With hundreds of fans and celebrities in attendance including Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California sun providing the spotlight, 13 athletes from around the world showed up to the Arnold Strongman USA hoping to earn the last qualifying spots for the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic.
By the time the dust settled, the smoke cleared, and all the weight was lifted, it took several minutes to determine who the winner was. At the end of one of the most dramatic events in recent strongman memory, Martins Licis defended his Arnold Strongman USA title and will move on to the Arnold Strongman Classic.
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Winner – Martins Licis
As was documented, Licis and Brian Shaw both had to win to qualify for the ASC. However, Maxime Boudreault looked to put a wrench into both of their plans by winning the first three contests in dominating fashion. Consistency and being clutch was what won this for Licis. He finished or tied second in two events and won the Bag Carry by carrying all three bags and placing them over the 52 inch bar in 28 seconds.
2nd Place – Brian Shaw
Any other competitor would be somewhat pleased to finish second in a lineup of this magnitude but for Brian Shaw it was an ultimate disappointment. Since he failed to win at this contest, Shaw will not be at the ASC for the first time in 11 years. A couple of moments where he struggled is what cost him. Examples include struggling for an extra rep in the Log Press and failing to complete the Bag Toss could’ve been the difference.
3rd Place – Maxime Boudreault
Boudreault appeared to be putting a big wrench in everyone’s plans. He shocked everyone in attendance by winning the first three events. Unfortunately he struggled in the deadlift for reps which is where the top two were able to catch up to him. In the last event, he failed to finish lifting the 400 pound sandbag over the bar which is what cost him the overall victory.
Points Series Qualifying Positions
Athletes who haven’t won any of the Arnold Strongman contests were able to accumulate points towards the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series system. The top two competitors on that system also earn spots on the Arnold Strongman Classic stage. The Santa Monica contest was the last event on the schedule before the big contest in Columbus. After this contest, the top two men are Matjaz Belsak and Jerry Pritchett. They will both complete the ASC to take on defending champion Hafthor Bjornsson.
2020 Arnold Strongman Classic Competitors
Featured Image: Instagram/martinslicis, original photo by @zoiephotography