The second event of Day Two at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest was the “Kettlebell Toss.” The history of this event in recent years loomed large on the athletes in the field as four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw and reigning two-time WSM champion Tom Stoltman traded the world record in this event’s equivalent (the Keg Toss) several times at the 2022 WSM in Sacramento, CA. Ultimately, Shaw left California with the record, but Stoltman defended his throne.
For the Kettlebell Toss event, each of the 30 athletes attempted to toss seven kettlebells over a 15-foot bar in the fastest time possible within the 60-second time cap. The weights of the kettlebells are 45, 48, 50, 50, 53, 58, and 68 pounds.
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2023 World’s Strongest Man Kettlebell Toss Results
Below are the results for each of the groups:
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — six in 18.09 — Overall Group Winner
- Konstantine Janashia — six in 19.93 seconds
- Tom Stoltman — six in 21.99 seconds
- Pa O’Dwyer — six in 31.71 seconds
- Bobby Thompson — six in 35.67 seconds
- Eddie Williams — six in 36.40 seconds
Williams opened the fifth event with a heater. After getting acclimated via the first kettlebell, they flew one after the other to “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” from the growing crowd on the beach. The fourth bell clipped the bar. The final kettlebell was too heavy, and his two attempts failed.
O’Dwyer was second to the sand. Three kettlebells went over clean before the fourth got blocked by the bar. He flung it over in his second attempt, followed by a favorable roll from the sixth kettlebell. In a bout of showmanship, the Irish strongman ripped off his shirt, ran around the arena to throw high fives, and chugged an energy drink like pro wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin would a beer.
Janashia was third to the stage. The first four kettlebells cleared with room to spare. Kettlebells four, five, and six had narrower clearance but touched ground on the other side of the bar. Two attempts on the final kettlebell were unsuccessful.
Tom Stoltman needed a big finish after a last-place result on Conan’s Wheel. With the pressure on, Stoltman flung the first five bells over without issue. The sixth was stopped twice, but Stoltman didn’t let up. After a failed attempt on the final bell, he waved it off.
With Janashia’s time ahead of Stoltman’s, Thompson took to the sand with some breathing room on the leaderboard if he could blitz through six bells. After setting up too far forward, the fifth bell was blocked. It was successful on attempt two, but the sixth bell was blocked. He eventually maneuvered the sixth over the bar but slower than Stoltman.
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Kordiyaka was last to toss, knowing the group was his to lose. The first bell stung the bar but made it over. After blazing through the sixth kettlebell, he made an attempt at a seventh but waved off after a miss. Kordiyaka’s time secured him the group win and a spot in the Final.
Stoltman will have the advantage against Thompson in the Stone-Off.
- Gavin Bilton — six in 19.9 seconds
- Luke Stoltman — six in 49.35 seconds
- Kristján Jón Haraldsson — five in 15.57 seconds
- Thomas Evans — five in 28.68
- Fadi El Masri — four in 20.61 seconds
- Oleksii Novikov — one in 9.56 seconds — Overall Group Winner
El Masri opened most events for Group Two, and the Kettlebell Toss was no different. Loud grunts enabled four kettlebells to clear the bar. The fifth was stopped four times before the whistle blew.
Haraldsson ventured onto the sand second. A lot of space from the bar with the first four bells. The fifth was narrowly blocked. The second attempt was hard stopped by the bar. The third attempt was identical to the second; the fourth identical to the third.
Bilton was third to the stage, eyeing a spot in the Stone-Off via a big finish. The second kettlebell nearly broke the bar. The sixth clipped the bar but cleared it. Bilton’s attempt on the final bell was the closest any strongman had gotten yet to clearing, but it was not to be on this day.
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Evans was fourth to toss. Novikov had a tight grip on first overall, so Evans needed to stay close to or beat Bilton’s time. All the bells flung slightly to Evans’ left, suggesting he had a stronger drive through his right leg. A block on the third bell slowed him down, but he recovered to convert five bells. The sixth didn’t find its way over in two attempts. It locked Bilton into the Stone-Off and left Evans’ fate in Luke Stoltman’s hands.
Stoltman stepped up to the stage knowing six bells would lock him into a Stone-Off against Bilton. The first five bells were business as usual. The sixth was blocked on the first attempt. A long pause before a second attempt before the sixth bell rolled over the bar and booked Stoltman’s spot in the Stone-Off.
Novikov locked the overall group win before his toss attempt. He threw the first kettlebell over and waved to the crowd.
Stoltman will have the advantage against Bilton in the Stone-Off.
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski — seven in 32.44 seconds
- Mitchell Hooper — six in 17.18 seconds — Overall Group Winner
- Mathew Ragg — six in 21.96 seconds
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — six in 25.41 seconds
- Spenser Remick — five in 24.31 seconds
- Graham Hicks — four in 20.51 seconds
Kieliszkowski entered first to toss, though he was already effectively eliminated from the competition with only eight points. He cruised through six kettlebells. He eyed the seventh, sized up the distance, and was the first strongman to convert all seven bells.
Similarly to Kieliszkowski, Remick was drawing dead with 8.5 points entering the event. He cleared five bells with the second and fifth tapping the top of the bar. The sixth bell was stopped twice in an identical fashion. After a third missed attempt, he waved off.
Hicks needed a miracle finish combined with a blunder from Šmaukstelis to claim an entry to the Stone-Off against Ragg. Hicks took big swings to build momentum through the first four bells. The fifth was blocked, and with it his chances of making the Final, he gave it two more attempts before waving off.
Ragg and Šmaukstelis were confirmed to face each other in the Stone-Off. Still, with an insurmountable run by Kieliszkowski — only the third strongman ever to convert all seven (the first two were Shaw and Mikhail Shivlyakov) — it was likely that Ragg would keep the advantage heading into the Stone-Off. Šmaukstelis threw five bells over clean. He tapped the sixth bell over the bar and did not attempt the seventh.
Ragg had the best position he could get before entering the stage. Still, he moved through the event with gusto. Six bells went over easier than anyone before him, aside from Kieliszkowski. Ragg missed two attempts on the second bell and waved off. Hooper decided to attack the event and cleared six kettlebells in under 18 seconds.
Ragg will have the advantage against Šmaukstelis in the Stone-Off.
- Brian Shaw — seven in 48.45 seconds
- Jaco Schoonwinkel — six in 47.32 seconds — Overall Group Winner
- Adam Bishop — six in 32.29 seconds
- Kevin Faires — five in 34.09 seconds
- Rauno Heinla — five in 44.51 seconds
- Gabriel Rhéaume — three in 14 seconds
With only 8.5 points, Rhéaume’s toss attempts were ceremonial. He cleared the first three unscathed before four failed attempts on the fourth bell closed his 2023 WSM.
Bishop and Faires had nine and 10.5 points, respectively, meaning they, too, were both drawing dead before their toss attempts. Bishop was to the sand first — big swings converted five bells clean. Bell six toggled the top of the bar before rolling over. A failed attempt on the seventh kettlebell closed Bishop’s contest. Faires strolled in as the third to toss; every bell caressed the bar before the bar decided five was plenty.
Shaw was fourth to throw and still in range of winning the group — he needed to rerun history as one of three men to ever convert all seven bells. Of course, six bells cleared, no problem. His first attempt at the final bell was blocked by the bar. His second attempt rolled over the top as the crowd chanted, “USA!”
Heinla had to beat Shaw’s score to win the group. A brick on the first attempt slowed Heinla down. Two wild misses on the second bell cost him even more. After multiple drops with the sixth bell, Heinla shrugged off in disappointment as he knew he’d have to lift first in the Stone-Off.
Schoonwinkel needed to score third or better to win the group — meaning he needed to hit six bells. Sweeping swings converted five bells clean. The sixth was blocked on the first attempt, but the second attempt stamped his ticket to his WSM Final debut.
Shaw will have the advantage in the Stone-Off against Heinla.
- Trey Mitchell — seven in 34.42 seconds — Overall Group Winner
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — six in 27.66 seconds
- Evan Singleton — six in 28.81 seconds
- Mark Felix — four in 42.66 seconds
- Jean-Stephan Coraboeuf — two in 23.65 seconds
- Paul Smith — one in 28.62 seconds
Coraboeuf was first to the sand for Group Five for his ceremonial attempt at the seven kettlebells. The second bell tapped the top of the bar and dropped unfavorably back to the mat. After clearing it, he juggled the third bell until the whistle blew.
Felix walked onto the sand for the final event of his WSM career, as there was no path for him to reach the Stone-Off. The first bell cleared, but the second did not until his second attempt. Bells three and four cleared on their first attempts. Two misses on the fifth bell and Felix’s WSM career came to a triumphant end.
Smith was third to the sand for his ceremonial attempt. The third attempt on the first bell was the charm. He chucked the second bell into the bar until the whistle blew.
Ingolfsson Melsted ventured onto the sand, knowing he was locked in for a Stone-Off against a to-be-determined opponent. His first six tosses held high arcs that impressed the crowd. Two misses on the final bell and he waved off.
Mitchell was fifth to the sand amidst his bout with Singleton for the overall group win. Singleton held only a half-point lead, meaning whoever bested the other in this event would advance to the Final. Mitchell clearly improved his toss in training as he cleared all seven bells each in a single attempt. He is the fourth strongman ever to clear all seven bells in this event.
Singleton needed to become the fifth strongman ever to clear all seven kettlebells and in a faster time than Mitchell to win the group. A drop on the fifth bell cost him that time, and he would have to Stone-Off his way to the Final.
Singleton will have the advantage against Ingolfsson Melsted in the Stone-Off.
More from the 2023 WSM
The Stone-Off this afternoon will determine which 10 athletes proceed to the Finals, slated for April 22-23 after a rest day for all athletes on Friday, April 21. Stay tuned to BarBend‘s coverage for results, recaps, and breaking updates throughout the competition.
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