Latest Strongman News

The Giants Live tour visited Scotland for the first time ever on Saturday, and the local fans could not have been happier with the result... they were treated to a Stoltman 1-2!

Luke, Not Tom

Just a few weeks ago, 36-year-old Luke Stoltman had no international titles to his name. He now has two! Luke delivered a consistent performance in Glasgow, only getting maximum points in the Log Lift (tying with his brother) and amassing 37.5 out of a possible 50 points.

Still, Luke could hardly have done any better on these events. In the Atlas Stones, his impressive run of 19.91 seconds proved to be enough as his rivals faltered.

"I'm the best in the world, and I will prove that to you next year", Stoltman said.

A Rarity in the Stones

Going into the final event at the Giants Live World Tour Finals, Tom Stoltman had a one-point lead over Evan Singleton. That seemed insurmountable, given the fact that Luke's younger brother had won each of his last 10 stone lifting events in competition.

However, unbelievably, Stoltman mistimed his lift on the fourth stone. The 160 kg rock hit the lip of the platform and crashed to the ground, knocking the heavier fifth stone away in the process.

That was the opening Evan Singleton was looking for, but he made the same mistake and also saw his fifth stone roll away! The two men lost loads of time, and this allowed Luke Stoltman to win the competition. Tom finished one point back with 36.5, while Singleton amassed 33.5 points - just enough to hold off his countryman Kevin Faires.

Two New World Records

The day started with Cheick "Iron Biby" Sanou attempting the log lift world record. The athlete from Burkina Faso had been unable to attend the World Log Lift Championships on September 4 due to a missed connection at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Iron Biby was able to seize his opportunity. He made quick work of 180 and 207 kg before taking on the 229 kg world record attempt. Unlike the Axle Press record he set in July, there was no need for multiple tries! Biby pressed the log with ease, taking the record away from strongman legend Žydrūnas Savickas, who had held it since May 1, 2005.

Sanou was performing in honor of his father, Lancina, who passed away on August 21. Like his son, Lancina Sanou was an educated man: he founded the Alpha Solidarité schools in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso and dedicated his life to helping the youth learn.

Another world record was broken shortly after Sanou had left the platform. The Nicol Stones had been carried 21.50 metres by Scotland's Andy Black earlier this summer, but Kevin Faires was able to set the new mark at 22.20 metres. Black then tried to get his record back, but fell just short at 21.86 metres.

Find full results here.

Two major contests organized by the World's Ultimate Strongman (WUS) organization took place today in Dubai, and both came down to the wire.

WUS was staging their second international men's contest of the year, Friday evening, and they also held their first ever World's Ultimate Strongwoman competition.

Annabelle Chapman Surprises Many

Most observers predicted a battle between three-time World's Strongest Woman Donna Moore and 2018 champion Andrea Thompson. That is not what materialized in Dubai. Instead, Annabelle Chapman, who had been comfortably beaten by Moore a few weeks ago at the UK's Strongest Woman contest, stepped up to the occasion.

Chapman was consistent throughout the events, finishing in the top 4 in each discipline. This was enough for the athlete from Yorkshire as her main rivals all had one major stumble: Donna Moore only got 4 reps in the Log Lift, Melissa Peacock was unable to complete the Farmer's Walk, and Andrea Thompson finished last in the Atlas Stones. Thompson had been struggling with a calf injury throughout the show and missed out on the podium.

Donna Moore finished 2nd today, only two points behind Annabelle Chapman. Moore dug herself an early hole in the Log Lift, coming in sixth place, and although she won the Super Yoke and the Atlas Stones, it was not quite enough for the winner of UK's Strongest Woman.

Canada's Melissa Peacock finished a single point behind Moore to seal the biggest international podium in her career. The lightest woman in the field, Peacock showed her speed and agility in the Chain Railway Carriage and did very well on every event except the Farmer's Walk, where her grip unfortunately let her down. Peacock's performance was extremely impressive nonetheless.

Novikov Edges Out Kieliszkowski

It felt just like 2019 again as Oleksii Novikov and Mateusz Kieliszkowski battled in Dubai. Kieliszkowski, who had not competed in 18 months due to multiple tricep tears, truly showed that he was back.

The Polish athlete's attempt at redemption fell just short, in the end, as he failed the final stone in the series of 10. The stone, weighing 200 kg, was conquered by Novikov and this was what the Ukrainian needed. In the overall standings, Novikov won by a single point!

Although Kieliszkowski was understandably disappointed after coming so close to a win, everyone watching was impressed by how strong he was. Kieliszkowski won three individual events - the Super Yoke, the Farmer's Walk and the Chain Railway Carriage - and finished 10 points ahead of the third place finisher. Kieliszkowski's last international win came in October 2019 at the WUS Dubai contest.

The battle for 3rd place was also a thrilling one, and Aivars Šmaukstelis ended up taking it. The Latvian beat Jean-François Caron by nearly 20 seconds in the Atlas Stones, delivering a great performance to win the event. This is a second WUS podium this year for Šmaukstelis, who had also finished third at WUS Strength Island in March.

Only a few days before the 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man competition, world champion Tom Stoltman had to pull out, having tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately for the Stoltman family and for Scottish pride, his older brother Luke Stoltman was there to carry the flag.

Luke showed that he was in strong form by tying for the win in the opening event, the Max Log Lift, with Graham Hicks on 195 kg. He was then able to maintain the lead for the rest of the contest with a consistent performance: Stoltman took 2nd place in three of the four remaining events.

"I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years, and I feel the most privileged… the happiest I’ve ever felt, right now", Stoltman said before laughing in delight after the Atlas Stones.

Unbelievably, this was Luke Stoltman’s first international title! The Highland Oak used to spend long periods of time working offshore on oil rigs before quitting his job in 2020, which has greatly helped his performances in strongman.

Stoltman edged out the 2020 World’s Strongest Man, Oleksii Novikov, by only 1.5 points when all was said and done. Novikov lost multiple points in the 200 kg Shield Carry for distance and, despite winning the Car Walk and the Atlas Stones, the Ukrainian was unable to catch up. He was still enjoying himself a lot, and it was clear to see when he congratulated Luke Stoltman after the Atlas Stones.

Graham Hicks was able to take his second career Europe’s Strongest Man podium, and his first since 2014, by holding off Rauno Heinla. The Estonian was not disappointed as he got some good news after the competition.

"This time I got an answer, they will invite me to the 2022 WSM. We will see!" Heinla wrote on Instagram.

The two residents of Ireland, Marius Lalas and Pa O’Dwyer, tied for 5th place overall, only 2.5 points off the podium.

A Difficult Log Lift

The World Log Lift Championships, featuring Cheick Sanou, were highly anticipated… But sadly, it wasn’t to be. Sanou missed his connecting flight in Paris and was in a taxi during the Max Log Lift.

Meanwhile, the opening weight of 180 kg was a massive struggle for the athletes. The first 7 competitors to try the log all failed! Rauno Heinla and Adam Bishop came very close to locking it out, but could not quite control it - Bishop was even thrown backwards when he dropped the log.

On-site commentator Bill Kazmaier speculated that these misses may have been caused by the bright arena lights shining in the athletes’ faces. Multiple athletes who failed the opening weight had managed 180 kg in the past. This was notably the case for Rauno Heinla, Adam Bishop, Johnny Hansson and Pa O’Dwyer.

Therefore, only 3 men registered a lift! Luke Stoltman and Graham Hicks both completed 195 kg, while Oleksii Novikov successfully locked out 180 kg and wisely stopped there. Hicks opted not to attempt 207.5 kg while Stoltman did so twice, but it just wasn’t in the cards on Saturday.

What’s Next?

The athletes will be able to rest up this week, but they will be back on the grind very soon. On Friday, September 17, at the WUS Dubai show, Mateusz Kieliszkowski will be making his return to competition after an 18-month absence. He will face elite athletes such as Oleksii Novikov, Jean-François Caron and Rauno Heinla, among others. The strongest women in the world will also be taking part in the inaugural World’s Ultimate Strongwoman competition. Strongman Archives will be following both contests!

Just a day later, on September 18, Giants Live will head to Glasgow, Scotland for the World Tour Finals. Tom and Luke Stoltman will both be there, squaring off against international challengers including Maxime Boudreault, Trey Mitchell, Evan Singleton and Kevin Faires.

After 7 of 8 events at the second Shaw Classic, it was all to play for. Jean-François Caron, Trey Mitchell and Brian Shaw had to face one final challenge: 5 Atlas stones, ranging from 159 to 204 kg. In the end, Caron had nothing left, while Mitchell made it look ridiculously easy, finishing the set in just over 28 seconds to claim the biggest title of his career, 3 points ahead of legendary strongman Brian Shaw.

Mitchell had put himself in a great spot early on. The Texan led the overall standings after each of the first five events before his grip gave up on him in the Power Medley. Mitchell notably tied with Bobby Thompson for the win in the Max Log Lift with 455 lb / 206 kg. He then continued scoring big points in each discipline except the Power Medley, culminating with what seemed like an easy win in the Atlas Stones. Mitchell is well known for his prowess in stone lifting events. In 2019, he defeated future World’s Strongest Man champion Oleksii Novikov in a thrilling Last Man Standing battle.

The Title Leaves Colorado

The founder of the Shaw Classic, 4-time World’s Strongest Man title winner Brian Shaw, had taken a great win last year and he was the favourite going into this year’s edition. However, the big man from Colorado came just a bit short this time around. Shaw surprisingly failed the 420 lb log in the opening event – last year, he had managed 440 lb.

There is no doubt that all the work behind the scenes took its toll on Shaw, who finished 2nd in this year’s World’s Strongest Man contest behind Great Britain’s Tom Stoltman. Shaw was still very consistent throughout the show, accumulating 101.5 points despite not winning a single event over the weekend.

Close Call for Caron

9-time Canadian champion Jean-François Caron came into the contest after recovering from a serious hamstring tear sustained in this year’s World’s Strongest Man competition. Very few pundits were picking him to win the show, but Caron was able to put himself in the lead with only the Atlas Stones remaining.

Caron performed exceptionally well in multiple events. Although he did not break his world record of 1202 lb in the Hummer Tire Deadlift, the resident of Les Hauteurs did enough to tie for the event win with Adam Bishop. Caron, who managed to finish 3rd at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man contest, was one of only four men to complete the Power Medley before getting third place in the Dumbbell Press. Sadly for him, he was clearly in pain during the Atlas Stones and could not perform as well as he would have wanted, leaving him on 99 points.

A Brutal Show

Caron was not the only athlete to finish the weekend in pain. Evan Singleton, who had won the Giants Live World Open less than two weeks before the Shaw Classic, had to skip the Car Squat due to a hamstring issue. Singleton still won three individual events and finished 5th, just behind an impressive Kevin Faires.

Bobby Thompson, who finished 6th overall, suffered a proximal bicep tendon injury while going for his first repetition in the Dumbbell Press… but, being the warrior that he is, Thompson was still able to complete 3 reps in spite of the pain.

Konstantine Janashia also had a tough go after pinching a nerve in his lower back. Janashia had difficulty walking to the various implements, but he still finished the show.

This was sadly not the case for veterans Žydrūnas Savickas and Mikhail Shivlyakov, who both had to withdraw early. Meanwhile, Graham Hicks and Jerry Pritchett were unable to perform certain events due to past injuries flaring up.

The Shaw Classic was certainly a grueling show, and many participants will have to take some time to heal up. However, Adam Bishop and Graham Hicks are both competing at Europe’s Strongest Man on Saturday in Leeds, England – a very quick turnaround for these two British athletes!

Completing one strongman competition is no easy task... but finishing a contest and then driving 11 hours during the night to try to defend your national title is just not feasible. Pavlo Kordiyaka now knows all about it.

The 2020 Ukraine's Strongest Man champion had not entered a competition this year due to a nagging lower back injury when he decided to accept an invite to the Marijampolė International in Lithuania on Saturday, August 21. Kordiyaka is used to competing in Marijampolė, having taken 3rd place in the 2019 edition of the show.

After confirming his presence in Lithuania, Kordiyaka got word that the Ukraine's Strongest Man contest had been moved forward to Sunday, August 22.

"The Ukrainian federation changed the dates… I chose to try!" Kordiyaka told Strongman Archives.

Although he defeated Oleksii Novikov in 2020, Kordiyaka needs the exposure – the Ukrainian has not gotten many international invites over the years. The Marijampolė International is also a great stepping stone for Eastern European athletes: Aivars Šmaukstelis, Oleksii Novikov and Ivan Makarov are some of the strongmen who have thrived in Marijampolė before getting bigger opportunities.

2,000 Kilometres Behind the Wheel

Therefore, Pavlo Kordiyaka left his hometown of Lviv and drove 9 hours to Marijampolė in order to compete last Saturday. Kordiyaka did very well, finishing 2nd overall despite not getting a rep in the Deadlift due to his back injury. The competition was won by local hero Audrius Jokūbaitis, while former World's Strongest Man competitors Dainis Zageris and Ervin Toots struggled, the latter being forced to withdraw due to injury.

After the show, Kordiyaka accepted his trophy and quickly left! He had to drive over 11 hours to the small village of Slavske, in southwestern Ukraine, in order to try to defend his Ukraine's Strongest Man title early in the afternoon.

Unfortunately for Kordiyaka, it did not work out as well as he had hoped. He struggled in the opening events and withdrew, telling Strongman Archives that he was "extremely exhausted". With four-time champion Oleksii Novikov also unable to compete, veteran Oleksandr Kochergin dominated the show, winning five of six events.

Future Plans

Despite losing his national crown, Kordiyaka is far from disappointed. The 26-year-old has more contests planned, including the Savickas Classic in September, the Emirates Strongest Man contest in October and the Official Strongman Games in November. A top-2 finish in Dubai would earn him a WUS spot for 2022, while a top-3 finish in the Official Strongman Games would give him a guaranteed Giants Live invite.

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