On Sept. 4, 2021, Giants Live will host the Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) competition at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. It is the third event in the official 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) qualifying tour.
As with the previous two Giants Live shows this summer, the top three podium finishers from this competition will each earn a spot in the lineup of the 2022 WSM contest. In years past, WSM champions such as Hafthor Björnsson and Marius Pudzianowski have had dominant runs at Europe’s Strongest Man. Björnsson won five and Pudzianowski won six ESM titles. The 2020 ESM champion, Luke Richardson, is currently sidelined due to a biceps injury suffered at the 2021 WSM contest.
Check out Giants Live’s ESW stream, airing on Sept. 4, 2021, at 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. EST).
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Similar to how Giants Live structured the 2021 World Open and World Deadlift Championships (WDC) on August 14, 2021, the ESM will include the World Log Lift Championships (WLLC). All athletes will attempt to put up their max log press during the first event. For this event only, they extended an invite to Axle Press world record holder and bronze medalist from July’s Strongman Classic, Cheick “Iron Biby ” Sanou. The current log lift world record is 228 kilograms (503 pounds), held by four-time World’s Strongest Man Žydrūnas Savickas.
How to Watch 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man
Giants Live is offering an ESW Facebook live stream, which will air on Sept. 4, 2021, at 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. EST) and on the Official Strongman website. It is available for $4.99. Tickets to view the event live at First Direct Arena are currently available for purchase via Ticketmaster.
2021 Europe’s Strongest Man Events
There are five events scheduled for the 2021 ESM contest. They are:
- Max Log Lift
- Shield Carry — 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds)
- Axle Deadlift for reps — 360 kilograms (793.7 pounds)
- Car Walk — 450 kilograms (992.1 pounds)
- Atlas Stones
2021 Europe’s Strongest Man Roster
The 2021 ESM contest will feature nine athletes. Originally 2021 WSM champion Tom Stoltman was set to compete. However, he had to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19.
- Adam Bishop, England
- Ervin Toots, Estonia
- Gavin Bilton, Wales
- Graham Hicks, England
- Luke Stoltman, Scotland
- Johnny Hansson**, Sweden
- Oleksii Novikov, Ukraine
- Pa O’Dwyer, Ireland
- Rauno Heinla, Estonia
- Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou, Burkina Faso*
*Sanou will only participate in the first event — the Max Log Lift — to attempt a new world record.
**Hansson is the replacement for Russia’s Mikhail Shivlyakov, who withdrew from the contest.
Athletes to Watch
The 2021 ESM features an ultra-competitive lineup of some of the biggest names in the sport. Here are three athletes to keep your eyes on over the weekend:
*Tom Stoltman will not participate in the 2021 ESM contest due to testing positive for COVID-19.
If he were able to compete, the reigning World’s Strongest Man would likely have had a strong showing as he has become an incredibly well-rounded strongman. He improved upon most of his former weaknesses in the last few years. Said weaknesses, namely the Hercules Hold and the farmer’s walk (read: grip events), are noticeably absent from this show.
Tom Stoltman’s stones and shield carry are both world-class — he is the current Atlas Stone world record holder. His log and deadlift are on par with the best in the world.
The 2020 WSM champion and winner of the 2021 Strongman Classic, Ukrainian athlete Oleksii Novikov is one of the more consistent performers on the strongman circuit this year. He is known primarily for his agility on the field, but his 1,000-pound deadlift in Manchester and 190-kilogram (418.9-pound) axle press at the Royal Albert Hall this summer proves he is as strong as he is fast. Novikov is currently recovering from a concussion in Manchester and had to withdraw from the 2021 Shaw Classic. It is unclear if that will still affect him at the ESM.
Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou
Iron Biby is widely regarded as having the strongest shoulders in the world. He is a serious threat to Savickas’s current world record log lift. As with the WDC, all athletes competing in the full ESM show will compete in the WLLC as the first event.
Competitors like Scotland’s Luke Stoltman and England’s Graham Hicks are also notoriously strong pressers and serious threats to the world record. Their battle for the British log lift record resulted in Luke Stoltman claiming the current record with 221 kilograms (487.2 pounds).
Hicks is right behind him at 220 kilograms (485 pounds). However, Biby’s training numbers — such as his 260-kilogram (573.2-pound) push press in June 2020, — far exceed those of his fellow competitors. He stands the best chance of hitting, and possibly exceeding, a 230-kilogram (507.1-pound) log if he is healthy.
On to the Show
Europe’s Strongest Man is usually one of the more exciting Giants Live shows. It holds the promise of a tangible, esteemed title beyond just the trophies awarded. To be crowned a continental champion is a feat that few achieve. Those who do wear it proudly for the rest of their lives, no matter how many other accolades they might accumulate.
With the prospect of a new European champion on the horizon, this event will certainly be one to watch out for. The 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man will be live-streamed from the Giants Live Facebook page and the Official Strongman website at 5 p.m BST (12 p.m. EST).
Featured image: @giantslivewsm on Instagram