Tag Archives: Hafthor Bjornsson

Eddie Hall – Worlds Strongest Man 2017

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Last year one of the top 5 had been injured and in my opinion that’s why he got the podium last year, but that little taste of the podium seems to have pushed Eddie Hall to new heights. All that rarefied air drove Eddie Hall to new heights, heights so great he took the top spot to be crowned Worlds Strongest Man 2017 in Botswana.

Its not all celebrations since Eddie has taken hit time on the podium to follow through with his pledge to retire from Worlds Strongest Man when he won, but remain on the British Scene. Eddie is the first British Strongman to take the Top Spot in 24 years since Gary Taylor took it in 1993, before that it was the mighty Geoff Capes almost a decade before. 

Eddie’s win isn’t without a little controversy (more in the spoiler), but who cares we may get some of that Olympic Mania funding around Strongman now and it will get more popular and more gym equipment, whoop. I remember back in the late 80s maybe early 90s going to the local nature park for a carnival or summer fair to see Geoff Capes, it was a huge fanfare, lets see those days again.

Eddies Words

I can't say how I've done at wsm but I can say I'm now retired from wsm! I'll still be on the British scene for many years to come and I thank all my fans and sponsors and my family and friends to the moon and back. Massive thanks to my wife who I dearly love and ow a lot of my success to her. Also my manager Mo Chaudry not only changed my life for the better but one of my best friends. Big Love The Beast @proteindynamix @xploape @strengthasylum @alphadesignsuk @bobosbeard @blakemans @wrightspies @pulseworldwide @getnewage @sbdapparel @giantslive #alphadesign #wrightspies #strengthasylum #giants #giantslive #proteindynamix #bobosbeardoil #beast #beard #deadlift #deadlifts #boss #bosslife #hulk #strong #strongman #strongmantraining #pulse #getnewage #performance #mouthguard #SBD #supports #SBDapparel

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Spoiler Alert

Don’t click the following if you don’t want to know the final scores and line up: [toggle title=”Spoiler”]The top 3 were the ever predictable Eddie Hall (51 Points), Hafthor Bjornsson (50 Points) and Brian Shaw (49 Points) with only a single point separating them. Hafthor believed he should have won but lost on a referee’s decision that one of his reps didn’t count giving Hall 1 point, and the win. Had that that not happened, Thor would have won, Eddie Second and Brian Shaw Third. Thor posted on Instagram that he believed he was robbed, so little bit upset. Lets hope Eddie doesn’t end up like Oberyn Martell with a crushed head at the hands of The Mountain.

Final Placements

1. Eddie Hall – 51 points
2. Hafthor Bjornsson – 50 points
3. Brian Shaw – 49 points
4. Jean-Francois Caron
5. Mateusz Kieliszkowski
6. Martins Licis
7. Laurence Shahlaei
8. Zydrunas Savickas
9. Konstantine Janashia
10. Nick Best

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The Final Word

Laurence Shahlaei at Body Power

Laurence Shahlaei at Body Power 2017

It would appear that Zyndrunas Savickas’ Upper and Lower back injuries not to mention huge weight loss has reduced his odds of joining the 5x club. Maybe Colin Bryce was right when he said earlier in the year that unless Big Z stops being more like Medium Z and gets back to being Big Z his chances aren’t good (Dec 2016 in WSM PodCast).

Its almost reminiscent of Mark Felix who has taken up Cross-Fit, lost a huge amount of weight and looks damned good for a 50yr old man. The price has been his raw strength, has Big Z fallen in to the same trap. Better question, is the weight loss because of his back injuries ?  

Some strong shows from other finalists, including Laurence Shahlaei who is the come back kid, having retired once now he’s back in the top 10 worlds strongest men again, sporting a rather nice beard. 

Its also interesting that Hafthor has made his 6 consecutive podium place, but its also a shame Mark Felix didn’t make this is 10th consecutive final, but I can’t wait to watch this when its on TV. 

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Worlds Strongest Man 2016 – The Final

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

I have just finished watching Worlds Strongest Man – The Final, I read dozens of reviews and watched various bits of phone video from the actual event a few months back closer to the time it actually happened. 

Nothing compares to watching how close it were, like in the 825lb frame carry, it were a tiny mistake between Szymanski finishing before Bjornsson, or seeing how close Bjornsson came to caving his own head in trying to catch the 24kg kettlebell in from 4m drop. 

I delayed this post a few days, but If you haven’t watched it all yet, Channel 5 has lots of Strongman stuff on demands go there before scrolling down as lots of SPOILERS here, also check out my other posts, Mark Felix Cross Fitter and Worlds Strongest Man back in August, or Eddie Halls Documentary on Netflix or my Christmas Post on Arthur Saxon who is the daddy of strongman. 

The Frame Carry

Eddie Hall didn’t fair well here, I assumed the earlier injury would set the tone but wasn’t the case. He revealed later on in the show that during the frame carry one of his dislocated fingers popped out again. It didn’t seem to have a heap of impact through the event other than obvious swelling.

Laurence Shahlaei overcame so many injuries to come back only to be taken out after a reasonable placement in the first event. This were the only Injury in the final, but about the 3-4 in the heats and final combined.

Frame Carry @ 825lbs (Event 1 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 17.69 Seconds 10 pts
2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 22.82 Seconds 9 pts
3 Brian Shaw USA 28.25 Seconds 8 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 41.29 Seconds 7 pts
5 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51.29 Seconds 6 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 52.93 Seconds 5 pts
7 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 24.3 Meters 4 pts
8 Jean-François Caron CAN 21.1 Meters 3 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak POL 1.30 Meters 2 pts
10 Eddie Hall GBR 0.20 Meters 1 pts

 

The Circus Barbell

Brian Shaw looked as though he simply lost track of time, and may have had 1 more in the tank, Eddie were maxed out I think. Martins I believe should have hit 7 but he like Shaw were just out of time.

Much like the Axel later this event has been made all the harder. The Circus Barbell were a non-rotating barbell. If you have ever used a fixed bar, its so much harder once they start rotating, your wrists just aren’t powerful enough to fight the rotational force. 9/10 for me, its usually 1 side which gives way and recovery is near enough impossible for us normal-ish sized humans. 

Circus Barbell (Event 2 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 8 Reps 10.5 pts
=1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 8 Reps 15.5 pts
=2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 7 Reps 16.5 pts
=2 Brian Shaw USA 7 Reps 15.5 pts
5 Martins Licis USA 6 Reps 13 pts
6 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 5 Reps 15 pts
=7 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Reps 5.5 pts
=7 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Reps 6.5 pts
9 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 2 Reps 7 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Reps Retired / Injured

 

The Deadlift

This were a fixed Axel style barbell, so much thicker and stronger than a regulation or gym barbell. There were a few of these minor changes which added a new dimension to some of the events. In the Axel Deadlift Brian Show has held the world record since 2013, that is until Eddie Hall destroyed it, only for Brian Shaw to match him immediately after.

The main difference between this type of bar and the normal bars is the thickness and rigidity. The former means your grip and poor Eddies fingers would be pushed to the limit. The Rigidity means there is much less flex in it, which doesn’t sound like a big deal. The result is, you’re taking the full load much lower/earlier in the lift at the hardest part.

It didn’t help that they added a platform to bring the bar to a more standard lifting height. This wouldn’t have helped Brian or Hafthor at all, and even Eddie at 6ft+ wouldn’t have been fun. After JF Caron matched the 2013 Record, the remaining men decided enough at 445kg, their hamstrings were suffering and to avoid injury and save some juice for the last few events they agreed to share the points. 

Deadlift (Event 3 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 445 kg 20 pts
=1 Brian Shaw USA 445 kg 25 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 435 kg 14.5 pts
=4 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 420 kg 22 pts
=4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 420 kg 23 pts
=6 Matjaz Belsak SLO 400 kg 10 pts
=6 Martins Licis USA 400 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 375 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 375 kg 9.5 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 kg Retired / Injured

 

The Plane Pull

Over the years Worlds Strongest Man has pulled locomotive trains, boats, ships, cars, trucks, juggernauts and various planes. This time it were a C130 Hercules Jet cracking the scales at a mammoth 40 Metric Tonnes. 

During the heats, the Truck Pull event were a “mere” 18 Metric tonnes, this bad boy which is used normally to transport Rhinoceros and big game animals and possibly Zyndrunas Savickas 😉 were a beast. When you consider a 18 Tonne Truck would need about 350kg of force to get it moving, you can imagine the forces needed for a 40 tonne plane.

Brian Shaw near enough passed out in his harness and needed to be lowered to the ground. None of them made it the full 25m, I this this maybe the first time none of the competitors have actually finished a pull. this would be most galling for Bjornsson who were so very very close, but once that monster rolls to a stop, no one has the energy to get it moving a second time. 

Plane Pull C130 Hercules @ 40 Tonnes (Event 4 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 24.90m 32 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 24.53m 34 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 24.45m 28 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 24.06m 30 pts
5 Matjaz Belsak SLO 23.55m 16 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 23.35m 14.5 pts
7 Martins Licis USA 22.53m 21.5 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 22.14m 20.5 pts
9 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 21.73m 16.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00m Retired / Injured

 

The Kettlebell Throw

I had seen a little of this in camera phone footage, and read some reports and it were a tense moment when the 24-26kg kettlebell nearly fell on Hafthors head as he tried to catch it. Seeing it in full high definition is a “woah” woman, what on earth was the mountain thinking, ain’t most measter put out your caved in head back together here.

Such a shame that he missed that throw and knocked his stride, I believe he could have scored the full 10 pts and possibly put Shaw off his game with the manic behaviour and display of power to take the top spot.

Kettlebell Throw 20kg-30kg (Event 5 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Brian Shaw USA 6 Bells / 34.97 Seconds 44 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 6 Bells / 40.22 Seconds 41 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 5 Bells / 31.88 Seconds 24.5 pts
4 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Bells / 56.92 Seconds 35 pts
5 Konstantine Janashia GEO 5 Bells / 59.50 Seconds 36 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Bells / 22.78 Seconds 19.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Bells / 34.28 Seconds 24.5 pts
8 Matjaz Belsak SLO 3 Bells / 49.61 Seconds 19.0 pts
9 Martins Licis USA 0 Bells / 60.00 Seconds 21.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Bells / 0 Seconds Retired / Injured

 

The Atlas Stones

Much like the heats, the final event were The Stones. All 9 men showed good strength, but a few were let down by technique. I think Szymanski and Janashia will improve with time, and Kielszkowski may have to sacrifice some of that speed for a little more power. Licis did really well here, in Strongman terms he were weeks behind Eddie, but with honing his technique I see sub-30 seconds in his future. I can also see Atlas Stones in the fields of his farm where there used to be bales of hay.

It were a bit annoying as they didn’t show the times Bjornsson and Shaw achieved so I timed them myself 3 or 4 times and I went with the highest time. They were buckets ahead of the nearest competitor. 

Atlas Stones 210kg Max (Event 6 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Final Placement
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 5 Stones / 26.95 Seconds 51 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 5 Stones / 27.83 Seconds 53 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Stones / 29.68 Seconds 43 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 5 Stones / 34.80 Seconds 28.5 pts
5 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Stones / 24.19 Seconds 25.5 pts
6 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Stones / 29.79 Seconds 29.5 pts
7 Konstantine Janashia GEO 4 Stones / 29.92 Seconds 40 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Stones / 32.38 Seconds 27.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Stones / 37.12 Seconds 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00 Retired / Injured

 

The Final Standings

Seeing these final scores, the Kettlebell Toss could have been the game changer to knock Shaw down and give Bjornsson his first win. I get the feeling The Mountain will be less Viking and more Berzerker Warrior over this, and be playing it over and over in his head.

Had it gone Hafthors way, I think the most likely outcome would have been a draw, had Eddie pushed a 450-455 on the deadlift, and Hafthor not fowled up the kettlebells, this would have been a very different ending. 

Final Standings
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Final Score
1 Brian Shaw USA 53 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 43 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 40 pts
5 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 29.5 pts
6 Martins Licis USA 28.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 27.5 pts
8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 25.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 4 pts

 

Worlds Strongest Man 2017

Next year, if Janashia, Licis and trhe Polish Duo of Kielszkowski and Szymanski work on their technique and keep developing, 2017 will be an interesting year and the old guard of Shaw, Bjornsson, Zydrunas (assuming he returns) and Hall maybe in for a dust up. 

Exciting times ahead. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Worlds Strongest Man 2016

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

I have been a fan of Worlds Strongest Man for years, and its one of the things which actually got me into gym were WSM. I discovered that guys with my build and strength levels had a sport. I didn’t need a six-pack and bulging muscles, I didn’t need to run a 100 in 10 or anything like that.

Brian Shaw took 1st place with 53pts, followed closely by Hafthor Bjornsson in 2nd just 2pt behind with 51pts who also broke a record or two along the way with Eddie Hall in 3rd with 43pts.

This gives Shaw is 4th WSM Title, matching him with Zyndrunas Savackas, Magnus Ver Magnusson and Jon Pall Sigmarsson. This also takes him ahead of Bill Kazmaier as the most wins for an american. One more win and he’s tying with Mariusz “The Dominator” Pudzianowski with a record 5 wins. Brians ultimate dream will be 2 more wins and he breaks history for 6 titles.

Hafthor Bjornsson broke the keg toss by launching a 15kg keg over 7 meters, he’s certainly racking up the record breaks in recent times. One of my favourite stories about Thor is about why they hired him for Game of Thrones. They needed someone who weren’t dwarfed by and able to lift the huge swords in the show. Most other actors were barely able to even lift the swords but what they didn’t expect is Hafthor to wield the sword with a single hand as if it were made of plastic. They agreed they had found the new Mountain there and then.

 

Eddie Hall takes his first ever podium spot. Theres lots of opinions such as Hall only got his podium place because Zyndrunas were out of contention this year due to a back injury. In saying that, Hall has been destroying deadlift records as the first man ever to break the 500kg barrier which many thought were another year away at least. Some speculate his concentration on deadlift has slowed his progress down speed and endurance wise.

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia via FB.

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia placed in somewhat of a shocker, first time in Worlds Strongest Man and he placed 4th place.

He’s quoted as saying early in 2015 “If I continue to grow at the same rate, in three years I will definitely be among the top five of the strongest men in the world.“.

Looks like he’s fulfilled his prophecy, in the various events he placed above Brian Shaw, Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall. After Day 1 of the WSM Final, he were in second place behind Shaw with Bjornsson in 3rd and Hall in 4th Place. Even if Savickas were in contention the Georgian Giant as they call him, would have been top 5 anyway.

At 24 years old, and 160kg I think we will be seeing a whole lot more of Janashia in future worlds contests and he’s certainly on track for a podium placement.

Looking at the previous placements over the last 8 yrs

Year First Second Third
2016 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
Eddie Hall
(UK)
2015 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2014 Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
Brian Shaw
(USA)
2013 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2012 Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Vytautas Lalas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2011 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Terry Hollands
(UK)
2010 Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Brian Shaw
(USA)
Mikhail Koklyaev
(Russia)
2009 Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Mariusz Pudzianowski (Poland) Brian Shaw
(USA)

The same 3 giants of the WSM game have dominated the podium for the last 8 yrs, the occasional other contender taking a single spot but then falls out of the top 3. However prior to Savickas, Bjornsson and Shaw it were dominated by Pudzianowski and Savickas with lots of random contenders, a much more open podium with 16 different men placing, which is more than double than the last 8.

With Savickas Injured, and Hafthor, Shaw, Hall and Konstantine all in their 20s, there is room for a new face or two on the podium.

Main Photo Copyright of TheWorldsStrongestMan, and Konstantine Photo Copyright of Konstantine Janashia

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.