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Archive for the ‘Terry Hollands’ 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!

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World’s Strongest Man (WSM) 2010 was the first year without the legendary Mariusz Pudzianowski since 2001, and his absence then was because he was in prison for assault. For anyone who has watched WSM over then last decade you’ll know that Pudzianowski has been the man to beat, winning it a record breaking 5 times. Last year he did get beaten, and this year that man is now the man to beat; Zydrunas Savickas, World’s Strongest Man 2009.

Before we get going on the actual final I think it’s worth mentioning that the coverage, while good, needs to be longer. Even though there were only 6 events as opposed to usual 7, we still saw too little footage. An hour slot with advert breaks is just not enough, and it either needs to go back to BBC (now that Bravo is gone that could be an option) or it needs a 90 minute slot, at least. The only time we got to see Derek Poundstone was for a fleeting second during a run down of the Overhead Log Lift.

Keeping with the UK coverage and Zoe Salmon was much better as a presenter this year, and seemed to be asking better questions and being every bit the presenter and less of the cheerleader role she seemed to adopt last year. At World’s Strongest Man Experience and at Giants Live it was Caroline Pearce who took over the presenting role, and I’d be interested to now what the reasons were for going back to Zoe Salmon for the finals.

Right, on with the final and all that happened. I’ll not be doing screenshots of results and leaderboards for this as with 10 competitors there would just be too many! I’m going to include my own Excel powered creations – I bet you can’t wait!

The 10 finalists, in order of when they qualified, were as follows:

Brian Shaw
Stefan Solvi Petursson
Derek Poundstone
Terry Hollands
Ervin Katona
Travis Ortmayer
Zydrunas Savickas
Nick Best
Jason Bergmann
Mikhail Koklyaev

The first event of World’s Strongest Man 2010 was the Loading Race, but unlike in the heats, it was out of the sand and into the water. So not only did the athletes have to haul themselves and the sandbags through the water, but wet through those 120 KG sandbags would increase in weight to 150 KG, just to make it all that much harder.

Ortmayer v Hollands

We joined the action with Mikhail Koklyaev in the lead and Derek Poundstone sitting in 5th out of the 6 competitors who had gone previously. At this point I knew Poundstone’s injury must be affecting him and that his chances of challenging for WSM 2010 were minimal, and I was gutted. His injury was revealed in a video on Youtube which you can watch below.

The first race we actually got to see was Terry Hollands against Travis Ortmayer and the Texan was on form as he blew away Hollands and Koklyaev’s previous best to sit in first place with a time of 58.72 seconds. Then came the turn of Shaw and Savickas, and Big Brian Shaw looked set to win but he let go of the last sack too early and it fell to the floor, meaning he had to pick it up again. This mistake meant he slipped to 3rd place and lost valuable points. Surprisingly defending champion Zydrunas Savickas struggled and actually ended up falling into the water and only managing to load 2 sacks and come in in 6th place. Would Big Z be losing his title as the World’s Strongest Man?

Loading Race Results & Standings

The second event was the keg toss which saw Terry Hollands come unstuck when it appeared he was too close to the bar he was trying to get the kegs over and eventually only managed 6 barrels, one less than the 7 that Derek Poundstone got over. This was further proof that injuries, and lack of training due to those injuries, were playing a big part in this year’s competition.

The Keg Toss

Mikhail Koklyaev had set a great time of 27.61 seconds to get all 8 kegs over, which was bettered by both Travis Ortmayer and Zydrunas Savickas, the latter setting an astonishing time of just 21.19 seconds. Then came Brian Shaw, and overcoming the impossible he set a time of 20.75 seconds to beat Savickas and win the event. Just then I mis-typed and wrote beast instead of beat, but Shaw’s performance was beast like, and incredibly impressive.

The Americans were topping the table after 2 events with Ortmayer and Shaw sharing the lead on 18 points. Koklyaev was an impressive 3rd – impressive for his first time at World’s Strongest Man but not wholly unexpected given his successful past in power lifting and his previous performances in the Arnold Strongman Classic. Seeing Poundstone in 9th place was disappointing, and at this point I realised I would have to wait until 2011 for him to be crowned World’s Strongest Man, and the same could be said for Hollands in joint 6th place.

Keg Toss Results & Standings

The 3rd event saw the return to World’s Strongest Man of an old favourite, the Giant Log Press, and a fierce competition between some incredibly powerful athletes. It was good to see that despite being injured, Derek Poundstone was able to secure 3rd place with a lift of 185 KG. However, this event was really only about 2 people; Zydrunas Savickas and Mikhail Koklyaev. These two went lift for lift, with Savickas looking the more comfortable of the two it has to be said. This guy doesn’t use his legs, but relies on his unimaginably strong shoulders and arms to lift this branch-less trees!

Koklyaev Lifts 202.5 KG

202.5 KG was the weight at which both Koklyaev and Savickas were able to complete, and then it was on to 210 KG, which I’m sure if lifted would be a new world record, the 3rd or 4th of this event so far. I may have to re-watch the final to get clarification on that but I’m sure the old World Record fo the Giant Log Lift was somewhere well below 200 KG.

Savickas Lifts 210KG

With 210 KG loaded onto that log, it proved too much for Koklyaev, while Savickas lifted it above his head with as little effort as the previous weights. The Big Z won the event and clawed back some much needed points. Some more performances like this would be needed if he was to retain his title.

Another happening of note during this event, and not a happy one, was Travis Ortmayer injuring his ankle. For a guy that was sitting in joint first place after the first 2 events, this was a travesty, and you could see how disappointed he was. Before and during, World’s Strongest Man 2010 was claiming it’s victims in high quantity. I just hope all these guys can recover to full strength as quickly as possible.

Giant Log Lift Results & Standings

Now this is the point where I think World’s Strongest Man made a mistake with the points. Before the Giant Log Lift Stefan Solvi Peturrson was on 7 points, and he came in 5th in this event, on his own with nobody sharing the points. This should give him 6 points and a new total of 13 points, as I have done above.

Stefan's Missing Point!

As you can see from the official results and standings, Stefan should have been on 13 points after 3 events and not 12. This mistake was not rectified as the events progressed and though it makes no difference to the final positions, Stefan actually earned one more point than he was credited with!

That mistake aside, Brian Shaw remains in first place, but now tied on points with World’s Strongest Man newcomer Mikhail Koklyaev. Closing in, and looking more like the champion from last year, is Zydrunas Savickas, as the top of the leader board starts to get very close and crowded.

Next up was the Whiskey Barrel Carry which I am still a little confused about. It involves a wooden frame with a huge barrel attached to each side. Now the commentators referred to the total weight as 350 KG, however, each of the barrels had 300 KG stamped on the side, which would have made 700 KG in total. I’m inclined to think the commentators were correct as surely 700 KG would just be too heavy to pick up and carry along the course?

Whiskey Barrel Carry

My heart went out to Travis Ortmayer as he tried so hard, but with his injury from the previous event he could only manage 6.4 metres. The desperation and anguish was hard to see as he his fists came crashing down on the barrels in frustration. Here’s a guy who trained so hard for World’s Strongest Man 2010, losing a lot of bulk to prepare for the high altitude conditions, and a freak injury was the thing that was going to stop him reaching his dream. Although you’d excuse him if he did, Ortmayer didn’t come last, as Jason Bergmann only carried the barrels a distance of 2.2 metres.

This was the event where Zydrunas Savickas started to get back into championship contention as he won his second event in a row. He didn’t just win, he beat Nick Best’s time by over 6.5 seconds, which to put it into perspective is over 20% faster, and this from a guy who had an injured quad muscle! But how about Nick Best in second place – not bad a for a guy in his first ever World’s Strongest Man final. Stefan Solvi Petuursson in 3rd was also a terrific performance, and showing us that Viking Power is still very much alive.

Whiskey Barrel Carry Results & Standings

We were now in a familiar position, with Zydrunas Savickas leading the pack, though Shaw and Koklyaev were still chomping at his heals. These three, barring any disaster, were the likely podium finishers – just in what position each would sit was still to be determined. This is also where Stefan Solvi Peturrson’s missing point comes into play as WSM had him with 20 points and tied for 5th place, but with that missing point he’s now actually on 21 points, and in 5th place on his own, with Nick Best in 6th place.

The 5th event saw the guys lifting a car in a shoot out to see who could get the most reps in a deadlift competition. With no Mark Felix all eyes would surely be on Zydrunas Savickas to win a 3rd event in succession. The seriousness of Derek Poundstone’s injury was never so evident as in this event where he finished in last place with just 1 rep. I have no doubt he’ll be battling with the best next year, but to see a guy who finished 2nd in 2008, and almost won, struggling so badly, was hard to watch.

 

Ortmayer v Koklyaev in the Deadlift

The different injuries affect people in different ways and often depends on the type of event. This was evident in the deadlift, as both Hollands and Ortmayer battled through injuries, and lack of training from a previous injury in Holland’s case, to put in a great effort of 8 reps to share 5th place. Mikhail Koklyaev managed 10 reps and set the target for the final paring Shaw and Savickas to beat. It seemed like more of a struggle for Shaw, who at 6′ 6″ has a long way to pull that car up, but both he and Savickas ended up with 11 reps, sharing the points for first place.

 

Deadlift Results & Standings

The top 4 didn’t change position after the deadlift, but Nick Best was slowly climbing the leader board after a shaky start. Jason Bergmann looked very impressive in the heats but wasn’t bringing that level of performance to the final, that or the rest of the field were just that doing that much better.

So, 5 event done and it was down to The Atlas Stones to determine who would be crowned World’s Strongest Man 2010. At this point it looked like a head to head between Shaw and Savickas. No disrespect to Koklyaev but these are 2 of the best Stone lifters in the sport, and with Hollands, Ortmayer and Poundstone injured there weren’t any word renowned stone lifters left to challenge those 2. For the rest of the field it was an event that was going to maybe lift them a place or two, but certainly was being fought for pride.

Savickas v Shaw in the Atlas Stones

That moment captured above is the moment that Brain Shaw won the Atlas Stones, but not World’s Strongest Man 2010. That honour went once again to Zydrunas Savickas, who finished on the same amount of points but won on track back, having won more events than Shaw. Could it be that the mistake Shaw made in the very first event, and the points he dropped, lost him the chance to be called the World’s Strongest Man? Savickas came third in the Atlas Stones, and that was because Stefan Solvi Peturrson, the man with the missing point, had a storming event and managed to get all 5 stones up in just over a second slower than Shaw, but almost 1.5 seconds faster than Savickas to grab second place. It seems we have a new man on the Atlas Stones scene, and he hails from Iceland, as so many great stone lifters in the past have. Jason Bergmann was determined to prove me wrong and came in a very good 5th place. You know an injury is bad when Travis Ortmayer, The Texas Stoneman, only manages to lift 3 stones and ends up in 9th place. All credit to Terry Hollands, who obviously nowhere near 100% fit, still got all 5 stones up, though 6th place would have been something of a personal disappointment for him.

Atlas Stones Results & Final Standings

There’s no doubt that injury deprived us of an even better final, but the battle between Shaw and Savickas, with Koklyaev not far behind, was the story of 2010 and was right down to the wire, as close as it can possibly get. With more experience behind him I have no doubt that Brian Shaw is a future World’s Strongest Man, in fact if you read back you’ll see he was my pick for champion this year. Savickas had a slight injury, but still won, and that’s saying something – to call this guy strong is like saying Jon Pall Sigmarsson was outgoing, the guy is a behemoth of power! Looking at the rest and the stand out permanence for me is Stefan Solvi Peturrson, who got 33 points, not the 32 he was credited with. In his first final he came 4th, and beat Zydrunas Savickas, and 7 other of the strongest men in the world in the Atlas Stones. He also has the charisma and energy we’ve come to expect from an Icelander competing in Strongman, and is definitely a name for the future.

That’s it for another year (for the WSM finals anyway, there;s plenty more Strongman competitions coming up in 2011), World’s Strongest Man 2010 was a great competition to watch, in both the heats and the final. I’m hoping a DVD can be produced so we can see the final in full and maybe some more action from the heats too.  I will be back with some further analysis of the final, but in the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts on the final and what I’ve written.

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I have the inlaws arriving in a matter of minutes so a detailed update will come at a later date. For now it’s a big congratulations to Zydrunas Savickas for winning World’s Strongest Man 2010 and repeating the success of last year. Huge congratulations to Brian Shaw who came in second and on the same points but lost out on count back.

Zydrunas Savickas - World's Strongest Man 2010

The  biggest disappointments for me were injury based; Derek Poundstone came in 9th which was disastrous by his standards. Travis Ortmayer came in 5th for the 3rd year running, but sustained an ankle injury half way through the final. Then there was Terry Hollands who came in 8th, obviously still feeling the effects of his bicep injury.

Now I am not avoiding spoilers then please leave lots of comments and let me hear your thoughts on this year’s competition. Who impressed you the lost? Who did you expect more from? Did the right man win? Did the competition suffer without Mariusz Pudzianowski?

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There was one change in the participants of heat 2; out was Alexander Klyushev and in his place was Italy’s Alex Curletto, giving us the following line up:

Terry Hollands
Hennie Jordan
Alex Curletto
Derek Poundstone
Richard Skog
Robert Szczepanski

Going into this the two favourites were overcoming injuries; Hollands a bicep tear and Poundstone a quad injury. This didn’t seem to stop Terry Hollands in the first event, the Giant Farmers Walk.

Hollands v Poundstone in the Giant Farmers Walk

Not only did Hollands leave Poundstone in his dust, but he won the event, taking maximum points and showing no signs of being anything but 100%. Poundstone on the other hand couldn’t even finish the course, stopping at just over 36 metres having torn his hands to shreds carrying those huge weights. It was a Mariusz Pudzianowski training camp member who came in second place, as Robert Szczepanski split the two favourites.

Giant Farmers Walk Results

I always fine it hard watching Hollands and Poundstone compete against each because I want to support Hollands being a fellow Brit and a phenomenal strongman competitor, but I’ve been a huge fan of Poundstone since his burst onto the scene a few years ago with such immediate success. The second event certainly questioned my loyalties as the Power Stairs once again pitted Hollands and Poundstone in a head to head battle.

Hollands v Poundstone in the Power Stairs

For the second event in a row Hollands bested Poundstone and won the event, and again Poundstone couldn’t finish, climbing just 9 of the 12 stairs. It was also the second event running that Szczepanski slit the pre-heat favourites to take second place. Richard Skog, the man that showed so much potential 2 years ago, could only managed 4 stairs t finish last.

Power Stairs Results

At this point I was glad that Hollands was doing so well but I was seriously worried that Poundstone would not make it to his 3rd World’s Strongest Man final, fearing that Szczepanski would instead take that second qualifying spot.

Standings after the Power Stairs

Fate played it’s cruel hand in the dead Lift as Szczepanski appeared to injure himself without managing one rep. It was yet another disappointing event Skog, as he too strangely didn’t manage one repetition.

Derek Poundstone in the Deadlift

It was during the Deadlift that Derek Poundtone finally won an event, though I wonder if Terry Hollands was just being strategic. Hollands was 5th to lift and with absolute ease he rolled out 5 reps, one more than the previous best of Alex Curletto. I’m sure he knew Poundstone would beat that I think he gave up the possible one point of winning knowing he would still be 3 points ahead and he could conserve much needed energy. While Poundstone did beat him with 6 lifts, he didn’t look as comfortable as Poundstone, not by a long way.

Deadlift Results

The unfortunate injury to Szczepanski coupled with a first victory, meant that Poundstone moved into second place and for the first time looked like he may qualify the final. Hollands was looking good in first place and was on the form of his life.

Standings after the Deadlift

The 4th event, The Africa Stone, is when the tide started to join as Terry Hollands struggled to even lift the huge Africa Stone.

Terry Hollands struggles with The Africa Stone

His bicep injury reared its ugly face as his best effort was a disappointing 36.3 metres. It was the underperfrming Richard Skog who won the event, making it 4 metres more than second place Derek  63.4 metres. After the event Poundstone said he was disappointed not to complete 75 metres, but his torn callouses from earlier affected him.

Africa Stone Results

The bad result for Hollands meant that Poundstone was able to erode away the lead and get to within one point of the massive Brit. Both were almost guaranteed a spot in the final, but pride would have them both wanting to top the group and win the heat.

Standings after the Africa Stone

Next was the Metal Block Press and a chance for a new world record as the 4th block was 150 KG, 5 KG more than the current world record held by Derek Poundstone.

Derek Poundstone attempts a world record

It was the world record holder himself who attempted the 4th block first, but after balancing it on his head for a few moments he let it drop, content, well settling at least, for 3 blocks in a super fast time. Last to go was Terry Hollands who had a bit of fun when he picked up the 4th block but didn’t make a serious attempt to press it – he just wanted to make Poundstone sweat, and he did!

Metal Block Press Results

Going into the last event Hollands and Poundstone were tied at the top, both now having enough points to get them through to the final of World’s Strongest Man 2010.

Standings after the Metal Block Press

Determined to prove me wrong it was Richard Skog who won the final event, the Loading Race, but it was the battle between Hollands and Poundstone that provided the most entertainment. Hollands started off the quicker but Poundstone caught up and overtook the bigger man. Instead of winning by a long margin, Poundstone waited for Hollands and attempted to put down the last barrel at the same time as, but ended up beating him, by just a fraction of a second.

Loading Race Results

While Hollands started off looking supreme, it was Derek Poundstone that ended up winning the group, as both go through to the final, with Richard Skog coming just missing out on 3rd. Skog did realise a bit of the potential that I saw 2 years ago and I still think he could be a force in the future.

Final Standings

I have to admit, that although both Poundstone and Hollands qualified for the final, neither looked in the type of form that will see them beating Brian Shaw on his current form, or the form Zydrunas Savickas brings to the table during every competition. I hope both can take it to the next level for the final, but only time will tell.

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In the UK World’s Strongest Man (WSM) starts tonight, not sure about the rest of the world. On Bravo at 8pm is the first of 3 Giants Live competitions that usually talk about being qualifiers for the main WSM competition, even though we then see qualifiers from elsewhere. Confused? Yeah, me too, and the people involved in WSM probably too!

I haven’t updated it in months as I was scared of spoiling the competition as I did last year. There were so many visits to my blog from people searching Zydrunas Savickas that it didn’t take a genius to figure out who had won. Fast forward to this year and I can’t resist blogging about something I love so much, but to avoid having the result spoiled for the second year I won’t be looking at stats or comments until the final has been televised on New Year’s Eve.

For those wanting to see TV broadcast dates in the UK and US, take a look at the official website.

So, looking ahead to the 2010 competition, and what will we see?

Winner
I have my favourites, those being Derek Poundstone, Terry Hollands and Travis Ortmayer. I believe any of these is capable of winning but I can’t look past 2009 winner Zydrunas Savickas. When he’s on form, which is most of the time, he’s unstoppable as we saw last year. There’s no Mariusz Pudzianowski this year, at least that’s what I last read a few months ago, when he stated he’d not being competing in WSM but concentrating on his MMA career instead. Brian Shaw is another one to look out for, coming in third last year and he looked very strong in doing so. My heart says Poundstone, my head says Savickas.

Can anyone beat Hollands in the plane pull?
I asked this question to Kevin Nee at WSM Experience 2010 and he agreed that Hollands was perfectly built for this event and incredibly hard to beat. One thing to bear in mind is that last year he won the event even after injuring his hand in the Giant Farmer’s Walk, so watch out everyone, the plane could be taking off this year!

The Brits
If he’s fully recovered from his injury then Terry Hollands has to be the favourite of the Brits for success, though he’s struggled to match his 3rd place in 2007. Lauence Shahlaei finished 9th in last year’s competition but he surprised me by even reaching the final, and did fantastically well coming to second to Pudzianowski in the aforementioned Giant farmer’s Walk. Always close to the final and sometimes reaching it is dead lift specialist Mark Felix and we also need to look out for Darren Sadler, who despite being one of the shortest competitors in WSM, was a whisker away from making last year’s finals

That’s all for now – please leave a comment on any of the upcoming posts and I’ll promise to read and respond to them when I know who’s been crowned World’s Strongest Man 2010.

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Last Sunday I had the pleasure to be in attendance at the first ever World’s Strongest Man Experience which took place at the Seni exhibition in London’s Excel Centre. There to compete were Zydrunas Savickas, Terry Hollands, Kevin Nee, Jimmy Marku, Mark Felix, Stefan Solvi Petersson, Darren Sadler and Tomasz Nowotniak. There were two contests – one on the Saturday which Savickas and the one I saw on the Sunday.

There were 5 events: Farmer’s Walk, Dumdbell Press, Dead Lift, Overhead Log Press and Atlas Stones – the traditional finishing event for any strongman competition. The arena was packed, with every seat taken and people standing, such was the demand to see the WSM athletes in action. Unfortunately Kevin Nee had to pull out with an injury but kept us entertained by answering questions that were plucked from the audience by host and commentator Caroline Pearce, who you might remember as Ice from Gladiators. It’s worth noting that she did a far better job than Zoe Salmon did in the 2009 WSM in malta – we hope she’ll be back for the 2010 competition.

Zydrunas was on fine form and repeated his victory from the Saturday to beat Terry Hollands into the runner up spot place for the second day running. Everyone put in a great effort and the crowd were very vocal in their appreciation, some had even come over from Lithuania to support fellow countryman Zydrunas Savickas.

We were also treated to two judges with fine WSM credentials, those being 2001 WSM Svend Karlsen and two-time winner Geoff Capes, both of whom answered questions while the events were being set up and the athletes were resting. All through the weekend the competitors were on the World’s Strongest Man stand, meeting fans and having photos taken, whilst also signing autographs. I couldn’t get close most of the afternoon, such was the demand to see these guys!

I’m going to get in touch with WSM to get full results as I was so into the action that I forgot to write down the results as I went along! When I publish those I will also post more photos that I took, but I’ll leave you with a couple to whet your appetite! World’s Strongest Man Experience 2010 was a huge success and I really hope we see more events like this – once a year is just not enough, and the chance to see the action live is something I urge every WSM fan to experience.

Zydrunas Savickas

Caroline Pearce interviews Kevin Nee

Mark Felix

The Big Z, Kevin Nee & some buff dude!!

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Ever watch World’s Strongest Man on television and wish you could be there? Yeah, me too, but it’s not always easy to get to the exotic places they hold the annual competition. Anyone within travelling distance from London’s ExCeL will now have the opportunity to see the stars of World’s Strongest Man in late May.

World's Strongest Man Experience

On Saturday May 29th and Sunday 30th, the first ever World’s Strongest Man Experience will be taking place at the ExCeL as a part of SENI 2010 – The International Combat Sports Show. Courtesy of WorldsStrongestMan.com, here is some blurb:

Make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to see The first official ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Experience! Experience the power of WSM over two hours of explosive head to head battles in the all-seater ‘Power Pit!’ arena, hosted by 2001 World’s Strongest Man, Svend Karlsen!

Those taking part in the event are:

Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania)
World’s Strongest Man 2009, 3-time World’s Strongest Man runner up and 6-time Arnold Strongman Classic Champion

Terry Hollands (England)
3rd place at World’s Strongest Man 2007, England’s Strongest Man 2009, Britain’s Strongest Man 2007 and UK’s Strongest Man 2005

Mark Felix (England)
4th place at World’s Strongest Man 2006, runner up in All-American Strongman Challenge 2010 and Rolling Thunder Champion 2009 & 2008

Kevin Nee (America)
8th place at World’s Strongest Man 2007, runner up in All-American Strongman Challenge 2007 and 4th at America’s Strongest Man 2006

Darren Sadler (England)
3rd place in England’s Strongest Man 2009, 3rd place in Britain’s Strongest Man 2007 and Under 105kg World Strongman Challenge Champion 2006

Laurence Shahlaei (England)
9th place at World’s Strongest Man 2009, England’s Strongest Man 2009 and 4th place in Britain’s Strongest Man 2008

Jimmy Marku (England)
UK’s Strongest Man 2009, Britain’s Strongest Man 2008 and England’s Strongest Man 2008, 2007 & 2006

Sebastian Wenta (Poland)
Runner up World’s Strongest Man 2007, Highlander Challenge World Champion 2008 & 2007 and runner up Europe’s Strongest Man 2007

The events announced thus far are:

  • Dumbell Press
  • Car Deadlift
  • Farmers Walk
  • Shield Carry
  • Atlas Stones

Savickas has to be the favourite, especially with events like the Dumbell Press and Car Deadlift, though he’ll be up against arguably the world’s best WSM Deadlifter in the form of Mark Felix. The Shield Carry, most recently seen in the Super Series last year, is a nice nod back to World’s Strongest Man competitions of old and the Húsafell Stone.

Tickets are £25 each (less for children and there are family reductions) and can be bought from ticketmaster. I am unfortunately busy on the Saturday but will be there on the Sunday and I’ll hopefully see you there! I’m thrilled, after watching these guys on television for years, to be getting the opportunity to see them perform live – hopefully this is just the first of many more events like this.

For more information head over to the World’s Strongest Man Experience page on WorldsStrongestMan.com.

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