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Archive for the ‘Giants Live Tour’ Category

As is the annual New Year’s tradition – World’s Strongest Man starts airing on Bravo TV (in the UK) on Monday 4th January and is shown weekly thereafter for 6 weeks, until we crown the 2009 World’s Strongest Man. qualifying was straight forward this year – there were 3 Giants Live qualifying events and the top 3 would go through, with the 10th place being made up by current and 5-time World’s Strongest Man, Mariusz Pudzianowski. These Giants Live events were shown over the Christmas period – here is what happened.

Giants Live Tour

Giants Live Qualifier #1 – Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 2009 – 17 May 2009, America
This is the event in which Derek Poundstone beat Mariusz Pudzianowski to come first last year. This year there was no Pudzianowski, and to say Poundstone dominated would be understatement. He won almost every event, in fact from memory the only event he didn’t win was the final one, The Atlas Stones. The Stones seem to have been an Achilles Heel for Poundstone over the past few years and he lost the 2008 World’s Strongest Man when beaten by Pudzianowski in that last event. Poundtone was beaten in The Atlas Stones by fellow countryman Travis Ortmayer, the man known as The Texas Stoneman, who truly excels at this event. In 3rd place, and also qualifying for the World’s Strongest Man finals, was another American Brian Shaw. No Brits got through, not even perennial British favourite Terry Hollands.

Derek Poundstone (Photo courtesy of IronMind.com)

So, though to the finals so far we have:

Mariusz Pudzianowski
Derek Poundstone
Travis Ortmayer
Brian Shaw

Giants Live Qualifier #2 – Viking Power Challenge 2009 – 6 June 2009, Norway
The first thing that struck me whilst watching this was the lack of star power. Travis Ortmayer was the only widely recognised name and he’s already qualified in the last round. Aside from Richard Skog I didn’t think anyone really deserved to be in the World’s Strongest Man finals! It was Travis Ortmayer who ended up winning, beating home town favourite Richard Skog into 2nd place. Also making it through to the finalsa dn in 3rd place was Russian powerlifter Mikhail Koklyaev, the man who always had a smile on his face – even when doing 1 legged overhead log lifts!

Travis Ortmayer

The World’s Strongest Man finals now looks like this:

Mariusz Pudzianowski
Derek Poundstone
Travis Ortmayer
Brian Shaw
Richard Skog
Mikhail Koklyaev

Giants Live Qualifier #3 – Giants Live Poland – 6 August 2009, Poland
There were a few Brits vying for a place here – Mark Felix, Darren Saddler and Laurence Shahlaei. Shahlaei started out quite strongly but it was Felix and Saddler that made it through to the second phase which saw the field cut down to just 6. Polish favourite Jarek Dymek won the event and also let us in on a secret – the great Mariusz Pudzianowski had injured his arm quite badly. Mark Felix finished in 2nd and Stefan Solvi Petursson in 3rd, both of them booking their places in the 2009 World’s Strongest Man finals which took place in Malta earlier this year – no spoilers please!

Jarek Dymek

Here is the complete line up for the 2009 World’s Strongest Man:

Mariusz Pudzianowski
Derek Poundstone
Travis Ortmayer
Brian Shaw
Richard Skog
Mikhail Koklyaev
Jarek Dymek
Mark Felix
Stefan Solvi Petursson

The reason I italicised complete above, and as the smart ones amongst you will have noticed – there are only 9 competitors. Though Martin Bayfield told us we knew all 10, in actuality we don’t, and we’ll have to tune in January 4th to see just who is that 10th strongman who travelled to Malta in an effort to become the 2009 World’s Strongest Man. With the knowledge that Mariusz Pudzianowski is injured, I don’t think there is anything or anyone that will keep Derek Poundstone from the title this year.

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