Evan Singleton Narrowly Defeats Oleksii Novikov to Win Inaugural Arnold Strongman Classic UK

The Giants Live event came down to the Atlas Stones.

The inaugural Arnold Sports Festival UK had many fans buzzing in Birmingham, England over the weekend of Oct. 1-3, 2021. One of the final events was the inaugural Arnold UK Giants Live strongman contest. Ten strongmen entered the contest and American Evan Singleton left as the champion. 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Oleksii Novikov finished in second place.

Trey Mitchell stood in the bronze position on the podium via winning his tiebreaker against JF Caron. The top three finishers all earn qualifications for the 2022 WSM contest. The only one who had yet to qualify was Mitchell. Here is what the top 10 looked like after all five events were completed:

2021 Arnold Strongman Classic UK Results

  1. Evan Singleton — 42 points*
  2. Oleksii Novikov — 42 points
  3. Trey Mitchell — 36.5 points*
  4. J.F. Caron — 36.5 points
  5. Mark Felix 28 points
  6. Andy Black — 25 points
  7. Nedzmin Ambeskovic — 19 points
  8. Pa O’Dwyer — 14 points
  9. Luke Stoltman Four points**
  10. Tom Stoltman Three points**

*Takes higher position on tie-breaker


2021 WSM Tom Stoltman and 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man Luke Stoltman both withdrew from the contest early on. Luke Stoltman bowed out after the first event and Tom Stoltman withdrew one event later. Strongman Archives reports that they both withdrew to prevent compounding minor injuries. This contest came one week after the brothers finished at the top of the podium at the Giants Live World Tour Finals.


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[Related: Martins Licis One-Motions a 340-Pound Atlas Stone for Reps Ahead of 2021 Rogue Invitational]

Arnold Strongman Classic UK Events Recap

There were a total of five events in the single-day. Note: all results below are culled from Strongman Archives.

Hercules Hold

  1. Mark Felix — 81.62 seconds
  2. Evan Singleton — 78.11 seocnds
  3. JF Caron — 74.27 seconds

The Arnold Strongman Classic UK contest began with the Hercules Hold, an event that is closely associated with UK strongman legend Mark Felix. He didn’t break his own world record in this contest, but he did take the event win with a time of 81.62 seconds.

Singleton followed in second place with a time of 78.11 seconds, and rounding out the top three was Canadian JF Caron with a 74.27-second effort. Tom Stoltman struggled in this event with a last-place time of 43.57 seconds.

Frame Carry

  1. Oleksii Novikov — 7.35 seconds
  2. Evan Singleton — 8.50 seconds
  3. Mark Felix — 9.75 seconds

Athletes had to carry 400 kilograms (881 pounds) a distance of 20 meters in the fastest time possible. Novikov does quite well in this event due to his agility and strong grip. He won with a time of 7.35 seconds.

Singleton came in second for the second straight event, finishing in 8.50 seconds. Felix ranked third here with a time of 9.75 seconds. Luke Stoltman previously withdrew and did not post a time for this event. Tom Stoltman finished at the back of the pack for the second straight event — traveling the frame only 7.05 meters and withdrew before event three.

Axle Bar Deadlift for Reps

  1. Oleksii Novikov — Eight reps
  2. Trey Mitchell — Seven reps
  3. Evan Singleton — Five reps (T-third)
  4. JF Caron — Five reps (T-third)
  5. Nedzmin Ambeskovic — Five reps (T-third)

Competitors had 60 seconds to deadlift the 360-kilogram (793.4 pounds) Axle barbell for as many reps as possible. Novikov won his second straight event thanks to his set of eight repetitions. 2021 Shaw Classic winner Trey Mitchell came in second with seven reps, which should come as no surprise given how consistently strong Mitchell is in deadlift events.


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Singleton, Nedzmin Ambeskovic, and Caron tied for third place with five reps each. Felix continued to hold some ground with four reps to beat out Black and O’Dwyer’s scores of three and two reps, respectively.

Dumbbell Press

  1. Oleksii Novikov — Eight reps
  2. Evan Singleton — Seven reps
  3. Trey Mitchell — Six reps (T-third)
  4. JF Caron — Six reps (T-third)

Novikov won two straight events going into the dumbbell press, an event he currently holds the world record in. Like the deadlift, he won this event with an eight-rep effort before time expired.

Singleton kept himself in the podium hunt by coming in second with seven reps. Mitchell and Caron both pressed the 100-kilogram (220.5-pound) weight overhead for six reps. The drop-off was fairly steep after this — O’Dwyer posted three reps, and Ambeskovic, Felix, and Black failed to score a single rep.

Atlas Stones

  1. Andy Black — Five stones in 18.28 seconds
  2. Trey Mitchell — Five stones in 18.41 seconds
  3. Evan Singleton — Five stones in 19.44 seconds

Going into the final event, the Atlas Stones, it appeared Novikov would leave as the first Arnold Strongman Classic UK champion, but he failed to defeat Singleton in their head-to-head matchup. Singleton completed all five stones in a time of 19.44 seconds while Novikov needed an extra second, finishing in 20.55 seconds. Neither man won the event overall as UK competitor Andy Black sped through all five stones in a time of 18.28 seconds.

The final standings showed Singleton and Novikov tied with 42 points each. Since Singleton finished higher in the final event — the known tiebreaker heading into the contest — he was declared to be the overall winner. This is his second contest win of 2021; “T-Rex” also won the Giants Live World Open in August.

Featured Image: @giantslivewsm on Instagram | photo via Zoie Carter-Ingham