After two years in Botswana, the World’s Strongest Man contest is headed to Manila. In a recent Facebook post, the presenters announced the annual competition would be headed back to Asia for the first time since 2015, when the Finals were held in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The 2018 contest will be the first ever held in the Philippines.
Beyond the location announcement, the WSM Facebook post confirms some very important dates: April 28th – May 1st for the qualifying rounds, then May 5th and 6th for the two-day finals.
The last two years have seen tremendous growth for the sport of strongman, especially on the professional side. And the most visible athletes in that realm are (still) the behemoth WSM competitors, at least as far as the number of people able who get to watch the contest, which is generally televised several months after competition concludes.
The 2016 and 2017 contest featured the same three men on the podium, though the ordering shifted.
2016: Brian Shaw (Gold), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Silver), Eddie Hall (Bronze)
2017: Eddie Hall (Gold), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Silver), Brian Shaw (Bronze)
But after winning his first WSM title last year, English strongman Eddie Hall announced his retirement from the contest. Though his recent participation in strongman events — including a victory at the 2018 Britain’s Strongest Man — has led some to speculate we haven’t seen the last of Hall on the World’s Strongest Man contest floor. Only time — and Eddie Hall’s inclination to compete — will tell.
Who do you think is poised to lift the WSM title trophy in 2018? And will any younger competitors make it their breakout year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Featured image: @theworldsstrongestman on Instagram