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According to BarBend, the 2021 Arnold Strongman Classic will be held on the weekend of September 25-26. The show had been postponed from its usual March date due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. BarBend journalist Roger Lockridge mentions that the show might not be held in Columbus, Ohio this time around, with Santa Monica being tipped as a possible location.

The 2021 show is slated to be the 20th edition of the Arnold Strongman Classic. So far, the contest has taken place in Columbus every year since its inception. Defending champion Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson will not compete as he focuses on his upcoming boxing match with Eddie Hall, but last year's runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski will be looking to take home his first ever Arnold crown.

The planned return of the legendary Fortissimus strongman competition will have to wait another year.

The Plantagenet Bean Festival, which was slated to host the third edition of Fortissimus last September, has announced its cancellation for the second year in a row.

Official dates had not yet been announced for the third edition of Fortissimus, but its founder and promoter Paul Ohl had hoped to be able to stage the competition in September. However, Mr. Ohl confirmed on Wednesday morning that Fortissimus would not be happening in 2021.

"It would be impossible to hold the competition to the standards that are expected of it, in spite of all the strength competitions held elsewhere on the globe", he told Strongman Archives.

The province of Ontario, where the Plantagenet Bean Festival was due to be held, has been struggling with the third wave of COVID-19 recently, logging over 3 000 new cases per day this week. Preventive measures are still in place across Canada, making it very difficult to organize an international strongman contest.

Despite this second setback in as many years, Paul Ohl told Strongman Archives that the organizing team remains hopeful. "Nothing can shatter the morale of our troops!" he added.

A Long Absence

The first two editions of Fortissimus were held in 2008 and 2009, and they cemented the competition's legacy among strongman fans. Fortissimus is known for its unique format: 10 heavy events held over two days, featuring heavy implements and historic lifts such as the Back Lift and the Cyr Dumbbell. The 2008 edition featured Derek Poundstone's incredible triumph over Žydrūnas Savickas, with the American being the only man to lift the 241 kg Louis Cyr stone to seal the win. In 2009, however, Savickas prevailed over Poundstone in a thrilling competition.

After the 2009 show, Paul Ohl mentioned to Dr. Randall J. Strossen, of IronMind, that the organizers could not and would not settle for less than what was accomplished in 2008 and 2009. Unfortunately, a split between Mr. Ohl and Canada World Strength, which played an important role in putting together the first two editions of Fortissimus, meant that the strongman contest was not held in subsequent years.

Nevertheless, a comeback was always on the cards. Paul Ohl kept the Fortissimus name alive throughout the years and in 2019, the third edition of the contest was announced for September 2020. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans, and the competition was pushed back to 2021. Now, its organizers will start looking at 2022 for the big return of Fortissimus.

Photo: The winner celebrates with Georgian arm wrestler Levan Saginashvili. (Credit: Konstantine Janashia / Instagram)

Konstantine Janashia established his superiority during the final day of the 2021 Siberian Power Show in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, winning the overall competition by a comfortable eight-point margin.

After a disappointing showing at the recent WUS Strength Island contest, where he finished 14th, Janashia was simply dominant in Krasnoyarsk. The Georgian Bull got himself in the top three places in every event but one this weekend. A four-time World's Strongest Man finalist, Janashia led by a single point after the first day of action but built himself an insurmountable advantage in the Log Lift.

The 30-year-old Georgian saw his closest rivals, Travis Ortmayer and Dainis Zageris, fail to press the 170 kg piece of lumber. Zageris, who had been sitting in third after a day of competition, could not even get the massive log to his shoulders. The Latvian left the stage shaking his head in disbelief. Travis Ortmayer did get the log up, but could not get the weight stabilized over his head despite his friend Mikhail Koklyaev's encouragements.

The Log Lift caused problems to multiple athletes; six of the 13 men could not get a single repetition. For others, however, it looked like an easy task. Wesley Claborn of the USA managed 4 reps without even resting the log on his chest. David Shamey of Russia, the lightest man in the contest, looked like an Olympic weightlifter as he explosively launched the log overhead for 3 reps.

However, two men rose above the rest: Konstantine Janashia and Evgeny Markov. Both of them were very deliberate in their movements, wasting no energy and getting 5 reps within the 60-second time limit. This allowed Janashia to build himself a huge cushion going into the Atlas Stones while Markov, the 2020 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Champion, got himself into second place overall.

The Atlas Stones also proved very difficult. Even the first stone, weighing only 120 kg, caused problems to some of the shorter athletes, who had to press the stone up onto the podium. Others struggled with their tacky. Rauno Heinla and Travis Ortmayer, typically awesome stone lifters, ran through the first four concrete balls but the 200 kg stone kept slipping through their arms. This was not a problem for Wesley Claborn, who completed the set in under 30 seconds en route to winning the event.

Evgeny Markov also looked impressive in the Atlas Stones. The "Russian Bear" managed to lift all five stones just outside Claborn's time. However, Konstantine Janashia only had to lift three stones to guarantee himself the competition victory. The Georgian still wanted to finish the Siberian Power Show in style, and took his time before making the final stone look easy.

The Georgian Bull finished on 67.5 points and will go home with US $5000. Evgeny Markov was second with 59.5 points and Wesley Claborn's brilliant second day was enough to get him on the podium with a total of 53 points. Travis Ortmayer got fourth place on countback ahead of David Shamey, while Rauno Heinla took sixth.

Janashia and Ortmayer will now prepare for the upcoming World's Strongest Man competition, which will take place in June in Sacramento. We will see more of Evgeny Markov at the 2021 Arnold Strongman Classic, although the show's dates are yet to be confirmed.

Full results are available here.

Konstantine Janashia is out in front at the end of day one at the Siberian Power show. The Georgian Bull was consistent throughout all four events on Saturday afternoon in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and he currently holds a one-point lead, 44 to 43, over Travis Ortmayer.

Janashia and Ortmayer were tied heading into the final discipline of the day, the Power Stairs, but the Georgian simply dominated the event. Janashia was the only man to finish all 12 steps. The final implement, weighing 275 kg, caused the athletes a great deal of problems. Even Rauno Heinla, one of the best deadlifters in the world, couldn't get the last weight up a single step despite blitzing through the 175 and 225 kg implements. Travis Ortmayer, who was being cheered on by Janashia during his attempt, was very happy with second place. The Texan managed to lift the 275 kg weight up one step, and he had this to say on Instagram:

"Not only was it heavy, it was a massive block of concrete and the handle was tall as hell... all of which you don’t want in a power stairs implement! All that aside, what I really wanted to point out is the way strongman athletes never seem to hesitate to cheer their brothers on! With all that support, there was no way in hell I was missing that step!"

Dainis Zageris of Latvia is currently in third place with a total of 38 points. The veteran dominated the Bag Over Bar event, throwing five sacks ranging from 15 to 32 kg over a bar in only 12.50 seconds! Zageris was another man who managed to complete a step with the 275 kg implement in the Power Stairs.

Russia's David Shamey also wowed the crowd today. The resident of Belgorod, who turned 24 in March, normally competes at a bodyweight of under 110 kg. However, he certainly showed that he belongs in the open class, amassing 36 points during the first day of competition.

Strongman fans will be surprised to find Rauno Heinla down in 7th place. The Estonian always struggles with his grip, and he was at the bottom of the scoreboard in the Hercules Hold. Heinla faces an uphill battle, but he could still make up a few places in the final two events.

The athletes will have to face two classic tests of strength tomorrow: the Atlas Stones, ranging from 120 to 200 kg, and the Log Lift, which will require them to press out 170 kg for repetitions within a 60-second time limit.

Full results from day 1 are available here.

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