This year’s World’s Strongest Man contest was one for the ages. Thor Bjornsson dominated with a lead of 6.5 points, the biggest win margin since 2005, and he became the first person to win the Arnold Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man, and World’s Strongest Man in the same year. And it was in the same three months!
When it comes to reporting on The World’s Strongest Man, the elephant in the room is that it’s very hard to do because there won’t be any official footage of the competition until it starts airing on CBS this June. (Check out the airdates of all 11 “episodes” of the World’s Strongest Man here.)
But in this blessed era of smartphones, plenty of “unofficial” footage has been trickling in as the official results of the events have been uploaded online. Many in the strongman community have devoured the morsels of footage that have come our way, and we think we’ve landed on a solid list of the top five best moments of the WSM Finals.
[For the final points tally, check out our article on the winners of the 2018 World’s Strongest Man.]
Matjaz Belsak Beats Shaw’s Bus Pull By 1/100th of a Second
Brian Shaw was looking good for the bus pull when he hauled a Skyliner bus in 36.76 seconds, at the time putting him first place. Then Belsak came along and in a nailbiting finish, pulled the bus in 36.75 seconds. Ultimately, Mateusz Kieliszkowski came first with 35.95 seconds and Bjornsson came second, but Belsak’s unbelievably narrow third place finish was probably the most memorable part of the bus pull.
Brian Shaw Ties Thor Bjornsson On the Jeep Deadlift
We’ve been posting a lot about Brian Shaw’s epic training routines, which have included a set of SUV deadlifts that he estimated to be equivalent to a little over a thousand pounds. He put his training to the test in Manila, and in Heat 5 of the jeep deadlift he equaled Thor Bjornsson’s twelve reps.
Bjornsson Vs Kieliszkowski on the Loading Medley
One of the most memorable parts of the entire competition was when Mateusz Kieliszkowski squared off against Thor Bjornsson on the loading medley. Different profiles put his weight somewhere between 302 and 323 pounds, while Bjornsson is reported to weigh between 397 and 416 pounds — there may very well be a one hundred pound difference between the two, yet they were neck and neck for almost the entirety of the loading medley. Bjornsson narrowly won, but this was a phenomenal showing for Kieliszkowski.
Jean-Francois Caron Out-Deadlifts Martins Licis With a Torn Hip Flexor
JF Caron again proved himself to be one of the most remarkable athletes in the sport, pulling 11 reps and beating Martins Licis by one rep, coming second overall in the event as Bjornsson and Shaw tied for first. And he did all this with a torn hip flexor. It’s safe to say he wasn’t at his peak in this year’s competition, and we’re certainly looking forward to how he performs next year.
Thor Bjornsson’s Monstrous 205kg Overhead Press
Strongman isn’t strongman without the overhead press, and after a huff of his trusty ammonia, Hafthor Bjornsson took a well-deserved first place in the event with the heaviest lift of the competition: 205 kilograms, or 452 pounds. Here’s another shot of the lift with a better angle, though it’s lower quality — this man deserved the title of World’s Strongest Man.
What were your favorite moments from the event? Let us know in the comments below.
A big thank you to @startingstrongman on Instagram for capturing some of this footage.
Featured image via @startingstrongman on Instagram and Juha Rämänen and wickedphotography on YouTube