June 21, 2021
THANK YOU FOR THE KIND WORDS
Thank you to everyone for their kind words about “The Daily Strongman”! Your support is sincerely appreciated! Looking forward to 2022 WSM!
WSM FINAL – DAY 2 RECAP
A HEAVY PRESS
At the end of Day 1, it felt as if Tom Stoltman (GBR) was untouchable. “The Albatross” had earned 28.5 out of a possible 30 points in the first 3 events, an almost perfect run which allowed him to hold a 5.5-point lead over 4-time WSM Champion, Brian Shaw (USA).
However, in the Log Lift (for max), Stoltman proved that he was human after all. The overall leader failed to lift the 195kg (430 lbs) piece of lumber, while 7 other athletes managed it. This could have allowed Shaw to gain points on Stoltman, but Shaw did not manage to clear the following lift of 205kg (452 lbs).
4 men did so. For Maxime Boudreault (CAN), it was a new Canadian Log Lift record, breaking his previous mark of 200kg (441 lbs). The exertion was too much for Boudreault, and he chose to drop out of the event after managing the 205kg (452 lbs). This left 3 men to attempt a phenomenal 215kg (474 lbs).
Trey Mitchell (USA) was up first, but he did not have enough in the tank to press out the log. Bobby Thompson (USA) followed, and he was able to push the log over his head, but struggled to lock it out and ended up tumbling to the floor. Luckily, he was fine afterwards. This left only one athlete: Luke Stoltman (GBR), who proved his dominance in the Overhead events by pressing the weight easily, thus winning his 1st ever WSM Final event.
After 4 events, the lead was now down to 3 points…
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
The KNAACK Deadlift (for reps) was up next, with the athletes lifting a 350kg (772 lbs) bar with a jobsite box on each side of it.
Adam Bishop (GBR), known for his prowess in the Deadlift, stepped up and set the mark to beat with 10 impressive reps. In the next pairing, JF Caron (CAN) was able to match Bishop. It was an awesome performance by Caron, who had difficulty walking because of a left hamstring tear.
Meanwhile, leader Tom Stoltman (GBR) was only able to complete 8 reps, which gave Brian Shaw (USA) an opportunity to gain more points on him. Unfortunately for “The Evolution of Strongman”, he just failed to get a 10th lift, having to settle for 9.
Trey Mitchell (USA) was able to tie Bishop and Caron for the event win, pushing Shaw down to a T-4th place with Bobby Thompson (USA). Here’s what Shaw had to say:
“There have been plenty of opportunities for me to lock this up and I haven’t done that. Tom opened the door in a couple of events… It’s a battle and it’s fun! At the end of the day, these are the moments that true competitors live for.”
Still, going into the Atlas Stones, the gap between Stoltman & Shaw was down to 1 point!
A STONE OFF FOR THE WIN
The battle between Tom Stoltman (GBR) & Brian Shaw (USA) would come down to one last Atlas Stone run. It would be a winner-take-all showdown for the WSM title, the 1st to take place since 2015.
WINNER-TAKE-ALL BATTLES IN THE LAST EVENT – WSM FINAL (since 1994)
2015 (Putrajaya, MAS): Brian Shaw (USA) def. Zydrunas Savickas (LTU) in Atlas Stones
> Before event: Savickas 43.5, Shaw 43
2012 (Los Angeles, CA): Zydrunas Savickas (LTU) def. Vytautas Lalas (LTU) in Power Stairs
> Before event: Lalas 40.5, Savickas 40
2011 (Wingate, NC): Brian Shaw (USA) def. Zydrunas Savickas (LTU) in Atlas Stones
> Before event: Savickas 40, Shaw 40
2008 (Charleston, WV): Mariusz Pudzianowski (POL) def. Derek Poundstone (USA) in Atlas Stones
> Before event: Poundstone 51.5, Pudzianowski 50.5
2006 (Sanya, CHN): Phil Pfister (USA) def. Mariusz Pudzianowski (POL) in Atlas Stones
> Before event: Pudzianowski 51.5, Pfister 51
2004 (Nassau, BAH): Vasyl Virastyuk (UKR) def. Zydrunas Savickas (LTU) in Atlas Stones
> Before event: Virastyuk 32, Savickas 32
1994 (Sun City, RSA): Magnus Ver Magnusson (ISL) def. Manfred Hoeberl (AUT) & Riku Kiri (FIN) in McGlashen Stones
> Before event: Magnusson 42.5, Hoeberl 42.5, Kiri 42
Before the duel between Stoltman & Shaw, JF Caron (CAN) set the early pace in spite of his injury, lifting all 5 stones in 37.17 seconds. But then, his countryman Maxime Boudreault (CAN) stepped up and finished the set in 28.63 to take the lead. The two men who were T-3rd, Trey Mitchell (USA) & Luke Stoltman (GBR), could not match Boudreault’s pace. Mitchell finished 0.09 seconds behind Caron, while L. Stoltman failed the 5th stone.
It was now on to the winner-take-all matchup. Very quickly, it became clear that Tom Stoltman (GBR), the “King of the Stones”, would be able to live up to his nickname. Stoltman made the stones look easy, winning the event with a time of 20.21 seconds, securing his 1st WSM Title. Brian Shaw (USA) still finished strongly, lifting all 5 stones in 31.45.
Stoltman had therefore won the WSM title, 3 points ahead of Shaw.
After his victory, Stoltman told James & Eddie: “3 years ago, I told Eddie Hall that I had made a promise to my mum… In 2021, I would win World’s Strongest Man.”
A DIVERSE PODIUM
3 men who are at very different stages in their careers were able to reach the WSM podium yesterday.
Tom Stoltman (GBR), the new World’s Strongest Man Champion, was in his 3rd straight WSM Final and wanted to take a step up from his 2nd place finish in 2020.
Stoltman won the first 2 events (Giant’s Medley & Titan’s Turntable). In doing so, he became the first WSM Champion since 2004 (Vasyl Virastyuk) in Nassau, Bahamas to win first 2 events in the WSM Final before taking the title. “The Albatross” also won the Atlas Stones, making it 2 straight years in which he won 3 events in the WSM Final.
At age 27, T. Stoltman will be hoping to win even more WSM titles in the future!
For Brian Shaw (USA), 2nd place in his 13th WSM Final possibly feels bittersweet. Shaw gave it all he had in the Final, notably breaking the 15kg (33 lbs) Keg Toss for Height world record on Day 1.
Shaw was trying to capture a 5th WSM title, which would have tied him for most all-time with Mariusz Pudzianowski (POL). At age 39, Shaw would have become the oldest Champion in WSM history (39 years, 114 days), passing Zydrunas Savickas (LTU) 38 years, 258 days in 2014, when he won the last of his 4 WSM titles.
Behind these two giants, Maxime Boudreault (CAN) had a tremendous breakthrough performance in his 1st WSM Final. Boudreault has not been a household name for long in Strongman, but he delivered impressive performances throughout the competition. In the Reign Total Body Fuel Keg Toss, Boudreault tied for 2nd place; he then did the same in the Log Lift (for max) before taking 2nd place on his own in the Atlas Stones.
The 29-year-old Canadian has only one main weakness: his Deadlift. In the WSM Final, he had to settle for last place in this event, costing him any chance of becoming the 1st Canadian WSM Champion.
Brian Shaw (USA), Tom Stoltman (GBR) & Maxime Boudreault (CAN)
With Great Britain, the United States and Canada being represented, it is the 9th straight year in which 3 different flags are flown on the WSM podium.
> Last WSM w/ less than 3 countries represented on the podium: 2012 (Los Angeles, CA)
> 2012 podium: Zydrunas Savickas (LTU), Vytautas Lalas (LTU) & Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (ISL)
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Trey Mitchell (USA) was not far away from earning his 1st WSM podium, but narrowly missed out. Still, “Big Tex” can be proud of his efforts. Before 2021, his best WSM finish was 8th place back in 2019. Mitchell was 2nd in the Titan’s Turntable, T-2nd in the Log Lift (for max) with a personal best of 205kg (452 lbs) and he tied for the win in the KNAACK Deadlift (for reps). It was a great effort from Mitchell, and he will be hoping for a title next year.
For his 9th WSM Final & 8th straight WSM Final, JF Caron (CAN) did not have it easy. Caron suffered a left hamstring tear during the 1st event (Giant’s Medley) and had to perform wounded for the remainder of the competition. Although he was walking gingerly, Caron tied for the KNAACK Deadlift (for reps) win and completed all 5 Atlas Stones in a solid time. It was a 6th straight top-5 finish at WSM for Caron.
1st time Finalist Bobby Thompson (USA) struggled on some events and had to withdraw before the Atlas Stones, but “The American Nightmare” pushed himself to the limit. In the Log Lift (for max), Thompson collapsed to the ground after holding a 215kg (474 lbs) just a little bit too long. He then regrouped and attacked the KNAACK Deadlift (for reps), lifting the bar 9 times, before collapsing again. Thompson is now feeling fine, but he definitely gave it everything. He finished in 9th place.
SOME MORE STATS TO KNOW
“The Albatross” held the lead from the 1st event to the last. This is the 1st wire-to-wire WSM win since 2009 (Zydrunas Savickas (LTU).
After 3 events, Stoltman held a 5.5-point lead, and he ended up winning by 3 points. The leader after 3 events has won the WSM title for the last 7 years (2015-2021).
Since 2011, only 1 athlete has come back to win the WSM title when trailing after 3 events. Strongman legend, Lithuania’s Zydrunas Savickas “Big ‘Z'” did it twice. Each time, he trailed by 3.0 points.
After 3 events Place trailed by Leader
2012 Zydrunas Savickas 3rd 3.0 Vytautas Lalas (LTU)
> Zydrunas Savickas: won by: 4.5 points
> Runner-Up: Vytautas Lalas (LTU)
After 3 events
2014 Zydrunas Savickas 2nd 3.0 Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (ISL)
> Zydrunas Savickas: won by: 0.5 points
> Runner-Up: Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (ISL)
– With his win, Tom Stoltman (GBR) is now a 1st-time WSM Champion
– It is the first time in WSM’s 44-year history that 1st-time WSM Champions won 5 consecutive years, extending the record
Consecutive Years of 1st-time WSM Champions
5 consecutive years
- 2017 Eddie Hall (GBR)
- 2018 Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (ISL)
- 2019 Martins Licis (USA)
- 2020 Oleksii Novikov (UKR)
- 2021 Tom Stoltman (GBR)
3 consecutive years
- 1991 Magnus Ver Magnusson (ISL)
- 1992 Ted van der Parre (NED)
- 1993 Gary Taylor (GBR)
3 consecutive years
- 2000 Janne Virtanen (FIN)
- 2001 Svend Karlsen (NOR)
- 2002 Mariusz Pudzianowski (POL)