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The Commerce World’s Strongest Man 2013 – Athlete Profiles

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2013 WSM Athlete Profiles

Groupings and athlete profiles are below, for more details on some of the athletes and images look at the athlete page on the website.

Group 1

1.       Hafthor Bjornsson

Nationality: Icelandic

WSM debut: 2011

Previous WSM appearances: Two (2011, 2012)

WSM finalist: Twice (2011, 2012)

Highest placing: Third (2012)

Career highlights:

WSM: Third (2012)

WSM: Sixth (2011)

Europe’s Strongest Man: Fourth (2013)

SCL Latvia: Winner (2013)

Iceland’s Strongest Man: Winner (2011-2013)

Jon-Pall Sigmarsson Classic: Winner (2012)

The Icelandic giant made the podium at only his second attempt last year. His performance in the final, where he won two events (Natural Stones and Power Stairs) saw him as the first Icelander since the legendary Magnus Ver Magnusson in 1996 to finish in the top three at WSM. Along the way he was also crowned the 2012 WSM ‘King of Stones’. Thor has had a solid 2013 thus far, winning the SCL Latvia in May, retaining his national title in June (taking all eight of the disciplines) and recording second places in the SCL Brazil, Germany, Holland and China. Bjornsson is improving markedly each year and given how ambitious he is, he will have his eyes set on being the 2013 World’s Strongest Man.

2.       Robert Oberst

Nationality: American

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

Career Highlights:

America’s Strongest Man: Third (2012)

Giants Live Las Vegas (Sin City IV): Winner (2013)

US Open MAS Wrestling Championship: Winner (2013)

All-American Strongman Challenge: Third (2013)

Giants Live British Open: Sixth (2013)

A debutant who will become quickly recognisable due to his sheer physical presence, Oberst is a genuine man-mountain. With a log lift in excess of 200kgs, the American will always be a force in any overhead event and in the next few years looks set to establish himself as one of the USA’s premier strength competitors.

3.       Nick Best

Nationality: American

WSM debut: 2010

Previous WSM appearances: Three (2010-2012)

WSM finalist: Once (2010)

Highest placing: Sixth (2010)

Career highlights:

WSM: Sixth (2010)

All-American Strongman Challenge: Winner (2010)

Giants Live Melbourne FitX: Second (2012, 2013)

USAPL National Powerlifting Championships (125kgs class): Winner (1996, 1997)

WDFPF World Championships (125kgs class): Winner (1996)

Best is a competitor who has excelled in this discipline and also in powerlifting, where he was both a world and a national champion. Anyone who has witnessed his squatting at WSM will have no problems in understanding why he was such a successful powerlifter. Nick had another rewarding trip to Melbourne earlier this year, with Australia proving to be a happy hunting ground, as he took the runners-up place again at the Melbourne FitX Giants Live show. This finish was enough to secure him a fourth consecutive trip to WSM, where his initial aim will be to make his second final. Strongman fans in the US may also have seen Nick, his wife Callie and their children on the television show “My Crazy Obsession – World’s Strongest Family” earlier this year.

4.       Lauri Nami

Nationality: Estonian

WSM Debut: 2012

Previous Appearances: One (2012)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest Placing: Fifth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fifth in group (2012)

Giants Live Poland: Third (2013)

Giants Live Finland: Third (2012)

SCL Czech Republic: Third (2013)

SCL Gibraltar: Second (2012)

SCL Serbia: Third (2012)

Nami qualified in August at the Giants Live Poland event, placing third behind Lalas and Radzikowski, and consequently returns to WSM for a second year in a row. A regular in the SCL for a number of years, and with some notable placings to his name, the Estonian is certain that he will better his debut performance and challenge at the top of his group. Nami is also a six times Estonian national weightlifting champion, and he still utilises that explosive strength to great effect.

5.       Laurence Shahlaei

Nationality: English

WSM debut: 2008

Previous WSM appearances: Four (2008-2011)

WSM finalist: Twice (2009, 2011)

Highest placing: Fourth (2011)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fourth (2011)

WSM: Ninth (2009)

Giants Live British Open: Winner (2013)

Britain’s Strongest Man: Winner (2012)

Giants Live Finland: Winner (2012)

SCL South Africa: Winner (2011)

Absent in 2012 due to injury, Shahlaei returns to China to make his fifth WSM appearance. Shahlaei has great static strength, with squats and deadlifts a speciality. Laurence has had a good 2013 thus far, taking third in the SCL Iceman IV, fourth in the SCL FIBO and fifth at Europe’s Strongest Man. Shahlaei then moved into top gear, winning the Giants Live British Open in August, breaking the British deadlift record in the process with 433kgs. He will be looking to make his third WSM final and improve on his fourth place of 2011.

6.       Long Wu

Nationality: Chinese

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

Career Highlights:

China’s Strongest Man: Winner (2009, 2010, 2011)

Chinese Hercules: Third (2011)

Long Wu has the honour of representing China in his homeland at WSM 2013, and is only the second Chinese competitor in the thirty-six year history of The World’s Strongest Man. With the Farmer’s Walk as his favourite event, Long Wu believes that it his foot speed that makes this a good event for him. The man from the host nation lists Mike Burke as one of the competitors that he most admires because of the help and advice that he has given him during his career.  When his strongman career has finished, Long Wu says that he wants to become a movie star!

Group 2

1.       Johannes Arsjo

Nationality: Swedish

WSM debut: 2008

Previous appearances: Three (2008, 2009, 2012)

WSM finalist: Once (2012)

Highest placing: Ninth (2012)

Career highlights:

WSM: Ninth (2012)

Giants Live Nordic Championship: Winner (2012, 2013)

Sweden’s Strongest Man: Winner (2009-2012)

A multiple national champion, Arsjo is another competitor who has experience of both powerlifting and Highland Games. The Swede made the final at the third attempt in 2012, progressing from a tough group in the process. Injured at Europe’s Strongest Man in June, Arsjo bounced back one week later, winning the Giants Live Nordic Championship in Norway. A very hardy competitor, Arsjo is a well-rounded athlete whose appearance in the final in 2012 seems unlikely to be his last if he performs to his potential.

2.       Scott Cummine

Nationality: Canadian

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

Career Highlights

Canada’s Strongest Man: Third (2010, 2011, 2012)

Western Canada’s Strongest Man: Winner (2006, 2009-2012)

Giants Live Las Vegas (Sin City IV): Second (2013)

A mainstay on the North American strongman circuit, Cummine has been a regular podium finisher in Canada’s Strongest Man, taking third place for the last three years. The Canadian has also dominated Western Canada’s Strongest Man since 2009, winning this regional title on four consecutive occasions. Cummine made his international Giants Live debut in August in Poland, after his second place finish at the Giants Live (Sin City IV) contest in Las Vegas earlier this year.

3.       Graham Hicks

Nationality: English

WSM Debut: 2012

Previous appearances: One (2012)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest placing: Fifth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fifth in group (2012)

Giants Live British Open: Fifth (2013)

Britain’s Strongest Man: Fourth (2012)

Hicks made an immediate impact on his debut in 2012, winning the Loading Race, which was his first ever WSM event. The Englishman has made good progress in the last twelve months, and both his static strength and conditioning have improved significantly. Hicks took fifth place at the Giants Live British Open in August, and looks in good shape as he heads to Sanya for his second successive WSM appearance.

4.       Vytautas Lalas

Nationality: Lithuanian

WSM Debut:  2010

Previous WSM appearances: Three (2010-2012)

WSM finalist: Twice (2011, 2012)

Highest Placing: Second: (2012)

Career highlights:

WSM: Second (2012)

Europe’s Strongest Man:  Second (2012, 2013)

Arnold Classic:  Winner (2013)

Giants Live Poland: Winner (2013)

Giants Live Poland: Winner (2010)

Lithuania’s Strongest Man:  Winner (2010)

SCL FIBO: Winner (2013)

SCL Finland:  Winner (2011)

Arnold Classic Spain: 2nd place (2012)

Lalas was the breakout star in 2012, confirming his tremendous potential with a string of great performances, which culminated in his second place at WSM 2012. The Lithuanian did what few men have managed and pushed Savickas to the very end in California.  A man with minimal weaknesses, Lalas has overhead strength in abundance with any implement, moves rapidly, is a phenomenal squatter and is well conditioned. Lalas started off 2013 in the best possible fashion, winning the Arnold Classic on his debut and also the SCL FIBO in April.  June saw Lalas take second place behind Big Z at Europe’s Strongest Man for the second successive year. At the beginning of August, Lalas emerged victorious in Giants Live Poland, illustrating that he is maintaining his form as we head to WSM. Like Savickas, Lalas is quiet and understated when he isn’t competing, but a ferocious performer when it is game time. Along with his second place at WSM 2012, Lalas’ squatting during the heats was regarded as one of the stand out moments of the contest. He enters Sanya as one of the favourites for the title.

5.       Jerry Pritchett

Nationality: American

WSM Debut: 2012

Previous appearances: One (2012)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest placing: Fourth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fourth in group (2012)

Giants Live British Open: Second (2013)

All-American Strongman Challenge: Winner (2013)

Arnold Classic: Seventh (2013)

A reserve in 2012, who got a last minute call to action, Pritchett performed admirably on his WSM debut. The American got 2013 off to the best possible start by winning the All-American Strongman Challenge, which earned him an invitation to the Arnold Classic. With a reputation as a fine squatter and deadlifter, which had been proven in his record-breaking powerlifting days, Pritchett confirmed this with authority on his international debut at the Giants Live British Open. It was there that Pritchett tied with Shahlaei on a huge 433kgs in the deadlift, and another record was established.

6.       Gerhard Van Staden

Nationality: South African

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous Appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

 Career Highlights:

South Africa’s Strongest Man: Winner (2011)

Giants Live FitX : Fifth (2013)

Giants Live FitX : Sixth (2012)

Southern Hemisphere’s Strongest Man: Second (2012)

Southern Hemisphere’s Strongest Man: Third (2013)

SCL South Africa: Fifth (2011)

Van Staden joins his compatriot Scheun in flying the flag for South Africa in Sanya. A former national champion, Van Staden has international competitive experience, having been in action in both Giants Live and SCL contests over the past few years. A 410kg deadlifter, Van Staden will hope to put this pulling power to good use on his WSM debut. The South African takes his inspiration from the Biblical figure ‘Samson’, and will arrive in China full of enthusiasm and ready to show the world what he can do.

Group 3

1. Dainis Zageris

Nationality: Latvian

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest Placing: n/a

Career Highlights:

Latvia’s Strongest Man: Winner (2012)

SCL Latvia: Second (2013)

SCL Serbia: Third (2013)

A former powerlifter who made the switch to strongman, Zageris has made a real impact in the Strongman Champions League this year, recording a number of impressive finishes across Europe over the past few months. Quietly spoken, the Latvian lists his compatriot Raimonds Bergmanis as one of his heroes, and emulating Bergmanis and making it onto the podium at WSM is one of his goals.

2.       Juha Matti Jarvi

WSM Debut: 2011

Previous WSM appearances: One (2011)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Sixth in group (2011)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Sixth in group (2011)

Finland’s Strongest Man: Winner (2009)

Giants Live Nordic Championship: Third (2013)

Absent from WSM in 2012, Jarvi is back again, following his third place finish in the Giants Live Nordic Championship qualifier in July. The Finn will be eager to improve upon his 2011 performance, and he carries with him the expectations of a nation which has a deep World’s Strongest Man tradition, ranging from from Ilkka Nummisto through to Jouko Ahola and Janne Virtanen.

3.       Frankie Scheun

Nationality: South African

WSM debut: 2012

Previous WSM appearances: One (2012)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing:  Sixth in group (2012)

Career highlights:

WSM: Sixth in group (2012)

South Africa’s Strongest Man: Winner (2010)

Southern Hemisphere’s Strongest Man: Winner (2012, 2013)

Giants Live Melbourne FitX:  Third (2013)

A WSM reserve in his homeland in 2010, Scheun heads to Sanya to make his second successive WSM appearance. The South African made a positive start to 2013, finishing third in Giants Live Australia, which earned him his WSM place. At the same contest, Scheun also retained his title as ‘The Southern Hemisphere’s Strongest Man.’ Following his debut at WSM 2012, Scheun flies to China knowing what to expect at WSM, and will hope to do himself justice with a strong showing.

4.       Brian Shaw

Nationality: American

WSM Debut: 2008

Previous WSM appearances: Five (2008-2012)

WSM finalist: Four times (2009-2012)

Highest placing: Winner (2011)

Career highlights:

WSM: Winner (2011)

WSM: Second (2010)

WSM: Third (2009)

Arnold Classic: Winner (2011)

Giants Live South Africa: Winner (2010)

Giants Live London: Winner (2011)

Super-Series Overall champion (2009)

Super-Series Overall champion (2010)

A true phenomenon, Shaw is one of the biggest stars, in terms of both victories and size, competing today. Referred to as ‘The evolution of strongman’ by the great Bill Kazmaier, Shaw is the complete package. He has an enviable record at WSM and elsewhere, and has recorded numerous prestigious victories over the past three years. A serious nerve issue, as a consequence of his biceps injury in early 2012, hampered Shaw’s WSM campaign last year, although he still managed a creditable fourth place. This year the Coloradan heads to Asia injury free and aiming for a repeat of his 2011 triumph.

5.       Martin Wildauer

Nationality: Austrian

WSM Debut: 2009

Previous appearances: Three (2009, 2011, 2012)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest Placing: Third in group (2011, 2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Third in group (2011, 2012)

Giants Live Finland: Winner (2011)

SCL FIBO: Second (2009)

SCL FIBO: Third (2011)

Austrian Summer Giants: Winner (2009, 2011, 2012)

Austrian Winter Giants: Winner (2008, 2010, 2011)

The Austrian number one, Wildauer was in contention for a final spot twelve months ago, only to lose out in the last discipline. This year marks Wildauer’s fourth WSM appearance and he has shown himself to be a very consistent performer, both at WSM and in the Strongman Champions League. If Wildauer makes the final, he will be the first Austrian to achieve this feat since Ralf Ber in 2005.

6.       Terry Hollands

Nationality: English

WSM Debut: 2005

Previous WSM appearances: Eight (2005-2012)

WSM finalist: Seven times (2006-2012)

Highest placing: 3rd (2007, 2011)

Career  highlights:

WSM: Third (2007, 2011)

Britain’s Strongest Man: Winner (2007)

Europe’s Strongest Man: Second (2010)

Giants Live British Open: Third (2013)

UKSM: Winner (2005)

SCL Overall champion (2010)

Hollands returns for an astonishing ninth consecutive visit to WSM (equalling Gerrit Badenhorst), including seven consecutive finals; the first of which was seven years ago in this same location. Undoubtedly Britain’s premier strongman of the last decade, Hollands has demonstrated his consistency year after year. Competing in the most competitive era of WSM ever, Hollands has continuously adapted and improved and is always a contender. Having suffered torn biceps during last year’s final, the Englishman could not retire on such a low ebb, and is determined to record his best placing in 2013. One of the best deadlifters on his day, for either maximum weight or repetitions, Hollands is also generally regarded as one of the finest vehicle pullers to have competed at WSM. If he makes the final this year, he will equal Magnus Samuelsson’s record of eight finals in a row, which would be a phenomenal achievement.

Group 4

1.       Mike Burke

Nationality: American

WSM debut: 2012

Previous WSM appearances: One (2012)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Third in group (2012)

 Career Highlights:

WSM: Third in group (2012)

Giants Live Hungary: Winner (2013)

Giants Live FitX: Third (2012)

USA’s Strongest Man: Winner (2012)

All-American Strongman Challenge: Winner (2012)

Olympia Strongman Challenge: Winner (2011)

Although Burke didn’t make the final in 2012, he didn’t rest on his laurels. He headed straight to Las Vegas after the WSM heats, where America’s Strongest Man was beginning the following day. Burke duly carried on his good run of form, taking his national title in the two day contest. His third place finish in his group at WSM 2012 was a fine debut for the popular American, who has continued to improve as a competitor over the previous twelve months.  A man with a rock solid grip, Burke broke a host of grip world records, including the Captains of Crush Silver Bullet and also the Ironmind axle double overhand deadlift with 516lbs at the Visegrip Viking Challenge in January 2013. Two months later, Burke took fifth place at The Arnold Classic. A worthy winner of Giants Live Hungary in June, which earned him his WSM 2013 place, a final appearance at his second attempt could well be within reach.

2.       Mark Felix

Nationality: English

WSM Debut: 2004

Previous Appearances: Seven (2004, 2006-2011)

WSM Finalist: Twice (2006, 2007)

Highest Placing: Fourth (2006)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fourth (2006)

WSM: Seventh (2007)

Giants Live British Open: Fourth (2013)

Britain’s Strongest Man: Second (2006, 2007)

IFSA British Championship: Winner (2005)

All-American Strongman Challenge: Second (2013)

A man for who age is most certainly just a number, Felix returns once again to WSM after missing out in 2012. Twice a finalist, and still one to watch in the deadlift, Felix has spent much of the last twelve months working not only on his strength, but also his conditioning. A consistent showing in the Giants Live British Open at the beginning of August showed that Felix still has what it takes to be in contention in the big contests.

3.       Alex Moonen

Nationality: Dutch

WSM Debut: 2012

Previous WSM appearances: One (2012)

WSM Finalist: None

Highest Placing: Fourth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fourth in group (2012)

Holland’s Strongest Man: Second (2009)

Holland’s Strongest Man: Third (2010, 2011, 2012)

Moonen made a solid WSM debut in 2012, but is ambitious enough to believe that he can do better one year later. Four times a podium finisher in his national championship, Moonen has been one of the Netherlands’ most consistent performers of recent years.

4.       Krzysztof  Radzikowski

Nationality: Polish

WSM debut: 2011

Previous WSM appearances: Twice (2011, 2012)

WSM Finalist: Once (2012)

Career Highlights

Highest placing: Sixth (2012) Giants Live Poland: Winner (2011, 2012)

SCL Iceman IV: Winner (2013)

SCL Czech Republic: Winner (2013)

Europe’s Strongest Man: Third (2013)

The Polish number one made an immediate impression in the WSM final twelve months ago, as he became one of just a very select group of competitors who have pressed a 210kg log in a competition. As indicated by that, Radzikowski is a high quality overhead lifter, most notably with a log. The Pole made an impressive start to 2013 by placing fourth in the Arnold Classic, and subsequently he has been on top of the podium in the two SCL events, in Lapland and the Czech Republic. The end of June saw Radzikowski impressing once again, this time in Europe’s Strongest Man, where he took third place in a stacked field. Anything less than making the final again will be viewed as a disappointment by Radzikowski, who is convinced that he will better his 2012 result this year in China.

5.       Zydrunas Savickas

Nationality: Lithuanian

WSM debut: 1998

Previous WSM appearances: Nine (1998, 2000, 2002-2004, 2009-2012)

WSM finalist: Seven times (2002-2004, 2009-2012)

Highest Placing: WSM winner (2009-2010, 2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Winner: (2009,2010,2012)

Europe’s Strongest Man: Winner (2010, 2012, 2013)

Arnold Classic Winner (2003-2008)

World Log Lift Championships: Winner (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)* *Undefeated at this contest.

Arnold Classic Europe:  Winner (2012)

European Championship:  Winner (2005)

Strongman Champions League:  Overall champion (2008, 2012)

Lithuania’s Strongest Man: Winner (1998-2000, 2002, 2004-2012)

The defending champion returns in 2013 for his tenth appearance, looking to take a fourth title and equal Icelandic legends Jon-Pall Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson in the process. Big Z is a man about whom it is easy to run out of superlatives. He has been breaking world records at will for years and has compiled a list of victories that is completely unparalleled. In his home country, the Lithuanian is a genuine superstar who is lauded for his strength feats and rightly recognised as a sporting legend.

At WSM 2012, Savickas was still smarting from his second place in 2011 and made up for this by taking his third title, breaking his own world Log Lift record in the process. With so many accolades under his competitive belt, Zydrunas has made it clear that he wants to be the man to hit the magical 500lb (227.5kgs) barrier in the Log Lift. Given his dominance in the event in recent memory, few doubt that he won’t accomplish this.

Savickas heads into the 2013 event looking to book his eighth WSM final spot. Z missed four finals during the last decade due to the internal divisions within strongman and consequently he has perhaps not won as many titles as he would have otherwise done. However, his results still speak for themselves as he has won three WSM contests out of the last four, and his lowest placing since 2002 has been second, which he has taken on four separate occasions. This year has seen Zydrunas win the SCL Holland, and one week later retain his title as Europe’s Strongest Man, breaking both the Log Lift and Keg Toss world records in doing so. For his rivals, the most worrying thing will be that his 221kg press looked to be well within what he was capable of!

One another factor to consider about Savickas is that in spite of him being the most successful competitor of all time in terms of overall contests in which he has triumphed and records that he has broken, he has remained as humble as ever. He is not a man given to making grand statements about what he can do or has done in the past, he simply has no need to as his results do all the talking. Moreover, it is not in the nature of Savickas to do so, much like his compatriot Vytautas Lalas. Big Z just does what comes naturally to him, winning titles and breaking records and is content to leave the boasting and bravado to others.

6.       Bjorn Andre Solvang

Nationality: Norwegian

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous appearances: None

WSM finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

Career highlights:

Norway’s Strongest Man: Second (2013)

Norway’s Strongest Man: Third (2010, 2011)

Giants Live Hungary: Third (2013)

SCL Portugal: Second (2013)

The second Norwegian who will be in Sanya, Solvang took third place in a hard-fought Giants Live contest in Norway in June, and booked himself a spot at his first WSM. Holding good form further into the season, Solvang recorded a second place finish in the SCL Portugal at the end of July. A previous competitor in the World Log Lift championship, Solvang’s overhead pressing is his key asset. The Norwegian goes to China under no pressure, and will be looking forward to taking a few scalps in his group.

 

Group 5

1.       Mike Jenkins

Nationality: American

WSM debut: 2011

Previous WSM appearances: Two (2011, 2012)

WSM finalist: Twice (2011, 2012)

Highest placing: Fifth (2012)

Career highlights:

 WSM:  Fifth (2012)

Arnold Classic:  Winner (2012)

Giants Live Melbourne Fit-X:  Winner (2012)

Arnold Classic Amateur championships: Winner (2010)

Arnold Classic: Second (2011)

Jenkins is yet another high calibre US strongman. His stunning debut in 2011 was cut short by injury, but that gave an indication to WSM fans as to what he was capable of. A fifth place finish at WSM 2012 would be a reason to be more than satisfied for many athletes, but Jenkins’ aspirations are far loftier than that. Desperately close to locking out his 220kg log lift in the 2012 WSM final, Jenkins ensured that Savickas had to work hard to take victory in that event. However, given his overhead strength, that performance did not come as a surprise to many, and he always will be a contender in any overhead discipline. Fully recovered following his knee surgery last December, the 2012 Arnold Classic winner will be back to his best in August, ready for his next tilt at the WSM crown.

2.       Warrick Brant

Nationality: Australian

WSM Debut: 2010

Previous WSM appearances: One (2010)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Fifth in group (2010)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fifth in group (2011)

Australian National Championship: Winner (2011)

Giants Live FitX: Fourth (2013)

Southern Hemisphere’s Strongest Man: Second (2013)

SCL ‘Iceman’ Challenge: Fourth (2010)

Australia’s Brant makes a second appearance at WSM, following his debut in 2010. Fourth place at the first Giants Live contest of the year in Melbourne showed that Brant was in good form, having shaken off a number of injury problems. The Australian has a huge front squat, and is no slouch when it comes to pressing and deadlifting either, and will look to improve on his 2010 WSM placing when he arrives in Sanya.

3.       Eddie Hall

Nationality: English

WSM debut: 2012

Previous appearances: One (2012)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Fourth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Fourth in group (2012)

Giants Live Hungary: Second (2013)

UK’s Strongest Man: Winner (2011, 2012)

England’s Strongest Man: Winner (2011, 2012, 2013)

A double winner of England’s Strongest Man and the United Kingdom’s Strongest Man, Hall has quickly risen through the British strength ranks over the past three years. Bristling with confidence, the Midlander won two events in his heat last year (Viking Press and Squat), demonstrating clearly where his strengths lie. As a demonstration of this, Hall broke the British Log Lift record at Europe’s Strongest Man in June, recording 191kgs, and without any leg drive whatsoever. Qualifying via his second place in Giants Live Budapest, Hall will believe that last year was just a taster, and this year he will make the final.

4.       Mikhail Koklyaev

Nationality: Russian

WSM Debut: 2010

Previous WSM appearances: Two (2010, 2012)

WSM finalist: Once (2010)

Highest placing: Third (2010)

Career highlights:

WSM: Third (2010)

IFSA World Open: Winner (2005)

SCL Finland: Winner (2008)

SCL Holland: Winner (2009)

SCL FIBO: Winner (2010)

SCL Poland: Winner (2012)

SCL Russia: Winner (2012)

Russian Weightlifting Championship: Winner x 6

WPC Raw European Championships (125kgs+): Winner (2012)

Arnold Classic: Second (2009)

Arnold Classic: Third (2006, 2008, 2013)

Hugely popular and multi-talented, Koklayev is a competitor who is world class in strongman, powerlifting and weightlifting, not to mention his proficiency in throwing the ’56′ for height in Highland Games. Third place at WSM 2010 has been his standout moment so far, but Misha has been a regular winner on the international scene since 2005. Koklyaev missed out on making the final last year, but with his focus now completely on strongman, he will be thinking not only of making the top ten again, but repeating his podium finish of three years ago.

5.       Akos Nagy

Nationality: Hungarian

WSM debut: 2012

Previous appearances: One (2012)

WSM finalist: None

Highest placing: Sixth in group (2012)

Career Highlights:

WSM: Sixth in group (2012)

Giants Live Hungary: Winner (2012)

Giants Live Hungary: Fourth (2013)

Junior World Weightlifting Championships (105+kgs): Winner (1997)

The likeable Hungarian returns for his second trip to WSM. The more dynamic the discipline the better for Nagy, as he retains a lot of explosive power from his successful weightlifting days. Nagy was the last male from Hungary to win world weightlifting gold, back in 1997, and was a reserve for his national weightlifting team at the 2000 Olympic Games. His WSM debut last year was a steep learning curve, but Nagy remains confident that he will improve this year and challenge for a final place.

6.       Robert Cyrwus

Nationality: Polish

WSM Debut: 2013

Career Highlights:

Previous WSM Appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest Placing: n/a

Giants Live Poland (Woodstock): Fifth 2013

Polish Amateur Championship: Winner (2010)

Polish Amateur Championship: Second (2011)

Yet another quality Polish competitor, Cyrwus joins compatriot Radzikowski in Sanya at WSM 2013. Cyrwus finished fifth in a highly competitive Giants Live contest only a few weeks ago, and will hope to carry that form into China on his WSM debut. Cyrwus does have the advantage of having some international experience, as he has previously competed in the Arnold Amateur strongman contest. A former amateur national champion, the Pole will be looking to make the final at his very first attempt.

RESERVE

Lloyd Renals

Nationality: English

WSM Debut: 2013

Previous WSM appearances: None

WSM Finalist: n/a

Highest placing: n/a

Career Highlights:

Giants Live Nordic Championship: Sixth (2013)

Giants Live British Open: Eighth (2013)

London’s Strongest Man: Winner (2013)

UKSM: Second (2012)

Another of the group of up and coming British strongmen, Renals has made good progress in 2013 and seems set to announce himself as one to watch in the very near future. An impressive display at London’s Strongest Man in May saw him take a hard-earned first place. That finish earned Renals a spot at the Giants Live Nordic Championship, where he performed very well for the first four disciplines, before faltering slightly over the last few events and dropping down the leaderboard.

Categories: Uncategorized

August 14, 2013 | by