2020 World’s Strongest Man Finalists Revealed

Ten athletes will battle it out to see who is the strongest on the planet.

The qualifying stage of the 2020 World’s Strongest Man has come to a close. Below are the 10 finalists who have secured their spots in the Finals set to take place on Nov. 14-15, 2020, in Bradenton, FL. (Note: Though he won’t be competing in the finals, Mark Felix will still attempt to set a world record on the Hercules Hold on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020).

2020 World’s Strongest Man Finalists

  • Kevin Faires
  • Jerry Pritchett
  • JF Caron
  • Oleksii Novikov
  • Brian Shaw
  • Luke Richardson
  • Adam Bishop
  • Tom Stoltman
  • Graham Hicks
  • Aivars Smaukstelis

[Related: What You Need to Know About How to Increase Strength]

Day one of the qualifying stage saw Terry Hollands, Jerry Pritchett, and JF Caron lead their respective groups. One of the most impressive event performances of day one was Oleksii Novikov’s farmer’s walk of 57.54 meters — the farthest of the competition. Heading into day two, each strongman in the field geared up for two events — a dumbbell clean and press medley OR a log press for max reps, and a loading medley involving various parts of a monster truck. Additionally, the strongmen who finished second and third overall in their respective groups after those two events clashed head-to-head in an Atlas Stone event.

Here are the results from day two of the qualifying stage:

Monster Truck Loading Medley

Athletes had to load five various monster truck parts to a platform. The competitors with the fastest loading time won the event.

Group One

  1. Luke Richardson five objects, 0:46.30
  2. Patrick O’Dwyer — five objects, 0:48.99
  3. Robert Oberst five objects, 0:56.96
  4. Jerry Pritchett five objects, 0:57.37

Gabriel Pena had to withdraw on the morning of day two of the competition due to injury. 

Group Two

  1. Kevin Faires — five objects, 0:42.94
  2. Adam Bishop — five objects, 0:44.81
  3. Evan Singleton — five objects, 0:46.47
  4. Mikhail Shivlyakov — five objects, 0:51.18
  5. Mark Felix — four objects, 0:41.28

With this event win, Faires secured his spot in the WSM Finals.

Group Three

  1. Tom Stoltman — five objects, 0:39.11
  2. Maxime Boudreault — five objects, 0:42.57
  3. Oleksii Novikov — five objects, 0:44.40
  4. Trey Mitchell — five objects, 0:54.16
  5. Gavin Bilton — four objects, 1:09.17

Stoltman had the fastest loading medley time of all 23 competitors still in the field.

Group Four

  1. JF Caron — five objects, 0:47.13
  2. Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — five objects, 0:52.10
  3. Bobby Thompson — five objects, 0:53.06
  4. Graham Hicks — five objects, 0:56.35

Ervin Toots also had to withdraw after suffering an injury on day one of the qualifying stage during the back squat. Caron’s victory in the event guaranteed his place in the WSM Finals since the worst place he could finish in the log lift was fourth with Toots out of the competition.

Group Five

  1. Aivars Smaukstelis — five objects, 0:40.50
  2. Luke Stoltman — five objects, 0:42.31
  3. Terry Hollands — five objects, 0:52.68
  4. Brian Shaw — five objects, 0:54.21
  5. Nick Best — four objects, 1:21.88

Best pinched a nerve in his back, but he did not withdraw from the competition.

Brian Shaw
Image courtesy of World’s Strongest Man

[Related: Three Questions With World’s Strongest Man Competitors]

Dumbbell Clean and Press

Group Two

  1. Mikhail Shivlyakov — six reps
  2. Evan Singleton — five reps
  3. Kevin Faires — five reps
  4. Adam Bishop — three reps
  5. Mark Felix — two reps

Singleton had to withdraw from the competition following an injury sustained in this event. This gave Bishop a chance to compete in the Atlas Stones against Shivlyakov.

Group Three

  1. Oleksii Novikov — eight reps
  2. Tom Stoltman — four reps
  3. Maxime Boudreault — three reps
  4. Trey Mitchell — three reps
  5. Gavin Bilton — three reps

Group Five

  1. Brian Shaw — nine reps
  2. Luke Stoltman — four reps
  3. Aivars Smaukstelis — three reps
  4. Terry Hollands — one rep
  5. Nick Best — zero reps

This event win pushed Shaw over the top to win his group and advance to the Finals.

Log Lift

All competitors in the log lift group had to press a 150-kilogram (330.7-pound) log for as many reps as possible in 75 seconds.

Group One

  1. Jerry Pritchett — nine reps, 1:11.13
  2. Luke Richardson — nine reps, 1:07.00
  3. Robert Oberst — eight reps, 1:13.59
  4. Patrick O’Dwyer — five reps, 1:06.25

Pritchett’s triumph in the log lift cemented his spot in the WSM Finals.

Group Four

  1. Graham Hicks — nine reps, 1:09.07
  2. Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — six reps, 0:48.79
  3. Bobby Thompson — one rep, 0:04.99
  4. JF Caron — one rep, 0:06.10

Caron only needed to score two points, hence his one rep. Likewise, Thompson only needed to perform one rep to lock in a chance to advance to the Finals through the Atlas Stones event. 

Dumbbell Clean and Press Medley

The results for this event have yet to be announced. Groups two, three, and five will race to clean and press four pairs of dumbbells of increasing weight overhead. Then they will clean and press a single “monster dumbbell” for as many reps as possible — all within 75 seconds. (A “monster dumbbell” has a thicker handle with a diameter similar to a can of soda.)

Group Two

  1. Mikhail Shivlyakov — six reps
  2. Evan Singleton — five reps
  3. Kevin Faires — five reps
  4. Adam Bishop — three reps
  5. Mark Felix — two reps

Group Three

  1. Oleksii Novikov — eight reps
  2. Tom Stoltman — four reps
  3. Maxime Boudreault — three reps
  4. Trey Mitchell — three reps
  5. Gavin Bilton — three reps

Group Five

  1. Brian Shaw — nine reps
  2. Luke Stoltman — four reps
  3. Aivars Smaukstelis — three reps
  4. Terry Hollands — one rep
  5. Nick Best — zero reps

Stone Off

Originally, this event was scheduled as a last-man-standing stone-over-bar between the second and third-place finishers in each group.  However, that was changed on day two of the qualifying stage to an Atlas Stone loading series, called the Stone Off.

Since day one of the qualifying stage was canceled due to inclement weather conditions, the competition started a day late. The delay cost competitors their day of rest, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. This schedule is similar to 2019’s WSM competition. During an interview before day one of competition, the 2019 WSM champion Martins Licis, who did not compete in the 2020 WSM due to injury, said he hated the disadvantage the last-man-standing stone-over-bar winners are positioned in as they have to complete an additional — and particularly grueling — event.

On the WSM Live stream, host Nick English revealed that the event was changing from last man standing to a standard Atlas Stone event, saying: “It’s actually not going to be like it was last year…it’s going to be them racing to do eight stones the fastest.” In addition to the event structure changing, it notably involves eight Atlas Stones — two stones more than the six-stone Atlas Stone event currently scheduled for the Finals.

The stones scaled from 137 kilograms (302 pounds) to 200 kilograms (441 pounds). Here were the results of each head-to-head:

  • Graham Hicks Defeated Bobby Thompson
    • Hicks — six stones, 0:50.34
    • Thompson — five stones, 1:15.09
  • Luke Richardson Defeated Robert Oberst
    • Richardson — five stones, 0:47.56
    • Oberst — four stones, 1:03.70
  • Adam Bishop Defeated Mikhail Shivlyakov
    • Bishop — six stones, 0:53.04
    • Shivlyakov — five stones, 0:34.19*

*Shivlyakov injured his left bicep while attempting his sixth stone.

  • Tom Stoltman Defeated Maxime Boudreault
    • Stoltman — eight stones, 0:39.00
    • Boudreault — seven stones, 0.38.30
  • Aivars Smaukstelis Defeated Terry Hollands
    • Smaukstelis — seven stones, 0:39.57
    • Hollands — six stones, 0:33.43

Featured image: World’s Strongest Man.