much to overcome. Sadly for him, it is, and the IRON WARRIOR is unable to make the final this time.
And so ends the strangest heat I’ve seen in a long, long time. 2 men withdrew, another injured but kept going only to lose out. Janashia makes his 5th final and looks good, while Bishop is going to his 3rd final. He has some good events in the final so he’ll be looking to do better than his 6th place finish last year. We also find out that Terry Hollands is retiring. Again. If he comes back I’ll have to call him Terry Funk!