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Worlds Strongest Man 2017

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  • #21
    Hi Ben, you are right indeed about the Stoltman brothers being the first pair to compete together since the Samuelssons in 2002. The Gosling brothers competed around the same time but never at the same WSM.

    Confirmed athletes so far (either via social media or per guaranteed invite) :
    1. Brian Shaw (USA)
    2. Martins Licis (USA)
    3. Jerry Pritchett (USA)
    4. Nick Best (USA)
    5. Robert Oberst (USA)
    6. Derek DeVaughan (USA)
    7. Rob Kearney (USA)
    8. Eddie Hall (GBR)
    9. Laurence Shahlaei (GBR)
    10. Terry Hollands (GBR)
    11. Mark Felix (GBR)
    12. Luke Stoltman (GBR)
    13. Tom Stoltman (GBR)
    14. Jean-François Caron (CAN)
    15. Jimmy Paquet (CAN)
    16. Hafthor Bjornsson (ISL)
    17. Ari Gunnarsson (ISL)
    18. Zydrunas Savickas (LTU)
    19. Matjaz Belsak (SVN)
    20. Konstantine Janashia (GEO)
    21. Dimitar Savatinov (BUL)
    22. Mikhail Shivlyakov (RUS)
    23. Johan Els (RSA)
    24. Mikkel Leicht (DEN)
    25. Colm Woulfe (NZL)

    Brian Benzel (USA)
    Stefan Solvi Petursson (ISL)

    The others haven't confirmed, and some of the aforementioned athletes might drop out.

    I'll update this list as we move closer to competition time!

    Officially not going :
    Johannes Arsjo (SWE) - Back surgery
    Martin Forsmark (SWE) - Personal reasons
    Adam Bishop (GBR) - Ruptured bicep tendon
    Krzysztof Radzikowski (POL) - Bicep injury
    Graham Hicks (GBR) - Personal reasons
    Last edited by Eloi Fournier; 04-17-2017, 04:47 PM.


    • #22
      Originally posted by Ben Wynes View Post
      Great to see the field shaping up, wonder who will receive the other wildcards. I am pretty sure Caron, Licis, Kielszkowski, Szymanski will have been invited as last year's finalists.

      I also hope the likes of Zageris, Lalas, Wildauer, Oberst, Savatinov, Radzikowski and Shivlyakov get an invite. Guess a lot will depend on injuries and/or existing commitments to other comps. Do any of the SCL or Arnold comps clash with WSM this year?

      The strength in depth in strongman at the moment is so high, imagine if we actually saw the top 30 strongmen in the world get invited, the heats would be so much more competitive than we often see.
      The Arnold World Series - South Africa will take place 5th - 7th May.
      The SCL does have a show planned for Bosnia at the same time as WSM.


      • #23
        Originally posted by Neil Mitchell View Post

        The Arnold World Series - South Africa will take place 5th - 7th May.
        The SCL does have a show planned for Bosnia at the same time as WSM.
        These do not clash directly with WSM. SCL Bosnia is on May 13th, while WSM is from May 20th to May 28th. I don't see any big contests during that week.


        • #24
          The SCL website says they'll be holding their Log Lift Worlds on May 20. Obviously some contenders for that title will be at WSM.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Scotty Blyly View Post
            The SCL website says they'll be holding their Log Lift Worlds on May 20. Obviously some contenders for that title will be at WSM.
            Interesting, some SCL guys like Blekaitis, Heinla, Zageris don't really go to WSM.

            Johannes Arsjo is out, he's recovering from back surgery.
            Ari Gunnarsson is in.
            Last edited by Neil Mitchell; 04-09-2017, 03:09 PM.


            • #26
              Interesting that the SCL Log Lift World's clash with WSM. Just seen that Hicks took one of the log records at this weekend's FIBO SCL in Germany. Pure speculation of course, but I wonder if that's why he pulled out of Europe's to concentrate on that comp. And if that is the case I wonder whether he'd opt to go to the Log Lift World's (which he'd have a good shot at winning) over WSM?


              • #27
                The events for the final are rumored to look like this:

                - Flip & Drag
                - Axle Squat
                - Truck Pull
                - Deadlift
                - Viking Press
                - Atlas Stones

                Three static events out of six would be a huge break for Z and for the Beast. It would be the most static final in modern history with these events, but we'll have to wait until it's official to confirm that this is the actual list. However, Shaw and Thor can never be counted out.


                • #28
                  Just seen that Laurence Shahlaei has put the groups on Instagram. Apparently they are going to be:

                  1 - Shaw, Caron, Belsak, Felix, T.Stoltman, Woulfe

                  2 - Bjornsson, Licis, Savatinov, L. Stoltman, Paquet, Gordzielik

                  3 - Shahlaei, Janashia, Shivlyakov, Leicht, Els, Kearney

                  4 - Hall, Kieliszkowski, DeVaughn, Gunnarson, Nami, Van Staden

                  5 - Savickas, Hollands, Pritchett, Best, Zageris, Maheripourehir

                  Seems like they have invited the top guys. With the exception of those who have already ruled themselves out due to injuries or personal issues, the only ones I would have liked to see are Lalas and Wildauer. The only one i don't know much about is Iran's strongest man, Peyman Maheripourehir. Some tough groups there.


                  • #29
                    Thanks to Craig Pfisterer for posting the events elsewhere:-

                    Group 1
                    Load & Drag
                    Log Lift
                    Fingal Fingers
                    Overhead Toss
                    Last Man Standing Atlas Stones

                    Group 2
                    Load & Drag
                    Squat Lift
                    Truck Pull
                    Overhead Press
                    Overhead Toss
                    Last Man Standing Atlas Stones

                    Group 3
                    Load & Drag
                    Log Lift Lift
                    Truck Pull
                    Elephant Carry
                    Last Man Standing Atlas Stones

                    Group 4
                    Load & Drag
                    Log Lift
                    Truck Pull
                    Overhead Toss
                    Last Man Standing Atlas Stones

                    Group 5
                    Load & Drag
                    Squat Lift
                    Fingal Fingers
                    Overhead Press
                    Elephant Carry
                    Last Man Standing Atlas Stones


                    • #30
                      So, I ran some numbers recently and my predictions are:
                      Shaw 53 points
                      Hall 51 points
                      Bjornsson 50 points

                      Who do you think takes it?


                      • #31

                        Group 1 - Shaw and Caron
                        Very tough group. Shaw should coast through to the final but the second place is tough to pick. Caron is very underrated and always seems to make the final, but Belsak and Felix should push him all the way. Belsak looked great at FIBO and has a great future. As for Felix he could drop a few points on some of the events but he's a great stone lifter and the last man standing thing could really help him. Tom Stoltman has huge potential but it might be a little too soon for him in his first WSM, and Woulfe is another underrated strongman but in this group its going to be an uphill battle.

                        Group 2 - Bjornsson and Licis
                        Like Shaw, Bjornsson should easily qualify. The final qualifying place looks to be a two-horse race between Licis and Savatinov. I think Licis will just edge it, he looked so impressive last year and is another one who looks to be the future of the sport. Stoltman and Paquet have had some very good results recently at some of the Giants Live contests, but I think it will be hard for them to beat the other three. As for Gordzielik I don't know a lot about him, but he didn't set the world alight at Europe's so I don't think we have another Janashia here.

                        Group 3 - Shahlaei and Janashia
                        Really tough group to pick. Again I think it will be between three men. Would find it hard to pick against Shahlaei, if he avoids illness and injury, given his experience. Then its a real toss up between Janashia and Shivlyakov. Shivlyakov looked great at the Arnolds as did Janashia at Europe's. But if Janashia hits the form of last year it will be hard to pick against him. Leicht and Els in particular looked great at WSM last year, but I can't seem them making the final. As for Rob Kearney, its great to see a 105 guy here and he should smash the log lift, but very few WSM first timers make the final.

                        Group 4 - Hall and Kieliszkowski
                        On the surface this group seems the most clear cut. Hall should qualify relatively easily and Kielszkowski should be hot on his heels. However, the Pole has been recovering from injury and will drop points on the deadlift. If he is not at 100% DeVaughn could take advantage. As could Nami, Gunnarsson and van Staden. All three are solid strongman who have huge amounts of experience.

                        Group 5 - Savickas and Hollands
                        I would have picked these two anyway, but I feel more confident what with Pritchett dropping out. I actually think Hollands could take this group, he looked great at Europe's and Savickas seems to have struggled since he slimmed down. He seems to be the big question mark this year, I don't think he's had a great comp since the Arnold's last year. Maybe father time has caught up with him, but i find it really hard to bet against him. If either slips up Zageris or Best could strike. Zageris is another underrated strongman, he should of made the final a few years ago if it wasn't for the double points rule, but is coming off an injury at Europe's. As for Maheripourehir and Fadesir I know virtually nothing about them. They could surprise but I can't think of many strongman in recent years who have come completely out of nowhere to make the final.

                        Final - Shaw, Hall, Thor
                        As for the final, barring injury, I would be surprised to see a podium of anyone other than Shaw, Hall and Thor. I think this is a great final for Hall event-wise. But Shaw is so strong on everything i find it hard to pick against him.


                        • #32
                          Nice breakdown on the heats Ben. I would agree with your picks. Heats 1 and 5 (depending on Savickas' health) would be the most likely to have a surprise.

                          I also agree with you and Eloi that Shaw, Hall, and Thor are the safe bets for podium finishers.
                          However, the final events look almost custom tailored for Hall, and will also be very good for Z.
                          It's never wise to count Zydrunas out, and if he is at full strength (or fairly close) perhaps Thor or Shaw finds himself on the outside looking in.

                          Anyone else expecting at least one more big run from Savickas?


                          • #33
                            Annual Prediction:-

                            Group 1 - Brian Shaw & J-F Caron
                            Brian Shaw. Goes without saying, he's the favourite for the competition, the only way he won't make the final is if he loses an arm or a leg.
                            Second place will be tight between Caron & Belsak, but I'll go with the former. He's consistent and although I think Belsak has a big future ahead of him, he'll just get pipped at the post.
                            Felix will get points on the stones & deadlift but I think he'll just drop too many points in other events.

                            Group 2 - Thor Bjornsson & D. Savatinov
                            Bjornsson. Just like Shaw, only way he won't the final is by serious injury, and I don't mean any disrespect to the others.
                            Second place will be tight again and I'll go with Savatinov to oust Licis. Licis has had some problems with his elbow/shoulder but that won't stop him giving it all he has. Savatinov is quite experienced and I think the events suit him slightly more than Licis. I'm interested to see how Paquet & Stoltman get on, but I also think this is about experience more than anything for these two.

                            Group 3 - Shahlaei & Janashia
                            Another real tough group,
                            Luck has got to turn at some stage for Shahlaei, he certainly deserves a bit of good luck. I can see only the top 3 being separated by only a point or two. Shahlaei gets my vote for the win.
                            Janashia or Shivlyakov. You may as well toss a coin. Janashia done great last year and has a force to be reckoned with, you can't rule out Shivlyakov, the guy is a beast and can mix it with the best.
                            The other 3 in this group will pick up points and split the group but not enough to trouble the favourites.

                            Group 4 - Hall and Kieliszkowski
                            If he can get through the group unscathed, I don't think Ed will ever have a better chance of winning WSM given the events for the final.
                            Kieliszkowski gets my vote for second, yes he's had back problems and other injuries but he has enough to get through, I'll go with Gunnarsson to get third, he done well last year and if he can pick some things up from Thor then he will eventually make a final.

                            Group 5 - Hollands & Big Z
                            It would have been a tough group if Pritchett had have been there then this group could have produced a shock.
                            You won't see the Hollands of last year who was off the pace and looked like a man who had been on a break. He's changed his program and has looked good when he has competed, he normally does save him for WSM and I think we will see the Hollands of years ago when he was making finals.
                            Big Z to get second, I don't think he's the Z that dominated, the injuries have piled up and he hasn't competed much.
                            Best & Zageris will fight for third and fourth unless either of the two 'big guns' get injured.


                            • #34
                              All right then, I'll go with my picks for the heats too!

                              Heat 1 - Shaw and Caron
                              Of course Shaw takes it. He could win every event in the group if he wanted to, but he's going to be able to save energy instead. In my opinion, heat 1 is the toughest this year, as we rarely have three finalists from the year before squaring off. Not only that, but we have two of the top 5 men of 2016 together! That's what Big Z's return does, I guess. So, I'm going with Caron over Belsak but it will be close, both men are top 10 in the world in my view. Caron is a bit more consistent and he's better on Deadlift, so I'm picking him but it could go either way. Poor Mark Felix doesn't have great events here, notably log, fingers and toss, which will hinder him. Tom Stoltman and Colm Woulfe might impress on some events.

                              Heat 2 - Bjornsson and Licis
                              Another group where first place is already pretty much sealed, with Bjornsson dominating. I'm going with Licis for second place, because he has shown impressive training videos that make me believe his injury is a thing of the past. We'll see about that in two weeks. Savatinov and Luke Stoltman should be close to him, but Stoltman isn't quite there on static events while Mitko isn't as fast as Martins. Look out for Jimmy Paquet, he is fit and has great powerlifting totals, but he might be a bit light and inexperienced for this year. I'll say this, he is definitely one for the future.

                              Heat 3 - Shivlyakov and Janashia
                              Yes, I know what you're thinking. This pick could be the best or the worst, but I am going with the two Eastern Europeans here. I saw Shivlyakov at the Arnold Classic USA and then in Australia, and he looked absolutely awesome in both contests. Misha is in the shape of his life, he is fast and great at overhead pressing and deadlifting. I have him top 3 in every event in that heat. Konstantine deadlifted 400kg for a double this week, and he is big and strong enough to challenge on every discipline. Loz is just as awesome as those guys, but he's prone to mistakes and doesn't have as much pressing power as Misha and the Georgian Bull. I hope he proves me wrong though, I love Laurence. According to my predictions, the heat will be decided by about half a point. Bold pick: Johan Els takes the Load & Drag and the Elephant Carry.

                              Heat 4 - Hall and Kieliszkowski
                              Probably the easiest one to pick. Hall should get top two or three in everything, while Kieliszkowski is recovering from injury but should still make it against 4 guys who have never made it to the final. I must say I'm puzzled by the choice of Lauri Nami instead of Rauno Heinla for Estonia. Heinla was incredibly impressive in Arnold Australia and Arnold Brazil. I have Ari and Gerhard in 3rd and 4th place respectively.

                              Heat 5 - Savickas and Hollands
                              Big Z is in very good shape right now, and he will prove his doubters wrong at WSM... at least in the heats. I have him in 4th in the final behind Shaw, Hall and Thor. Terry Hollands, in better shape than last year and with an easier heat, should make it with Z. I have Terry tying for 5th in the final with JF Caron. Best and Zageris will fight behind them. Peyman Maheripourehir of Iran might open some eyes, he has impressive gym strength but has no international experience. Oluwatofunmi Fadesire of Nigeria, well... he won't score a lot of points.

                              1 Shaw
                              2 Hall
                              3 Thor
                              4 Z
                              5 Hollands
                              5 Caron
                              7 Kieliszkowski
                              8 Licis
                              9 Janashia
                              10 Shivlyakov


                              • #35
                                Yeah the Nami/Heinla thing is interesting. I don't really have a problem with Nami being here, he seems to be one of those guys whose probably just short of ever making the final but he's very competitive and can take points of the top guys in certain events. If there was a strongman world rankings he'd probably be in the 25-40 range. I definitely agree Heinla should be here though. He's looked very good in the last couple of years, especially recently. I remember him in WSM a number of years ago, he was competitive but didn't really set the world alight, a bit like Nami actually. What with its current form you would definitely have him in the top 15-20 in the world so its a shame he hasn't been invited.

                                I think Heinla had a dig at the organisers on social media about who they invite before the competitors were released this year. I really hope I am wrong, but it does seem as if a divide is beginning to grow between those who do the Arnold comps (Heinla, Wildauer, Pritchett, Lalas etc.) and those who do the Giants Live and WSM.


                                • #36
                                  I think Pritchett pulled out of competing at WSM because he couldn't get the time off work, he already signed up for the Arnold contests as he had plenty of notice. That's the problem the sport faces, there isn't enough money or schedule to make everyone go full-time, WSM also doesn't really seem planned until 3 months or so out form the contest.

                                  Those that can obviously don't have to worry about their jobs but it's going to continue to cause guys to miss major contests unless they can change it around somehow.

                                  Not sure why Heinla has been put in the bad books by WSM, it has happened before over the years with Katona & Mitt missing out on invites to the big event.


                                  • #37
                                    I don't know if Pieman Maheripourehir is a new Janashia, but according to his Instagram, he pulled 395 kg for a double a few days ago. He also squatted 315 kg for 8 reps a week ago, and he's been working on his moving events. Impressive stuff, we'll see how he does on the big stage.


                                    • #38
                                      Raffael Gordzielik of Germany is out of heat 2 due to a possible pneumonia. Looks like Bryan Benzel might be in for him.

                                      Also, I will be updating the following spreadsheet as the results come in from Botswana.


                                      • #39
                                        Update: Benzel will be in heat 5 to replace Zageris. Petursson will replace Gordzielik in heat 2.


                                        • #40

                                          Brian Shaw - USA
                                          Jean-Francois Caron - Canada

                                          Hafthor Bjornsson - Iceland
                                          Martins Licis - USA

                                          Konstantine Janashia - Georgia
                                          Laurence Shahlaei - England

                                          Eddie Hall - England
                                          Mateusz Kieliszkowski - Poland

                                          Nick Best - USA
                                          Zydrunas Savickas - Lithuania

                                          From what I'm hearing the LMS Stones Events was a load of c**p. Belsak had done almost 10 reps before he even had to face Caron.