After an eventful competition in the Philippines last year, which followed two consecutive years of the contest taking place in Botswana, the World’s Strongest Man is coming back to the United States. Sources at the World’s Strongest Man have confirmed that this year’s event will be taking place in Bradenton, Florida from Thursday, June 13th until Sunday, June 16th.
Information is still forthcoming regarding the qualifications process and which events will be held during the relatively short time frame.
(We should make it clear that no, this is not an April Fool’s prank.)
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the event this year and this announcement came a little later than some fans expected. (Last year’s announcement was made in early February and the event took place in Manila between April 28 and May 6th.) Despite rumors about the event moving to California, Florida is where we’ll see the planet’s greatest strongmen compete for what may be the most coveted title in strength sports. This is the first time the contest has taken place in the United States since the 2014 World’s Strongest Man was held in Los Angeles.
The full list of competitors is yet to be announced, but the question we keep hearing asked across the strongman community is whether or not last year’s champion Hafthor Bjornsson can repeat. His 2019 has already been off to a commanding start after winning the Arnold Classic and setting a new elephant bar deadlift world record with 474 kilograms. Last year he won his first World’s Strongest Man along with World Ultimate Strongman, Europe’s Strongest Man, Iceland’s Strongest Man, and the Arnold Strongman Classic.
But he’s not the only man capable of winning the event. Four-time champion Brian Shaw is still in the game and has podiumed nine out of the ten times he’s competed — although he’s currently trying to heal a torn hamstring — plus many are speculating that the 25-year-old Mateusz Kieliszkowski, who has been on the podium at almost every competition he has entered, is ripe for taking the top spot.
Here are the standings from the last three years.
2018: Hafthor Bjornsson (Gold), Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Silver), Brian Shaw (Bronze)
2017: Eddie Hall (Gold), Hafthor Júlíus Björnsson (Silver), Brian Shaw (Bronze)
2016: Brian Shaw (Gold), Hafthor Júlíus Björnsson (Silver), Eddie Hall (Bronze)
Who do you think is poised to win the WSM title trophy in 2019? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram