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Athlete Profiles – Group 3

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WSM Finals 2012, LA USA – Athlete Profiles – Group 3

Brian Shaw

Nationality: American

WSM debut: 2008

Previous WSM appearances: Four (2008-2011)

WSM finalist: Three times (2009-2011)

Highest placing: First (2011)




The reigning champion, and the man who has been referred to as ‘the evolution of strongman’, Shaw has made his way to the top of the strongman world since his WSM debut four years ago. With almost textbook upward progression, the Coloradan finished third in 2009 in his first final, was second on count-back in 2010, before his victory last year. A genuine man mountain, Shaw moves quickly, has overhead and pulling strength in abundance and has little, if any glaring weaknesses. The 2011 ‘King of Stones’ suffered a setback at the Arnold Classic in March where he tore his right biceps during the first event, but he still managed to finish in fourth place overall. Successful surgery followed soon after and over six months later, the defending champion is back to full fitness and looking to repeat his memorable victory of twelve months ago.


Chris Gearing

Nationality: English

WSM debut: 2012

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a




A field athlete turned strength athlete, Gearing is still something of a strongman novice, but has made quite an impact in a short period of time. Gearing took a silver medal in the Shot Put in the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2004, and has an impressive field background. In strongman terms, third place at Britain’s Strongest Man this year was followed a couple of weeks later by first place in England’s Strongest Man. In his first appearance at UKSM in August, Gearing took  third. A 400kg deadlifter, Gearing has tremendous potential and when at the top of his game is a tough competitor to beat.


Name: Johannes Arsjo

Nationality: Swedish

WSM debut: 2008

Previous WSM appearances: Two (2008, 2009)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest Placing: Third in group (2008, 2009)





Absent from WSM for a couple of years, Arsjo qualified with a strong second place finish in the Finland Giants Live qualifier in June. This proved to be a productive month for the Swede, as he also took top spot in the Nordic championship, winning five out of six events. Twice Sweden’s Strongest Man, Arsjo was injured immediately prior to the WSM heats in 2010 and had to withdraw from the contest. Two years later, he is back and having competed successfully in powerlifting, is on form, at full fitness and looking to show WSM fans that he remains a world class performer.


Name: Lauri  Nami

Nationality: Estonian

WSM debut: 2012

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM finalist: n/a

Highest placing : n/a





Earning his WSM invitation via a third place finish in Giants Finland, Nami follows in the footsteps of his Estonian compatriots Aap Uspenski, Tarmo Mitt, Andrus Murumets and Rauno Heinla in representing his nation at The World’s Strongest Man contest. Nami’s has made consistent progress of late, and he has been seen in action in both Giants Live and SCL events for the past couple of years. As recently as the start of September, Nami took second spot in the SCL Gibraltar. A versatile performer, Nami  is also the holder of six Estonian national weightlifting titles.


Mikhail Koklyaev

Nationality: Russian

WSM debut: 2010

Previous WSM appearances: One (2010)

WSM finalist : Once (2010)

Highest placing : Third (2010)



A true strength all-rounder, Koklyaev is a world-class weightlifter, powerlifter and strongman. Ultimately unsuccessful in his objective of being selected for the Russian weightlifting team at the London Olympic Games, Misha has focused all his energy into taking the WSM title in 2012. Second place in the SCL Finland in August, and a tie for first with Savickas a few weeks later in SCL Poland showed that the popular Russian is finding his strongman form at just the right time. This was further confirmed when Koklyaev took the win in his home country in the SCL a the end of August.  Koklyaev’s third place in 2010 in his only previous WSM outing illustrates his pedigree and there is no question that he will be aiming for the very top of the podium this year.


Martin Wildauer

Nationality: Austrian

WSM debut: 2009

Previous WSM appearances: Two (2009, 2011)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Third in group (2011)



After a solid performance in 2011, where he was in contention for a final place until the last event of the qualifying round, the Austrian returns for a third WSM appearance. Still yet to make the final ten, Wildauer has shaken off the injury concerns that slowed his progress a little while ago and believes that 2012 will be the year in which he makes it past the qualifying phase.

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September 18, 2012 | by