Cheick Al-Hassan Sanou, better known in the strongman community as “Iron Biby,” made strongman history on July 24th at the 2021 Strongman Classic. Fans in attendance at Royal Albert Hall in London, England saw Sanou break Eddie Hall’s world record in the Axle Press by successfully lifting 217 kilograms (478.4 pounds) over his head to a full lockout. The feat can be seen in the video published on the Official Stongman YouTube channel starting at the 36 second mark.
Sanou used an overhand/underhand grip when he took the bar from the floor to his stomach. He had to lean back significantly to get it up to his shoulders into the clean position. Once he had his arms locked out with the bar over his head, the judge gave the down command. He almost lost his balance while dropping the weight to the floor. He then immediately celebrated his new world record.
This is the second straight time that the world record has been broken by a single kilogram. Hall’s lift of 216 kilograms was accomplished during the 2017 Europe’s Strongest Man contest. At that time, he had broken the record of 215 kilograms that was set by Zydrunas Savickas in 2011. Sanou shared his thoughts in an Instagram post after the event had concluded. Part of his statement is below.
“WHAT A SPECIAL NIGHT ✨Was an honor to compete at ROYAL ALBERT HALL . It’s an iconic arena and the right place for me to break the axle world record owned by the beast @eddiehallwsm . He is a great man and he inspired me to do it . God bless him🙏🏾
Will never forget this day.”
Hall took a moment to share his congratulations to Sanou for his accomplishment. The statement included reinforcement of his opinion that world records should be broken in competitions.
“Well done to @ironbiby for breaking my world record axle press last night at 217kg 🏆,” Hall wrote. “I’ve seen him do 230kg in training at his home gym, but this is where it counts.”
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Hall’s most famous world record was his 500 kilogram deadlift, which he accomplished at the 2016 World Deadlift Championships. That record stood until Hafthor Bjornsson pulled 501 kilograms in the premiere episode of World’s Ultimate Strongman’s “Feats of Strength” series. Hall maintains his position that his lift should be counted as the official record until someone breaks it in a contest.
As for Sanou, he went on to finish third overall at the Giants Live event where he set the record. 2020 World’s Strongest Man Oleksii Novikov took the overall victory with Evan Singleton taking the silver spot.
Featured Image: @ironbiby on Instagram