The year 2020 was unique for strength sports, to say the least, but World’s Ultimate Strongman ended the year with a big announcement. On Dec. 22, 2020, WUS organizers announced that there would be a contest held in February with the theme of “Strength Island.” With 2021 freshly underway, more details about the contest and events have been revealed and how you can tune in and watch the action unfold.
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How to Watch Strength Island
In an email to BarBend, Co-founder of WUS Don Idrees confirmed that the contest will take place on Feb. 27, 2021, in Bahrain. The event will be live-streamed on CoreSports, the Rogue Fitness YouTube channel, and the live broadcast will air on ESPN. Idrees has also said that an edited version will air on ESPN at a later date, but that date hasn’t been announced.
Strength Island Roster
As of this writing, these are the athletes that have been confirmed to compete at the Strength Island contest. Idrees confirmed the list below in a video on Laurence “Big Loz” Shahlaei‘s youTube channel. Notable names include 2020 World’s Strongest Man Oleksii Novikov and runner-up Tom Stoltman.
- Adam Bishop
- Rauno Heinla
- Terry Hollands
- Konstantine Janashia
- Eythor Melsteo
- Oleksii Novikov
- Mikhail Shivlyakov
- Aivars Smaukstelis
- Luke Stoltman
- Tom Stoltman
- Bobby Thompson
- Ervin Toots
You can check out the full video from Big Loz below:
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Strength Island Events
There will be five events held in this contest. Each has its own special name and rules.
Event 1: Axle Deathlift
This will be a head-to-head event featuring the axle deadlift. Competitors will be lifting an axle that gradually has more weight added to it. The twist is that the athletes themselves will have to load the weight. Those weights will range from 320 kilograms to 440 kilograms (705 pounds to 970 pounds) in six increments. The athletes will have to successfully load and complete all six lifts in the fastest time possible.
Event 2: Mystery Event
There is and will be no announcement about this contest. Idrees told Big Loz that they wanted an event that the athletes “could not train for.” The athletes won’t know anything until the day of the contest.
Event 3: Giant Dumbbell for Reps
This is a strongman classic. The competitors will have 75 seconds to lift the 100-kilogram (220-pound) dumbbell overhead for as many reps as possible. (Novikov owns the world record in this event with 11 reps.)
Event 4: Carry and Load
This is a medley event. The objects used will be a 100-kilogram (220-pound) tire, a WUS shield that will weigh 120 kilograms (264 pounds), and a 14-kilogram (308-pound) Atlas stone. These objects will have to be lifted, carried for 20, 15, and 10 meters, respectively, and loaded onto a platform in the fastest time possible.
Event 5: WUS 10 Atlas Stone Run
You may remember this from the 2019 WUS event that concluded with Tom Stoltman claiming the victory by lifting all 10 stones onto their platforms in 40.7 seconds. Idrees confirmed that the stones will range from 100 kilograms (220 pounds) to 225 kilograms (496 pounds).
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The Strength Island contest is the first of multiple WUS competitions to be held in 2021.
There is another event tentatively scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi in March or April. More information on that contest is expected as the date approaches. There will also be a third contest held on Sept. 17, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. That event will be significant for two reasons. First, there will also be a strongwoman contest held in conjunction with a men’s event. Second, this contest is the same weekend as the highly anticipated boxing match between Hafthor Björnsson and Eddie Hall.
Stay tuned to BarBend for more news about all of the WUS events taking place this year as they develop.
Featured Image: @novikov_strong_wsm on Instagram