Tom Stoltman is your 2021 World’s Strongest Man. He went toe to toe with Brian Shaw, who trailed Stoltman by a single point, and loaded all five Atlas stones in 20.21. Brian Shaw took second and Maxime Boudreault of Canada placed third (and got second in the stones). On day one of the Finals, Stoltman set a new WSM record: His seven-point lead heading into the Keg Toss is the largest ever after two Finals events. (Five-time WSM winner Mariusz Pudzianowski achieved this feat twice, but after three events.)
Notably, 2020 WSM Oleksii Novikov did not qualify for the Finals, as Kevin Faires edged him out on the Pickaxe Hold by about two seconds. Though the two tied, Kevin’s superior time earned him a spot in the Stone Off (which he lost).
Graham Hicks of the UK dropped out before the competition started due to an injured groin. Then, Luke Richardson and Terry Hollands dropped out on day two. Hollands also announced his retirement from WSM. At the end of day two, Chris van der Linde also withdrew due to sickness.
Editor’s Note: Results are from BarBend‘s reporter in Sacramento. These results should not be considered final until after the World’s Strongest Man Facebook Live show: World’s Strongest Man: BACKSTAGE LIVE, which airs each day of competition at 4:00 p.m. PST.
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Man, this contest is getting heated! After two less-than-ideal performances from Tom Stoltman, the Scotsman maintains just a one-point lead over American Brian Shaw. Though the last event is Atlas Stones, and Tom Stoltman hasn’t lost an Atlast Stone event in two years.
Luke Stoltman and Trey Mitchell are tied for third. If Luke podiums, then this will be the first time ever that two brothers stand atop a podium at WSM. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The Atlas Stones event was made up of five stones of ascending weight from 310 to 465 pounds. Each competitor raced to load all five stones onto pedestals in the fastest time possible. Of course, Tom Stoltman is a stone specialist, and so it was almost a lock. Maxime Boudreault also put on an impressive performance, getting second, by loading all five stones eight seconds behind Tom. Bobby Thompson, who was in ninth place before the event took place withdrew.
Athletes had to lift 345 kilograms (760 pounds) for max reps in one minute. Each barbell supported giant KNAACK toolboxes on each end. The temperature at the start of the event was 84 degrees.
The first event of the final day was the Log Lift. Each competitor was given the opportunity to lift the following weight in each round to advance to the next:
215 Kilograms (474 Pounds)
205 Kilograms (452 Pounds)
195 Kilograms (430 Pounds)
185 Kilograms (408 Pounds)
170 Kilograms (375 Pounds)
Tom Stoltman dominated day one of the Finals with two event wins and a tie for second in the Keg Toss. Brian Shaw, who wants title number five, broke his own Keg Toss record not once but three times for a new score of 7.75 meters. Maxime Boudreault of Canada managed to make up some serious ground and now sits in third place overall. Bobby Thompson now sits in dead last, three points behind Trey Mitchell.
Each strongman was given up to three attempts to launch a 15-kilogram (33-pound) keg over the bar. Those who were successful advanced to the next round, where the bar was raised. Here were the heights:
According to WSM, the world record headed into the event was 7.25 meters, set by Brian Shaw in the 2016 WSM qualifying stage. Well, Shaw broke his own record (three times) with a 7.26, 7.5, and then a 7.75-meter keg toss to win the entire event.
Notably, Konstantine Janashia, Boudreault, and Tom Stoltman all technically broke world records, too. Simply put: The Keg Toss was a record-fest. Here are the results.
All 10 finalists were tasked with rotating a 30-ton train around a gigantic wooden turntable. Though the Sacramento weather teased relief early on, the temperature at the time of this event reached around 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brian Shaw, who let out an audible roar after his run, placed in the middle of the pack. Trey Mitchell got second, six seconds behind Stoltman, and is now tied for fourth with the Georgian Bull. JF Caron has now dropped down to seventh and is in a three-way tie with Adam Bishop and Melsted.
The Giant’s Medley has wrapped. Athletes were tasked with carrying a 970-pound Super Yoke 10 meters before transitioning to a 772-pound Frame Carry, which they raced 15-meters to finish. Fan-favorite — and a favorite to take the whole shebang — Tom Stoltman won the event with a time of 18:36 seconds. Konstantine Janashia got second and American Brian Shaw — who is fighting for his fifth WSM title — claimed third. Everyone but Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted of Iceland finished the medley. Here are the full results:
Well, that’s a wrap, folks! Notably, 2020 WSM winner Oleksii Novikov didn’t advance. Brian Shaw had a dominant showing. Americans Trey Mitchell and Bobby Thompson managed to climb up the ranks and secure a spot by winning their respective groups. Also, Mark Felix had a stellar comeback during day three of WSM and went stone-to-stone with Tom Stoltman. It didn’t go his way, but the 55-year-old showed serious grit.
Athletes were tasked with a brutal overhead pressing medley. All five groups took part in this one. Trey Mitchell took his first event win of the competition and now trails Tom Stoltman by a single point on the overall leaderboard. After finishing first in his group for the Train Push event, Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted is now tied for second. Adam Bishop is now in second place in his group, and Novikov is tied with Luke Stoltman for first. Brian Shaw leads his group by 4.5 points.
The weights and implements used are as follows:
The pickaxe weighed 60-pounds, and competitors had to hold it for as long as possible. No one broke a minute.
Bobby Thompson and Luke Stoltman tied with 18 points, but because Thompson had the longer Pickaxe hold time, he is advancing to the Finals and Stoltman the Stone Off
The final event of the qualifying stage at the 2021 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest was the Stone Off. The third-place finisher in each group had to lift the Atlas Stone first in their respective matchup. Each matchup involved athletes lifting six stones of ascending weight: 310-465 pounds. Once they reach the sixth stone, they continued going back and forth on that stone until a winner was declared. The winners are marked in bold.
Two more men are officially out of the World’s Strongest Man. Late yesterday (June 15), Terry Hollands announced he was withdrawing from the competition. He also stated that this will be his last WSM competition at 42-years-old. Then, World’s Strongest Man announced on Instagram that Chris van der Linde of South Africa is also out.
Groups One, Five, and Four took on the Fingal’s Fingers — which hasn’t been in WSM since 2017 — and Groups Two and Three competed in the Train Push (which is still in progress).
Due to an issue with the brakes and then the competitor’s general inability to move the full train, the event was changed to a train push. The head of the train was detached from the body and competitors must push it as quickly as possible for 20 meters.
Johnny Hansson clocked the winningest time by two seconds and Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted of Iceland got first in Group Three to place himself second overall, just two points behind JF Caron.
Athletes were tasked with flipping over five fingers which ascended in weight from 320 to 380 pounds. Only Brian Shaw flipped all five. Notably, Oleksii Novikov, who had a less-than-ideal showing on day one, won his group.
Athletes could press the fingers from their shoulders to overhead but were required to use a hand-over-hand technique.
There was a brake issue with the train, and so WSM delayed the event to sort it out. Competitor Johnny Hansson pulled the train with the air brakes unknowingly on.
The event was changed to a train push, where athletes were tasked with pushing just the head of the train, which weighs 20 tons, as quickly as possible for 20 meters.
Graham Hicks of the UK pulled out of the contest and announced the news over Instagram on June 14, 2021. Ervin Toots of Estonia replaced Hicks and then switched qualifier group spots with Gavin Bilton, meaning Bilton moved to Group One and Toots is in Group Five. WSM also confirmed that Luke Richardson has pulled out of the competition after the first event due to an injury. Terry Hollands is also out with an undisclosed injury.
During Day one, June 15, 2021, athletes completed two events each — a loading medley and then either a squat or deadlift event. The medley proved to be incredibly tough, and a few athletes didn’t even finish. Notably, 2020 WSM winner Oleksii Novikov of Ukraine failed to complete the event. Here are the results from two of the three events.
Each athlete was tasked with loading two 225-pound barrels and a 275-pound anvil to a platform and then racing to complete an 825-pound frame carry. The medley proved to be incredibly tough, with a few athletes not finishing the event.
Only two of the groups took on this 700-pound squat event for max reps.
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Considering that he set a World’s Strongest Man record in the partial deadlift last year, Novikov was probably happy to take on this event, as was Toots, who suffered an injury during the squat event last year and was forced to withdraw from the competition.
*Terry Hollands suffered an undisclosed injury
With the first three days of competition done, here’s where each competitor stood before the second and third-place finishers in each group competed in the Stone Off:
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The World’s Strongest Man is in California for the first time since 2014. They signed a three-year deal with the Visit Sacramento Sports Commission (VSSC). The 2022 WSM contest and a third year to be announced at a later date will also take place in Sacramento. The contest will take place from June 15-20, with the 18th being an off-day between the end of the qualifying stage and the start of the Finals. Here is the full list of events for the 2021 WSM:
Featured image courtesy of World’s Strongest Man
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