Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

As I did last year, I am going to look a little more closely at the points that were earned in this year’s World Strongest Man Final and see what we can gleem from that. So welcome aboard the geek train as we do the 2010 World’s Strongest Man Final ‘by numbers’!

World's Strongest Man 2010 Final Results - Individual Events

As always, click on the above image to see a bigger version, which when numbers are involved is always handy. Aside from the first event where he came a lowly 6th, it’s Zydrunas Savickas’s consistent high scores that handed him the title of World’s Strongest Man 2010. After the Loading Race he won 3 events, came 2nd in another and 3rd in the Atlas Stones. That’s a similar story to Brian Shaw, who also won three events, 1 tied with Savickas, and came 4th in 2 and 3rd in one. They both ended up on the same points and Savickas must have won the competition based on having more 2nd place finishes than Shaw.

Mikhail Koklyaev competed very well in all events, and never achieved less than 5th place, twice coming 2nd and once in 3rd. The three podium winners placed well in all events and as such were quite a way ahead of Stefan Solvi Peturrson in 4th place and the rest of the field. Stefan also performed admirably for a first time finalist and if he can improve on his obviously weak events like the Deadlift and Loading Race then he’ll be a challenger for a podium place in 2011.

Last year there were 5 different event winners, but this year only Savickas, Shaw and Ortmayer won an event. Of course that may have been different if they’d included the Plane Pull because even a Terry Hollands with sub-par training would be favourite to take that victory. You also wouldn’t want to bet against Travis Ortmayer in the Atlas Stones had he not been injured in the Giant Log Lift. In fact, if Shaw hadn’t made that mistake in the Loading Race then he’d have won that event and not only would he have won World’s Strongest Man 2010 but only he and Savickas would have won events, which just goes to show how dominant those two were, amongst a field of injury riddled Strongmen.

When you look at the events involved, there was also no Boat Pull like we saw last year. This is one that Brian Shaw destroyed everyone in last year and one in which Savickas only placed 8th in. Conversely, there was no Farmer’s Walk this year, and as strange as that felt, it’s an event that Savickas win last year and Shaw only came 7th in. It does seem that although the events were different to last year, they were well balanced in their choosing and catered for everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.

I think we’ve dissected those points enough, now let’s look at how people’s position’s changed as the competition progressed.

World's Strongest Man 2010 Final Progress

The most obvious change to me is Travis Ortmayer who is neck and neck for first place for two events but then he plummets after his injury. Interesting that although he was injured he only got overtaken in the last event when Stefan Solvi Pertursson managed to get 2nd place in the Atlas Stones. I think that’s testament to both Ortmayer’s determination and never say die attitude while injured, and the injury affected Hollands and Poundstone not being able to catch him up. While Best and Katona were actually ahead of Hollands and Poundstone I never expected either them to get high enough points scores to catch Ortmayer after his 18 point haul in the first 2 events. That’s not to take away from their amazing efforts, but in the arena of World’s Strongest Man there are some athletes that just stand out as super-human performers above the rest, and for Best and Katona that’s not a level they are at, yet.

Eventual winner Zydrunas Savickas only took the lead after the 4th event, and 3rd place Mikhail Koklyaev was actually ahead of him for the first half of this year’s final. In fact he and Shaw were the only 2 athletes to stay in the top 3 all the way from the first event to the last, with Savickas struggling in 6th and then 4th place for the first 2 events.

If you look at the purple line at the bottom on the far left, that’s where Stefan Solvi Petturson started the final, in last place. Then if you trace that line it starts to rise, and after the 4th event he’d pulled himself up to 5th place. It was then that magnificent performance in the Atlas Stones that saw him go ahead of Travis Ortmayer, who himself finished in 5th place for the 3rd year running.

That about wrap’s up the 2010 World’s Strongest Man – it’s been fun writing about it and it was a great competition. I re-watched the 2001 World’s Strongest Man final last week and it’s given me the motivtion needed to write some blog posts on previous competitions, so expect some of those soon. I was also considering doing my own WSM Hall of Fame. The official World’s Strongest Man Hall of Fame can be found here and so far they have inducted Svend Kalrsen and Mariusz Pudzianowski. I have no delusions of grandeur as to how mine will be perceived but it’s a bit of fun and my way of acknowledged the greats of this much over-looked and amazing sport. As always, I welcome your thoughts, so I’ll see you in the comments!

Read Full Post »

The World’s Strongest Man 2009 final was broadcast 4 days ago (in the UK), so now it’s time to look a bit closer at the numbers and see what we can gleam from that. First of all let’s look at the points scored by all competitors across all the events. You can click the image for a bigger, more legible version.

World's Strongest Man 2009 Final Results

One thing that stands out immediately is the 3 event victories by eventual winner Zydrunas Savickas, and when you see that he was runner up in a further 2 it’s clear that he was destined to lift this year’s trophy. If it wasn’t for such a poor performance in the Boat Pull, where he placed 8th, then his lead would have been even more than the 5 points it ended up being.

Of the 4 events that Savickas didn’t win, there were 4 different winners, which just go to show how open the field was this year. While it’s surprising after the last 6 years that Mariusz Pudzianowski was only victorious in 1 event, it’s just as surprising to me, given his form in last year’s final, the Giants Live Tour and his heat, that Derek Poundstone didn’t win any of the 7 events. In fact I’m surprised that Poundstone only finished 4th. Was he performing at his highest level or were the others just that much better on a more consistent basis?

Although he suffered from the flu during the heats, and it’s possible he hadn’t recovered by the time of the final, Travis Ortmayer was so good across all the other events that just one place better in the Giant farmer’s Walk, where he came last, would have seen him overtake Poundstone for 4th place overall. In fact a few more places better and he’d have climbed up to 3rd place and snatched Brian Shaw’s podium place. Speaking of Brian Shaw, what a fantastic performance in his first ever World’s Strongest Man final. The other competitors just have to hope there is no Boat Pull in World’s Strongest Man 2010 or that’s a guaranteed 10 points for Shaw – he’s that good.

The first 6 places are not too far apart, but the gap between Terry Hollands in 6th and Phil Pfister in 7th was a massive 12.5 points. Phil Pfister is no first timer at World’s Strongest Man, if you remember he famously beat Mariusz Pudzianowski in 2007 to become the champion. The level of competition was furiously high for World’s Strongest Man 2009, and Pfister’s points haul is clear evidence of that.

After looking at the numbers I was interested to see how the positions changed from event to event as the final progressed, so I plotted all the numbers into Excel and this is what we get. As before, click the image for a bigger version.

World's Strongest Man 2009 Final Progress

What stands out straight away is that only 2 competitors stayed in the same position throughout the duration of the final; Zydrunas Savickas in 1st, and Louis-Philippe Jean in 10th. In fact there wasn’t a great deal of position changing, most notable is Dave Ostlund’s gradual decline from his 2nd place finish in the Fingal’s Fingers to his eventual 8th place finish.

Travis Ortmayer dropped considerably after coming last in the Giant Farmer’s Walk but you can see how he claws his way back to 5th place after the Overhead Lift, where he stayed until the very end. Looking at the graph, after his disastrous (by his standards) 6th place finish in Fingal’s Fingers, Mariusz Pudzianowski was the most consistent performer. Had he performed better in that first event the whole competition could have gone a very different way, the psychological factor can never be under-estimated in World’s Strongest Man.

It’s interesting to see that after the Boat Pull the only position changes were that of Lauence Shahlaei overtaking Dave Ostlund for 8th place after the Deadlift, and then Ostlund retaking that 8th position again after the Atlas Stones. Those two aside, the positions for the 8 competitors stayed the same from the after the Boat Pull to the end.

If I can get access to the individual event results from previous competitions then I’d like to analyse those in a similar fashion. If you have those results then please email me or leave a comment. Any feedback, as always, is gratefully appreciated – I hope you enjoyed this different look at the World’s Strongest Man 2009 final, I know I did!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: