The 2021 World’s Strongest Man has seen a fourth athlete withdraw from the competition. Following the exits of Graham Hicks, Luke Richardson, and Terry Hollands, South Africa’s Chris van der Linde has formally exited the competition before Group Four competed in the Fingal Finger’s event.
World’s Strongest Man posted the announcement on their Instagram page at around 2:15 p.m. EST on June 16, 2021. As of this writing, there is no word on the reason for his exit. World’s Strongest Man doesn’t disclose the reasons for withdrawals. They leave that decision to the athletes themselves. “The Ox” has yet to post anything about this development. His last post was a clip of himself performing deadlifts during the first day of the competition.
Related: 2021 World’s Strongest Man Results and Leaderboard
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Competing in Group Four, van der Linde already competed in the Loading Medley, where he finished fourth place, and the previously mentioned Deadlift for Reps, where he completed four repetitions for a fifth-place finish. He finished the first day in fifth place in his group.
Since van der Linde withdrew after the competition has begun, he won’t be replaced. With his exit, 22 competitors remain in the contest. Group Four contains only three competitors. Konstantine Janashia was the leader of Group Four going into Day Two. 2020 Britain’s Strongest Man winner Adam Bishop started the day in third place, and 2017 America’s Strongest Man champion Jerry Pritchett was in fourth. (Terry Hollands was in second place as of yesterday, before he withdrew.)
Two of the three remaining athletes will move on to the Finals later this week. Pritchett shared on Instagram that he is competing despite low back, hip, and nerve issues that he has been working through while preparing for the contest.
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This was van der Linde’s first appearance at the World’s Strongest Man. The 30-year-old is the only rookie out of the 25 competitors in the contest. Van der Linde’s biggest victory in his career came at the 2019 Africa’s Strongest Man contest. He finished in second place at the 2020 contest, which is believed to be his last competitive appearance before the WSM in Sacramento, CA.
World’s Strongest Man takes place from June 15-20. The qualification stage takes place from June 15-17, then the athletes break on June 18, and the top two men in each group compete in the Finals from June 19-20. BarBend will update this article with details of van der Linde’s injury if and when that information is available.
*BarBend has a 2021 WSM Leaderboard available on the homepage.
Featured Image Courtesy of World’s Strongest Man