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Archive for the ‘Warrick Brant’ Category

The 6 athletes competing in heat 4 were as follows:

Nick Best
Warrick Brant
Louis-Philippe Jean
Agris Kazelniks
Zydrunas Savickas
Laurence Shahlaei

Nick Best is someone I’d heard about, especially in the Arnold Strongman Classic, but never seen perform – this was about to be rectified. In fact, he set the fastest time in the Giant Farmers Walk of the 3 people in his race.

Savickas draws first blood

Of course when reigning champion Zydrunas Saviacks is around no lead is guaranteed to stay for long as he blasted his way to victory, beating Best’s time by over 8 seconds, with Englishman Laurence Shahlaei coming in a close second. This was similar to the same event on last year’s final where Savickas and Shahlaei finished 1st and 2nd then too.

Giant Farmers Walk Results

The second event was the Squat Lift and it was interesting to see that Savickas had some strapping on his left thigh. According to Shahlaei this group contained the 6 best squatters in the world so for him to retain his unbeaten record in this event was going to be difficult. In fact Best, Brant and Kazekniks all managed 10 reps, only to be beaten by The Big Z who got 11.

Shahlaei ties with Savickas

Shahlaei was last to go and while he managed to remain unbeaten he couldn’t beat Savickas and scored 11 reps too to share first place with the current World’s Strongest Man.

Squat Lift Results

Savickas now led the group, but only by one point to his nearest rival Shahlaei, who in turn was a handy 3.5 points ahead of Best. Somewhat surprising was Canada’s Strongest Man, Jean, and a finalist in last year’s World’s Strongest Man, being in last place.

Standings after the Squat Lift

The Africa Stone proved to be a nightmare event for Laurence Shahlaei as he only managed 54.2 metres. It looked like he never got his hands properly linked and therefore his grip was always weak and at risk of allowing the stone to slip, which it eventually did.

Best does Best

It was Nick Best who up ended winning this event with a great distance of 79.4 metres. A distance that made second place Savickas look short with only 62.1, though I think he may have been playing the strategic game and only trying to get past Jean to grab second place and valuable points. Savickas, nothing if not always consistent.

Africa Stone Results

After three events Savickas was clearly in the lead but Best was breathing down Shahlaei’s neck for the runner up spot and the second qualifying place – just half a point separated them.

Standings after the Africa Stone

The 4th event was the Overhead Lift and an event that may have Laurence Shahlaei kicking himself for the next 12 months. After managing 5 lifts he said he’d had enough, though it looked like he could have done more.

Savickas cruises to victory

Enter Savickas and an almost effortless 8 reps, most of them using just his arms alone. With Jean getting 7 reps it meant Shahlaei had to share the points for 3rd place with Brant, where as if he’d got that 6th rep he’d have secured all the points for 3rd place for himself. The shocker was Nick Best, who couldn’t manage one single lift.

Overhead Lift Results

Savickas now had an almost unsaleable lead and there was a handy 4 point gap from Shahlaei down to Best. Things were looking very good for these guys to qualify for the final once again.

Standings after the Overhead Lift

The Deadlift hold proved t be the turning point of this heat as the athletes had to hold up a car for the longest time possible. Shahlaei managed to hold on for just over a minutes before letting the car go, visually frustrated that he hadn’t got a better time.

Best is best, again!

Nick Best proved his worth again by holding on for a phenomenal time of 1 minute and 18 seconds – in fact he had to be told that he’d won before he’d let go! Thanks to a great performance from Jean, Savickas was pushed down to 3rd place.

Deadlift Hold Results

Savickas had now done enough to qualify for the final and defend his crown, but the battle for second place was hotting up as Best trailed Shahlaei by just a single point. Shahlaei would have to get an equal or better performance than Best because if Best beat him, even by just one place, then thanks to a track back and Best’s two victories, it would be the American that would take the second qualifying spot.

Best v Shahlaei

In the showdown between Shahlaei and Best it was Shahlaei who went off the quicker of the two but he was soon caught by Best who loaded the 3rd barrel quicker than Shahlaei. This would end up being the deciding factor as neither managed the 4th barrel. These two ended up as the 1st and 2nd place athletes in this event, with Best taking the honours.

Loading Race Results

In a cruel twist of fate Shahlaei and Best did end up the same points with Best qualifying thanks to his two previous victories compared to Shahlaei’s one. If Shahlaei had have got that 6th lift in the Overhead Lift he’d have been in second alone, and gone through to the final. Savuickas won the group, as everyone would have expected him to do.

Final Standings

Savickas did look to be a little troubled by his quad injury, but enough to stop him winning the group comfortably. He seemed to hold back on some events, but like the mighty Mariusz Pudzianowski he is known to save some energy for the final, and that’s where he puts in 110%. Shahlaei was bitterly disappointed not to make it through but he’s young enough to come back for a good few years yet. Best on the other hand is the oldest competitor at 40 and did very well to qualify for the final in his first World’s Strongest Man appearence.

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