The final event of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Qualifying stage has come to a close. Five Stone-Offs between each of the five groups’ second and third-place finishers determined who would join the group winners in the Final. Here are the results:
2022 World’s Strongest Man Stone-Off Results
Each strongman competing in the Stone-Off was tasked with lifting six Atlas stones of ascending weight up to 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds). Once both athletes successfully lifted the sixth stone, they continued to do so until someone failed an attempt. The first man to fail a lift was eliminated from the competition.
Each athlete ranked third in their group held the initiative in the Stone-Off, meaning they were first to lift — a significant disadvantage.
- Group 1: Gabriel Rhéaume def. Kevin Faires
- Group 2: Brian Shaw def. Bobby Thompson
- Group 3: Trey Mitchell def. Adam Bishop
- Group 4: Maxime Boudreault def. Pavlo Kordiyaka
- Group 5: Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted def. Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf
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The six stones, in order, weighed: 150 kilograms (330.7 pounds), 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds), 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds), 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds), 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds), and 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds). Athletes had 20-second time caps to complete their attempts.
Group 1: Faires vs. Rhéaume
Rhéaume was the underdog in this bout as he had the initiative to lift first. This was a role reversal for Faires, who had the initiative at the 2021 WSM against Luke Stoltman and lost.
As expected, both strongmen made easy work of the first five stones. Rhéaume took his time on stone six and got it over the bar. Faires returned it.
Rhéaume nearly missed his second attempt on the sixth stone but managed to get it over the bar. Faires missed his attempt and sped to make another before the whistle but couldn’t pull it off.
Rhéaume advanced to the Final through the Stone-Off with the initiative.
Group 2: Thompson vs. Shaw
This was a big event for Shaw, who was fighting, with the initiative, to maintain his current streak of WSM Final appearances alive. Prior to the Stone-Off, he held the record with 13 straight Final appearances. A miss would end that streak and his hopes of tying Mariusz Pudzianowski for most WSM titles all-time with five.
Shaw lifted the first stone without issue, but Thompson seemed to have a problem with his tacky. Thompson tried to readjust but couldn’t recover.
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Thompson stormed off the stage, obviously upset about whatever the issue was with the tacky. He could be seen standing alone on the perimeter of the Capitol Mall lawn after the matchup as Eddie Hall interviewed Shaw.
NOTE: Later that same night, Thompson revealed on Instagram that he didn’t choose the right tacky grade (see above).
Shaw was declared the victor and advances to his 14th straight WSM Final.
Group 3: Mitchell vs. Bishop
Mitchell and Bishop are both solid stone lifters. Mitchell is known for his legendary Stone-Off victory against Oleksii Novikov in 2019, where both athletes went rep for rep well into the teens. Bishop would have to overcome that legacy with the initiative to lift first — an extremely daunting endeavor.
Both men opted to compete in the event without wearing a lifting belt. Bishop sought his fourth consecutive WSM Final appearance as Mitchell sought his third.
Bishop successfully lifted the first stone, which Mitchell returned. They cleared the second, third, fourth, and fifth stones the same way. Bishop scored the first rep on the sixth stone, and Mitchell returned it.
Bishop got his second attempt up, but it slipped back toward him on the bar. He salvaged it with a successful attempt within the time cap, and the event continued. Mitchell returned it again, and Bishop threw it right back.
Mitchell returned it once more; the event was turning into a war of attrition. Both men were emptying their tanks as their breathing became heavy. Bishop was the first to run out of gas and had to concede the event to Mitchell. They lifted the same number of stones but having the initiative was too much to overcome.
Mitchell wins and advances to the Final.
Group 4: Boudreault vs. Kordiyaka
Boudreault sought to get back to the WSM Final. Last year, his WSM debut ended in a podium finish behind reigning champion Tom Stoltman and runner-up Brian Shaw. Kordiyaka is making his WSM debut in 2022 and would have to overcome the initiative against Boudreault to keep his competition alive.
Boudreault swiftly returned a clean first lift by Kordiyaka. They ran it back on the second stone and made quick work of the third — a battle was brewing.
They made the fourth and fifth stones look like light weights, and the clash on stone six began. The Ukrainian scored attempt one, and the Canadian returned.
Both second attempts were successful. Kordiyaka had to work for his third but got there. Boudreault made attempt three look easy and hyped up the crowd.
Their fourth attempts went over clean, but it appeared that Kordiyaka was running on low. Still, he scored a fifth attempt as both men maintained a blistering pace. Boudreault returned it quickly, and that was all she wrote.
Kordiyaka conceded to Boudreault, who advances to his second straight WSM Final.
Group 5: Melsted vs. Coraboeuf
Coraboeuf has the initiative in his WSM debut against Melsted in a battle for the second Final slot out of Group 5. Melsted made the 2021 WSM Final and finished in 10th place overall. He aimed to get back to the Final and improve upon that result.
Melsted chose to lift beltless while Coraboeuf wore a thick belt. Coraboeuf had to get a feel for his grip on the first stone, but both men were on the board.
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The second stone posed no trouble, nor did the third. The leftover tacky from previous matchups strung from both men’s shirts as they tossed the fifth stone back and forth.
Coraboeuf appeared not to have the height needed for the sixth stone as he lifted it successfully but could not clear the bar. The whistle blew, and Melsted advanced to his second straight WSM Final.
[Related: 2022 World’s Strongest Man Wrecking Ball Hold Results — Felix Scores World Record]
2022 World’s Strongest Man Final Roster
- Tom Stoltman
- Mitchell Hooper
- Oleksii Novikov
- Martins Licis
- Luke Stoltman
- Gabriel Rhéaume
- Brian Shaw
- Trey Mitchell
- Maxime Boudreault
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted
[Related: 2022 World’s Strongest Man Log Lift Results — Boudreault and Luke Stoltman Hit Double Digits]
Off to the Final
The Final will take place on May 28-29, 2022, following a rest day for the athletes on May 27. The Final will consist of six events total: Knaack Giant’s Medley, the Deadlift, and the Flintstone Barbell on May 28, and the Bus Pull, Reign Total Body Fuel Power Stairs, and Atlas Stones on May 29.
Featured image @gabriel_rheaume on Instagram