If you want to glimpse some of the mightiest battles taking place in sports today, check out the images posted this week of the qualifying rounds of the World’s Strongest Man on Instagram.

The qualifiers have been transpiring in Gaborone, Botswana, and have included events like truck pulls, log lifts, the bullion toss, and load and drags. Check out the looks on the spectators’ faces during Slovenian strongman Matjaž Belšak’s log lift event. (That’s a 158kg (348lb) log.)

Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t enough to take him to the finals, which will be held this weekend. The names of the 2017 World’s Strongest Man finalists have just been released, and you can see all ten of them below.

We’re glad to see some of the sport’s most highly regarded names (and our predictions for the top spots) like Brian Shaw, Hafthor Bjornsson, and Eddie Hall make it to the finals, and we confess we’re pleasantly surprised to see that Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas made it this far, too. At 41 years old and coming off of a superyoke injury from February that left him with a  disconnected deltoid, there was uncertainty as to whether or not he’d have to hold back this year.

Big Z is actually the second oldest athlete to make it to the finals after Nick Best, who is 48 years old.

The events have also been released; here’s what you can look forward to.

Talk about a test of endurance.

Our predictions? If Eddie Hall was ever going to win a WSM contest, 2017 is the year to do it. We’re not confident that he’ll be able to dominate cardio-heavy events like the Flip and Drag, though he might make up for it in points with events like the squat lift and deadlift.

We think it’s going to come down to Bjornsson, Shaw, and Hall. Shaw being the only one of the three to have actually won the title before (four times, in fact) doesn’t hurt his chances, but while Bjornsson will probably fall behind in the deadlift, he’s a master at Atlas Stones, vehicle pulls, and pressing.

It’s going to be close, that much we know.

Featured image via @theworldsstrongestman on Instagram.


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I’m a journalist with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My experience includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City, where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.