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Thanks for the heads up from Chris Hawkes that the full results for Day 2 are up on the official website, and here they are:

Circus Dumbbell Lift
1st Derek Poundstone – 10 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 8.5 points
2nd Travis Ortmayer – 8.5 points
4th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 7 points
5th Brian Shaw – 6 points
6th Dave Ostlund – 5 points
7th Kostiantyn Ilin – 4 points
8th Phil Pfister – 3 points
9th Nick Best – 1.5 points
9th Brian Siders – 1.5 points

Tire Deadlift
1st Zydrunas Savickas – 10 points
2nd Brian Shaw – 9 points
3rd Derek Poundstone – 8 points
4th Travis Ortmayer – 7 points
5th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 6 points
6th Nick Best – 5 points
7th Kostiantyn Ilin – 4 points
8th Brian Siders – 3 points
9th Dave Ostlund – 2 points
10th Phil Pfister – 1 point

Timber Carry
1st Derek Poundstone – 10 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 9 points
3rd Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 8 points
4th Travis Ortmayer – 7 points
5th Dave Ostlund – 6 points
6th Phil Pfister – 5 points
7th Brian Shaw – 4 points
8th Kostiantyn Ilin – 3 points
9th Nick Best – 2 points
10th Brian Siders 1 point

Timber Carry (Photo courtesy of arnoldstrongmanclassic.com)

The final standings were as follows:

1st Derek Poundstone – 45 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 41 points
3rd Travis Ortmayer – 37.5 points
4th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 37 points
5th Brian Shaw – 33 points
6th Dave Ostlund – 22.5 points
7th Phil Pfister – 20.5 points
8th Kostiantyn Ilin – 17 points
9th Nick Best – 13 points
10th Brian Siders – 8.5 points

A great competition for Derek Poundstone and some amount of payback against Zydrunas Savickas and his victory at World’s Strongest Man 2009. Now we can look forward to the World’s Strongest Man 2010 and a titanic battle between these two powerhouses, as well as 5 time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski and the likes of Travis Ortmayer, Brian Shaw and Terry Hollands.

After winning the Arnold Strongman Classic 2010, this is the moment Derek Poundstone proposed to his girlfriend Kristin Nelson:

She said yes! (Photo courtesy of arnoldstrongmanclassic.com)

Also worth mentioning that Derek Poundstone has also just launched his official website: Poundstone Power

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Ok, my investigatve reporting powers (otherwise known as checking the official website) can confirm the following results from Day 1.

Apollon’s Wheel
1st Zydrunas Savickas – 10 points
2nd Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 9 points
3rd Derek Poundstone – 8 points
4th Travis Ortmayer – 7 points
5th Phil Pfister – 6 points
6th Brian Shaw – 4 points
6th Dave Ostlund – 4 points
6th Kostiantyn Ilin – 4 points
9th Brian Siders – 2 points
10th Nick Best – 1 point

Koklyaev lifts the Appolon's Wheel

Manhood Stones
1st Brian Shaw – 10 points
2nd Derek Poundstone – 9 points
3rd Travis Ortmayer – 8 points
4th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 7 points
5th Phil Pfister – 5.5 points
5th Dave Ostlund – 5.5 points
7th Zydrunas Savickas – 3.5 points
7th Nick Best – 3.5 points
9th Kostiantyn Ilin – 2 points
10th Brian Siders – 1 point

Ortmayer with the Manhood Stone

It was the disappointing performance with the Manhood Stones that saw Savickas plummet from first place to 5th, and allowed Poundstone to take the lead going into day 2. The full table after Day 1 looks like this:

1st Derek Poundstone – 17 points
2nd Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 16 points
3rd Travis Ortmayer – 15 points
4th Brian Shaw – 14 points
5th Zydrunas Savickas – 13.5 points
6th Phil Pfister – 11 points
7th Dave Ostlund – 9.5 points
8th Kostiantyn Ilin – 6 points
9th Nick Best – 4.5 points
10th Brian Siders – 3 points

Photos courtesy of arnoldstrongmanclassic.com.

More details at the Arnold Sports Festival Website.

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The Arnold Strongman Classic is something I first heard about when WWE wrestler Mark Henry won the inagrual event in 2002 and it was then talked about ad nauseum on WWE programming. I’ve never seen any of the events, I’ve either not seen them advertised or they have not been televised, as is the case with this year’s event. It’s a yearly event which is just of the many sports that make up the Arnold Sports Festival.

This promo video shows a few clips from the event and if I’m honest it looks fantastic. The events aren’t a carbon copy of the events you see in World’s Strongest Man and look immense – just look at the sheer size of the Tire Deadlift! No Atlas Stones either but there is an event called the Manhood Stones, which has a name just oozing with testosterone. The official description of this event from the official website is:

Contestants lift round stones weighing approximately 533 pounds (242 kg) and 452 pounds (205 kg) over a bar approximately 49 inches high as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Contestants who can lift the heaviest stone will not have to attempt the lighter stone because one rep of the heavier stone will beat any number of reps of the lighter stone.

The line up for the Arnold Strongman Classic 2010 is incredible and involves 6 of the 10 finalists from the World’s Strongest Man 2009, including the winner Zydrunas Savickas. Speaking of Big Z, he is the man to beat at this event as he won it every year from 2003 to 2008. He didn’t win it in 2009 because he didn’t compete, and the 2009 Arnold Strongman Classic was won by Derek Poundstone. The full list of competitors is as follows:

Nick Best
Kostiantyn Ilin
Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev
Travis Ortmayer
Dave Ostlund
Phil Pfister
Derek Poundstone
Zydrunas Savickas
Brian Siders
Brian Shaw

Of interest to us in the UK is that the first alternate is Mark Felix, who is also competing in the Mighty Mitts contest.

Though I’ve not heard of Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev, the guys who run the Arnold Sports Festival Facebook page tell me he is a force to be reckoned with, and after finishing 2nd and 3rd in 2008 and 2009 respectively, who am I to argue?

I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to see it somehow, maybe via downloadable content or a future DVD release – either way it’s an event, with an awesome line up that I want and need to see. If you too want to see the Arnold Strongman Classic 2010 but don’t have access, then let them know – maybe if there’s enough demand footage will be made available.

The Arnold Strongman Classic runs from 5th – 7th March and all information can be found here.

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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!

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So here we are, the culmination of 5 gruelling heats and the showdown we’ve all been waiting for. Would Pudzianowski get his 6th title? Would Poundstone go one better than his 2nd place of last year? Would Savickas improve on his three 2nd place finishes? Would Hollands or Shahlaei be the first Brit to win since Gary Taylor in 1993? So many questions, but only one thing was certain – in 60 minutes time we would know who the World’s Strongest Man 2009 champion!

Here are the 10 men in this year’s final, in order of how they qualified:

Derek Poundstone
Louis-Philippe Jean
Zydrunas Savickas
Brian Shaw
Mariusz Pudzianowski
Phil Pfister
Laurence Shahlaei
Travis Ortmayer
Terry Hollands
Dave Ostlund

Gone was the Medley as the first event from the heats, and straight into one of the toughest events in World’s Strongest Man – Fingal’s Fingers. What became clear right from the start is that with only an hour of broadcast time, which included advert breaks, we weren’t going to see all the guys compete in every event – in fact in a lot of the events we didn’t see most of the competitors’ efforts.

I had perennial favourites Dave Ostlund, Phil Pfister and Brian Shaw pegged as the front runners in this event and to a certain extent I was right, with Ostlund coming in 2nd and Shaw 3rd. However, up against Savickas, Phil Pfister could only manage 7th place. Savickas blew the field away by coming in first and beating Ostlund’s time in a new world record of 28.69 seconds.

Fingal's Fingers - Savickas v Pfister

The full results looked like this: 1st – Savickas, 2nd – Ostlund, 3rd – Shaw, 4th – Ortmayer, 5th – Poundstone, 6th – Pudzianowski, 7th – Pfister, 8th – Hollands, 9th – Shahlaei & 10th – Jean.

The 2nd event was the Giant Farmer’s Walk which saw some guys struggle quite badly, to the point where I wondered if the huge weights were too much. They were carrying 25 stone in each hand, maybe a drop down to 22 or 23 stone would have seen more people finish in a decent time and make the gaps between their times smaller. Pudzianowski dominated with a time of 25.05 seconds which was over 5 seconds faster than 2nd placed Poundstone. Worth a mention was Shahlaei in 3rd place, which in itself was a fantastic performance.

Giant Farmer's Walk

In the above picture you can see Terry Hollands coming in 2nd in his round of 5 competitors – he was in 1st but about 15 metres from the finish he stopped, allowing Poundstone to overtake. While Hollands did finish, we saw later that his hands has been torn to shreds by the handles of these huge weights.

Full results: 1st – Pudzianowski, 2nd – Poundstone, 3rd – Shahlaei, 4th – Savickas, 5th – Pfister, 6th – Hollands, 7th – Shaw, 8th – Jean, 9th – Ostlund & 10th – Ortmayer.

Points table now looked like this: 1st – Savickas (17), 2nd Poundstone (15), 2nd – Poundstone (15), 4th – Shaw (12), 5th – Ostlund (11), 6th – Shahlaei (10), 6th – Pfister (10), 8th – Hollands (8), 8th – Ortmayer (8) & 10th – Jean (4).

Terry Hollands pulling a plane!

If you had just injured your hands, can you even begin to imagine using the same hands to pull on a massive rope whilst tied to a plane in an attempt to pull that 44 tonne plane? That’s what Terry Hollands did in a time of 38.19 seconds – that was over 2 seconds quicker than Savickas in second which even by fully fit standards is astonishing. Add in the injury factor it’s almost impossible, but Hollands did it.

Full results: 1st – Hollands, 2nd – Savickas, 3rd – Ortmayer, 3rd – Shaw, 5th – Pudzianowski, 6th – Poundstone, 7th – Pfister, 8th – Ostlund, 9th – Shahlaei & 10th – Jean.

Points table now looked like this: 1st – Savickas (26), 2nd – Pudzianowski (21), 3rd – Poundstone (20), 4th – Shaw (19.5), 5th – Hollands (18), 6th – Ortmayer (15.5), 7th – Ostlund (14), 7th – Pfister (14), 9th – Shahlaei (12) & 10th – Jean (5).

The 4th event was the Overhead Lift but the coverage only allowed us 3 brief glimpses of the action and a total of 3 lifts – this event was obviously sacrificed for the necessary time taken up by advert breaks.

Full results: 1st – Savickas, 2nd – Poundstone, 2nd – Pudzianowski, 4th – Ortmayer, 5th – Shaw, 6th – Jean, 6th – Pfister, 8th – Ostlund, 9th – Hollands & 9th Shahlaei.

Points table now looked like this: 1st – Savickas (36), 2nd – Pudzianowski (29.5), 3rd – Poundstone (28.5), 4th – Shaw (25.5), 5th – Ortmayer (22.5), 6th – Hollands (19.5), 7th – Pfister (18.5), 8th – Ostlund (17), 9th – Shahlaei (13.5) & 10th Jean (9.5).

The 5th event was an event that is a bit of a throwback to World’s Strongest Man competitions of old – the Boat Pull. It is what it says – the competitors have to pull a boat up an incline using a very thick rope. Pudzianowski made up some important points here as he gained 2nd place compared to Savickas in 8th. The event was won by Shaw, and very impressively too.

Brian Shaw wins the Boat Pull

Full results: 1st – Shaw, 2nd – Pudzianowski, 3rd – Ortmayer, 4th – Hollands, 5th – Pfister, 6th – Shahlaei, 7th – Poundstone, 8th – Savickas, 9th – Ostlund & 10th – Jean.

Points table now looked like this: 1st – Savickas (39), 2nd – Pudzianowski (38.5), 3rd – Shaw (35.5), 4th – Poundstone (32.5), 5th – Ortmayer (30.5), 6th – Hollands (26.5), 7th – Pfister (24.5), 8th – Ostlund (19), 9th – Shahlaei (18.5) & Jean (10.5).

Savickas beats Pudzianowski

This is not something we are accustomed to seeing – Pudzianowski on his knees, a beaten man. However, that is exactly what happened in the Deadlift as he and Poundstone tied 2nd with 9 lifts, while Savickas grabbed maximum points with 11 lifts. It was looking like the Lithuanian’s title to lose now, with only the Atlas Stones to go.

Full results: 1st – Savickas, 2nd – Pudzianowski, 2nd – Poundstone, 4th – Hollands, 4th – Shaw, 6th – Ortmayer, 7th – Shahlaei, 8th – Ostlund, 9th – Jean & 10th – Pfister.

Points table now looked like this: 1st – Savickas (49), 2nd – Pudzianowski (47), 3rd – Shaw (42), 4th – Poundstone (41), 5th – Ortmayer (35.5), 6th – Hollands (33), 7th – Pfister (24.5), 8th – Shahlaei (22.5), 9th – Ostlund (22) & Jean (12.5).

The last event, as ever, was the Atlas Stones and one in which Savickas could win his first title, or Pudzianowski could win his 6th. With only a point between them, there was also a battle between Shaw and Poundstone for the 3rd podium spot.

Savickas puts down The 5th Stone

The Atlas Stones was won by Travis Ortmayer, as is to be expected, but Savickas got 2nd while Pudzianowski came 5th which meant that for the first time Zydrunas Savickas was the World’s Strongest Man. Shaw coming 4th in this event also meant he kept hold of 3rd place over all. Terry Hollands made an impressive late surge to come 3rd in the Atlas Stones – I truly believe there is a World’s Strongest Man title in this man’s future.

Full results: 1st – Ortmayer, 2nd – Savickas, 3rd – Hollands, 4th – Shaw, 5th – Pudzianowski, 6th – Poundstone, 7th – Pfister, 8th – Ostlund, 9th – Jean, 10th – Shahlaei.

The final standings for the World’s Strongest Man 2009 were as follows:

1st – Zydrunas Savickas – 58 points
2nd – Mariusz Pudzianowski – 53 points
3rd – Brian Shaw – 49 points
4th – Derek Poundstone – 46 points
5th – Travis Ortmayer – 45.5 points
6th – Terry Hollands – 41 points
7th – Phil Pfister – 28.5 points
8th – Dave Ostlund – 25 points
9th – Laurence Shahlaei – 23.5 points
10th – Louis-Philippe Jean – 14.5 points

This was one of the most stacked finals I have ever seen, with a higher level of strength than there has possibly been in any other strongman event before. I was disappointed that we only saw 40 minutes of action thanks to the advert breaks – either increase the length of the broadcast or reduce the number of competitors down to 8 like they used to have. However, if they decide to release a FULL version of the final on DVD, with some footage from the heats, then count me in for a copy.

We never got to see Savickas presented with his trophy, but we did at least see him with it:

Zydrunas Savickas - World's Strongest Man 2009

I’m counting the days until World’s Strongest Man 2010 and I’m looking forward to seeing guys like Poundstone, Ortmayer and Hollands come back and challenge for the title – all are capable of winning.

Now the final has been broadcast I can point you in the direction of a few treats on the official World’s Strongest Man website:

Interview with the World’s Strongest Man 2009 – Zydrunas Savickas
Blog published from Malta during World’s Strongest Man 2009
Photo gallery from World’s Strongest Man 2009

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