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Archive for the ‘World's Strongest Man 2009’ Category

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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According to Laurance Shahlaei’s official website he stands 6′ 2″ tall and weighs 140kg, but more importantly he’s England’s Strongest Man 2009 and the 9th Strongest Man in the World as of World’s Strongest Man 2009. Laurence was kind enough to take the time answer a few questions, and here is what he had to say.

Laurence winning the Squat Lift in his WSM heat

Did you watch World’s Strongest Man as a child and who were your favourites?

Yes I did. I have been a huge fan of WSM (World’s Strongest Man) since I was very young. Back then my favourites were Gerrit Badenhorst and Magnus Samuelsson

How did you get into the world of Strongman?

After watching BSM (Britain’s Strongest Man) and WSM in 2004 I got the bug and decided that’s what I want to do so I joined a gym in the January 05 and entered my first comp in the summer.

Can you remember your first Strongman competition and how did you do?

Yes, it was a novice contest with over 30 athletes taking part. I came 8th and was happy with my performance. I had never done any strongman events before the show.

How did it feel to just miss out on the World’s Strongest Man 2008 when you came 3rd in your heat?

I was a little down but it was good for me not to make the final first time as I was much more motivated to improve for 2009.

You won England’s Strongest Man 2009 – was that a tough competition for you and what was it like to be crowned champion?

This was a great win for me as I won by a large margin over some of the best guys in the UK but it was a little disappointing because Terry Hollands and Mark Felix didn’t compete so until we have all the top guys in one contest we won’t know who is the best.

In your heat of the World’s Strongest Man 2009 you dominated to win very easily – what was going through your mind when you saw just how much better you performed than the other 5 guys?

At WSM 08 I told myself to just focus on one event at a time and that’s what I have been doing ever since so I didn’t try to think of how great I was doing. At this level if you start thinking your great you can get lazy and the guys are so good you can go from 1st to last very quickly. My goal was always to place high on the first 4events as they were good events for me and I knew I needed to perform well on them to make the final.

You came 9th in your first World’s Strongest Man final in Malta in 2009, how do you think you did and where could you have done better?

To be top 10 in the world is fantastic but it’s still 8 places lower than my goal so as much as enjoyed it there is still lots of work to do. I need to really improve throwing, stones and my over head to beat the top guys as these are events I am dropping a lot of points on.

You have improved probably more than any other Strongman on the circuit in the last 12 months, can we expect the same progression in the next 12 months and what are your goals for the future?

Thank you. As long as I don’t get any bad injuries I will keep improving for a few years yet. My ultimate goal is to win WSM. I would also love to compete in the Arnolds.

Who in your opinion is the greatest Strongman of all time?

Mariusz Pudzianowski. He took the sport to a new level and he has won WSM more times than anyone else.

Thanks for your time and congratulations on a great performance at World’s Strongest Man 2009.

Thanks 🙂

Big thanks to Laurence once again, and for more information you can visit biglozstrongman.com – the home of Laurence Shahlaei, future World’s Strongest Man?

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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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Congratulations to Zydrunas Savickas who won the Worlds Strongest Man 2009, beating 5 time winner Mariusz Pudzianowski into 2nd place. A full write up of the final will be posted shortly.

Zydrunas Savickas - Worlds Strongest Man 2009

(Photo courtesy of theworldsstrongestman.com)

After coming 2nd in 2002, 2003 and 2004 it must have been great for the Lithuanian to finally get the big one. Although he did win the Arnold Strongman Classic for 6 years in a row from 2003 to 2008, it’s World’s Strongest Man which is recognised the world over as the premier Strongman event, and the one every competitor strives to win.

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So this is it, the 5th and final heat which will determine the last 2 competitors who will make it through to the final of The World’s Strongest Man 2009. Shown on Bravo TV in the UK on Monday 1st February and with these 6 guys vying for those 2 qualification places:

Andrus Murumets (Estonia) – 2nd in Europe’s Strongest Man 2007
Christian Savoie (Canada) – Canada’s Strongest Man 2009
Dave Ostlund (America) – 4th in World’s Strongest Man 2008
Florian Trimpl (Germany) – Germany’s Strongest Man 2009
Jarek Dymek (Poland) – Europe’s Strongest Man 2005
Terry Hollands (England) – 3rd in World’s Strongest Man 2007

I have to admit that going into this heat I was a little worried about Terry Hollands. He didn’t do very well in last year’s final and I know he’d been plagued by injury last year – had he overcome that injury and could he compete with the likes of Dave Ostlund? The first event as always was The Medley, which saw Dave Ostlund come 3rd in his mini-heat of 3, and 5th overall – not a great start.

World's Strongest Man Heat 5 - The Medley

In the photo above is Andrus Murumets winning the first event in first ever appearance in World’s Strongest Man – great effort. In second is Terry Hollands who you may notice is walking sideways – I’m almost sure that if he’d have gone backwards like the other guys he would have won. Christian Savoie came in 3rd, Florian Trimpl 4th and Jarek Dymek 6th.

The second event was the Truck Pull and one that Terry Hollands was the favourite for. He didn’t disappoint, finishing the course in just 40.50 seconds which was not only the fastest time in this heat but was fastest time of anyone in any of the heats – a Herculean effort which was proving my doubts unfounded.

Terry Hollands in the Truck Pull

Savoie, Ostlund and Murumets came in 3rd, 4th and 5th and though they were 5 seconds behind Hollands they were only within just over a second of each other. Trimpl came in 5th with a time of 57.43 seconds, leaving Dymek in last having only managed to pull the truck 16.2 meters.

After 2 events Terry Hollands was in first place with 11 points, Murumets and Savoie in 2nd with 9 points, Ostlund trailing in 4th with 6 points, Trimpl in 5th with 5 points and Dymek was in last place with just 2 points.

The 3rd event was the Dead Lift and Terry Hollands had a lot to live up to because the 3 Brits in the previous heats (Mark Felix, Darren Sadler and Laurence Shahlaei) had all won the Dead Lift in their heat.

Terry Hollands wins the Dead Lift

As you can see, Terry Hollands became the 4th Brit in this year’s World’s Strongest Man heats to win the Dead Lift and was the only man in this heat to complete all 7 reps. Murumets, Ostlund and Savoie all managed 6 reps coming in 2nd to 4th respectively, while Dymek and Trimpl managed 5 reps to come in 5th and 6th.

The 4th event saw a straight shootout between Hollands and Ostlund for the top spot, with Ostlund gaining the advantage in his favourite event, and one that he is known for being the best at. While he completed all 5 fingers Hollands stopped at 4 – knowing he was beaten and that the 4 previous guys had all only managed 4 (3 in the case of Savoie) fingers in a slower time than his, Hollands played the smart game. This is something which co-presenter Zoe Salmon put to Terry Hollands in quite a patronising way when she declared You’re quite smart, for a Strongman! I think the least said about that the better! Dymek, Murumets, Trimpl and Savoie made up the places from 3rd to 6th place.

Fingal's Fingers

After 4 events Hollands was way out in 1st place with 22 points, Murumets in 2nd with 17 points, Ostlund in 3rd with 16 points, Savoie in 4th with 15 points and Trimpl and Dymek shared 5th place with 8 points.

The 5th event was the Keg Toss which saw none of the 6 competitors get all 8 kegs over the bar. Dymek came closest with 7, with Hollands, Murumets and Ostlund sharing 2nd place with 6. Trimpl and and Savoie came in 5th and 6th with 5 and 4 kegs respectively.

Jarek Dymek poised to in the Keg Toss

After 5 events Terry Hollands had qualified for the final with Murumets and Ostlund left to fight it out for the second qualifying spot with only the Atlas Stones to go. It was Ostlund who ended up winning, with Murumets, Savoie and Hollands coming 2nd to 4th – all 4 men managed all 5 stones. Trimpl and Dymek could only manage 4 stones to come in 5th and 6th.

Dave Ostlund wins the Atlas Stones

With all 6 events completed the final table looked like this:

World's Strongest Man Heat 5 Standings

Not sure what the tiebreaker was that Ostlund won, it wasn’t shown on TV! They actually said on the broadcast that he won via track back which I assume means that because he won more events he went through. Anyway, another dominant performance from a Brit, as Terry Hollands and Dave Ostlund go through, which leaves the full line up for next week’s World’s Strongest man 2009 final looking like this:

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

That’s a pretty awesome final and there are so many guys in good form. I’d say the winner is between Poundstone, Savickas, Pudzianowski and Hollands – add in an Ortmayer recovered from flu and who knows? Excited about next week’s final? You bet, and then some!

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The penultimate heat of the 2009 World’s Strongest Man was shown on Bravo TV) in the UK this past Monday and the line up looked like this:

Agris Kazelniks (Latvia) – 1st World’s Strongest Man appearance
Ettiene Smit (South Africa) – 1st World’s Strongest Man appearance
Johannes Arsjo (Sweden) – Sweden’s Strongest Man 2009
Laurence Shahlaei (England) – UKSC England’s Strongest Man 2009
Richard Skog (Norway) – Norway’s Strongest Man 2009
Travis Ortmayer (America) – 5th at World’s Strongest Man 2008

My predictions going into this were that Ortmayer and Skog would come in 1st and 2nd, by a long way – so let’s see how that prediction turned out.

First event was the Medley which saw Johannes Arsjo come in first, narrowly beating England’s Laurence Shahlaei who put in a great performance to come 2nd. I have to admit that during last year’s heats I wasn’t that impressed with Laurence and was probably overly harsh. He said in an interview with Zoe Salmon after the Medley that he had come back a lot stronger this year and so far he was proving that to be correct.

Zoe Salmon interviews Laurence Shahlaei

Despite suffering from flu, something that they mentioned on the programme and he confirmed to me himself, Travis Ortmayer finished in 3rd with Skog, Smit and Kazelniks finishing 4tf to 6th respectively.

Laurence Shahlaei pulling a truck!

Yes that is another photo of Laurence Shahlaei, this time in the truck pull….which he won! yes, the man who I disregarded last year had just picked up 11 points from the first 2 events. In this case he beat Richard Skog into 2nd and Travis Ortmayer into 3rd, again. Arsjo came 4th, Kazelniks 5th and Smit 6th.

With this amazing show of strength Shahlaei was 2 points clear of Arsjo in 2nd, with Ortmayer and Skog in 3rd with 8, and Kazelniks and Smit in 5th with 3 points each. An impressive start for the Englishman, in only his 2nd World’s Strongest man, but could he continue this awesome pace?

The simple answer to that is yes, and then some. Shahlaei was the only one to complete all 7 reps in the Squat Lift to take home maximum points again. This was looking like a performance of domination to rival Derek Poundstone in Heat 1! Smit, Kazelniks and Arsjo trailed in 2nd with 6 reps, Skog 5th with 4 lifts and a flu riddled Ortmayer languished in last place with just 2 lifts.

Laurence Shahlaei the Super Squatter!

While Shahlaei was having an amazing heat, the brightest prospect in World’s Strongest Man, Travis Ortmayer, was looking to be on the way to missing out on a place in the final.

The 4th event is one that usually sorts the men from the boys, though none of these guys would ever be classed as boys! Guess what? Yup, Laurence Shahlaei won again! This was as good a performance as I’d seen by anyone in any of the heats – the new standard bearer for UK World’s Strongest Man was making himself known and his name is Laurence Shahlaei. Ettiene Smit was just over a second behind in 2nd place with Travis Ortmayer getting another 3rd place, ahead of Kazelniks in 4th, Skog in 5th and Arsjo in 6th. All 6 completed the course in under 35 seconds with Shahlaei needing only 21.87 seconds, a very fast time by anyone’s standards.

The Car Walk

After just 4 events Laurence Shahlaei had 23 points and had qualified for the final! Arsjo, Ortmayer and Smit all had 13 points and Skog had 12. With Kazelniks on 10 points anyone of the other 5 athletes had a chance of grabbing that 2nd qualifying place.

Disaster struck in the Keg Toss as Travis Ortmayer hit a wall at 6 kegs, in an event where he usually excels. this was only enough to get him another 3rd place, while Etienne Smit won and was the only guy to get all 8 kegs over the bar. Arsjo came in 2nd, Kazelniks and Skog in 4th with 4 and last was Shahlaei who having already qualified didn’t exert himself too much, wisely.

Weeeeee!

Going into the last event Smit was on 19 points, Arsjo on 18 and Ortmayer on 17. Ortmayer, known as the Texas Stoneman, lived up to that name by winning his favourite event. It was to be his day as Etienne Smit struggled and could only manage 3 stones to finish in 6th place. Skog in 2nd and Arsjo in 3rd with 4 stones each, Kazelniks in 4th with 4 stones and even Shahlaei threw 3 stones up to finish in 5th.

Ortmayer WINS!

Ortmayer got that 2nd qualifying place at the last moment. Hopefully he’ll have recovered from his flu by the time the final comes around and his full potential can be reached. Massive congratulations to Laurence Shahlaei who was a class apart from the rest of the field on the day and did himsef and England proud – onto the finals! the placings for this 4th heat finished as follows:

Shahlaei and Ortmayer Qualify!

the 5th and final heat is on Bravo TV next Monday and features ‘Big’ Terry Hollands, the 3rd place Strongman at World’s Strongest Man 2007.

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