The 2022 Giants Live World Open, featuring the 2022 World Deadlift Championships, received a pretty significant shakeup to its roster on Aug. 2, 2022. Giants Live took to their Instagram page to share two athletes initially on the roster who had to withdraw from the competition due to injury: Gabriel Peña and Asko Karu. Details of their injuries were not disclosed.
In that same Instagram post was the announcement of Peña and Karu’s replacements: Andy Black and Shane Flowers. The 2022 World Open will be the second elite strongman contest for Black — he finished 12th overall at the 2022 Strongman Classic — and the first contest for Flowers since he competed in the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest in Sacramento, CA. Flowers got injured at that competition but has since recovered to be contest ready to challenge for the World Open title on Aug. 6, 2022, at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
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The withdrawals of Peña and Karu come just over a week after Pa O’Dwyer was added to the 2022 World Open roster, presumably as the wild card entry. The current roster as of Aug. 4, 2022, is as follows:
2022 World Open & World Deadlift Championships Roster
- Gavin Bilton
- Adam Bishop
- Shane Flowers
- Ivan Makarov
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy
- Andy Black
- Rauno Heinla
- Mitchell Hooper
- Evan Singleton — Defending Champion
- Oleksii Novikov
- Peiman Maheripourehir
- Pa O’Dwyer
While Singleton is the defending champion, the momentum in recent elite strongman contests seems to be with 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov. The Ukrainian narrowly missed claiming a second WSM title in 2022, Tom Stoltman successfully defended his WSM crown, but Novikov rebounded with a win at the 2022 Strongman Classic.
Similarly, Mitchell Hooper has become a mainstay on the elite strongman competition circuit after his breakout performance at the 2022 WSM contest and has already gotten a taste of standing on the podium — he ranked as the runner-up to Novikov at the 2022 Strongman Classic.
Black has experience stepping into a premiere contest on short notice. He replaced Pa O’Dwyer at the 2022 WSM contest less than a week before than contest began. Neither Black nor Flowers advanced through the Qualifying stage at the 2022 WSM. We’ll see if they can convert a podium finish on short notice in Cardiff, though it will be quite the challenge given how stacked the roster is.
Featured image: @giantslivestrongman on Instagram