The Arnold Sports Festival announced in September that the 2nd Arnold Strongman USA event will take place on January 18, 2020 at the Santa Monica Pier in California. Besides the title and being presented the trophy by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the final qualifying spot at the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio is at stake.
On November 27, the ASF announced the lineup for this event on their Facebook page. Thirteen athletes were announced to compete. Among them is the first winner of this event and other champions from Arnold events from earlier in 2019.
Notably absent from the list for this contest is former three-time ASC winner and four-time World’s Strongest Man champion Brian Shaw. He is currently not qualified for the ASC and he would have to win in Santa Monica if he wanted to qualify. Shaw hasn’t made any statements about not competing as of this writing.
As for who is in the lineup, their only way to Ohio is either winning in Santa Monica or having enough points in the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series system. Here is a look at the field including top contenders to watch for.
Notable Strongman Competitors
Martins Licis – The 2019 World’s Strongest Man hasn’t won any Arnold event in 2019 and was unable to compete at the Arnold Europe due to nerve damage and a shoulder injury. If he is recovered and makes it to the contest, he will be a favorite. He won the first event in Santa Monica back in January. He went on to finish 2nd at the ASC to champion Hafthor Bjornsson.
Oleksii Novikov – Novikov appears to be wanting to collect Arnold Strongman trophies. He won both Arnold events in South America and Africa. He has been a rising star in the sport for the past couple of years. 2020 could be the year he takes the next step.
Rauno Heinla – Heinla recently won the World’s Ultimate Strongman Deadlift event in Dubai. He has been in contention at several of the Arnold events but has yet to win. He can potentially get in on points but obviously winning would be in his best interest.
Rob Kearney – Kearney is already qualified for Columbus thanks to his win at the Arnold Australia event back in March. Taking the win here and gaining momentum going into March would be a benefit for him. He can also gauge his strength and make adjustments based on how he feels. So it makes sense for him to compete.
JF Caron – Caron won the Forts Warwick event to earn his spot at the ASC so he would be competing here for the same reasons as Kearney. The Canadian strongman finished 6th in Columbus last year.
2020 Arnold Strongman USA Lineup
Featured Image: Instagram/arnoldsports