Qualifying Event in Poland
Three new men qualify for the WSM finals after a dust up in Poland.
The third grand prix of the Giants Live season got under way in glorious sunshine in a stadium just outside Krynica Zdró in Poland on Saturday 6th August. The line up may have had quite a few “novice” WSM athletes but with a few seasoned strength super stars like Terry Hollands looking to get a “sharpner” before Worlds we would get a good gauge of who is in top form. As ever, the top three from this contest qualify for the WSM Finals so it was a pressure cooker atmosphere before the whistle for the first event – arm over arm with a 7 tonne truck.
Perhaps the biggest question for strength pundits was would Krzystof Radziakowski finally step out of the shadow of his old training partner Pudzianowski and get the long deserved invite to Worlds? This was a question he soon answered in dominating fashion. Radziakowski, known for his legendary shoulder power, may have only had two victories out of 6 disciplines but he never dropped out of the top three across the other events. He was the Champion on the day – also on the podium were the two men with the big reputations from the Arnolds -
Mike Jenkins of the USA in second and Mateusz Baron of Poland came in third.
The first event, the arm over arm, was won by Tomak Kawal who being the local hero had a dream start. It was perhaps a little too light for this field as the real giants like Hollands and the new Icelander Thor Bjornsson at 6 foot 6 and 6 foot 9 respectively were beaten by the 6 foot Pole in a time of 15 seconds for 20m. Once the truck got over the initial inertia it was all about reeling the rope in with quick arm power. Importantly, Mike Jenkins of the USA was 9th. A terrible start for the man from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Next up was meant to be a Medley of Tyre and Super Yoke. However, half way through the event the heavens opened. Lightning exploded all around, and finally the heavens opened to a torrential downpour. After a half hour wait it was decided to restart the event without the tyre. The grass surface and the constant drizzle meant it was too dangerous to continue tyre. In the end, it was a quick foot race over 20 m with a fairly light yoke. Mike Jenkinstook the 380kg yoke the distance in under ten seconds. It was a physique and power very reminiscent of Vasyl Vyrastyuk (WSM winner of 2004). Hollands was second and Baron was third. Both men a second or so behind Jenkins.
Then in the log press, Radziakowski shared the win with Jenkins – 9 reps in 60 seconds on 150kg log. Sheild carry up next, and Jenkins’ comeback was looking good. He took the 190kg lump of steel for 75m.
Then to the Atlas stones and it was a monster time from the 22 year old Icelander Hapthor “Thor” Bjornsson of 6 stones in 28 seconds on to high platforms that looked impossible to beat; but such is the quality of Radziakowski, at 6 foot 2 inches he is very similar to Maruisz’s shape but is even taller. It helped him to a time of 26 seconds for the win. The final event was the deadlift. A brutal (narrow) sider handle Deadlift at 370kg. The outstanding moment here was when Baron, who sat in 6th place, went wild and hit 15 reps. Six more than anyone else in the event. He collapsed to the ground in exhaustion afterwards. It mean Hollands, who was perhaps holding back a bit for WSM, dropped from third to 5th = in the last event and
Baron jumped all the way to the bronze medal position – and more importantly he gained a golden ticket to Worlds.
Here’s the final finishing order:
1. Krzysztof Radzikowski 55,5 points
2. Mike Jenkins 43,5 points
3. Mateusz Baron 39 points
4. Hapthor Bjornsson 38 points
5. Tomasz Kowal 37 points
5. Terry Hollands 37 points
6. Akos Nagy 23,5 points
7. Martin Forsmark 22 points
8. Gary Gardner 20,5 points
9. Alex Curletto 13 points
Director of Giants Live