On Sept. 18, 2021, an entire stadium was brought to its feet after witnessing a new world record log lift. During the Giants Live World Tour Finals, strongman competitor and 2019 World Log Lift Champion Chieck “Iron Biby” Sanou lifted 229 kilograms (504.8 pounds) overhead.
Biby’s effort at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, marks the conclusion of his campaign to best the world record — 228 kilograms — that has stood since 2015 and was set by none other than legendary competitor Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas of Lithuania.
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Biby’s Best Effort Yet
A much-deserved cartwheel was included by Biby as part of his celebration on stage, and his elation is more than understandable. Not only had Savickas — widely considered one of the historic great strength athletes irrespective of sport — held the log lift world record since the Arnold Classic Brazil in 2015, he also owned the next five heaviest attempts in the movement.
Biby has been on the hunt for Savickas’ record for years. He has made regular lifts within 10 kilograms of the world record, including a training lift that matched the magic number of 228 kilograms in 2019. With improved technique, tremendous determination, and possibly the world’s most durable elbow sleeves, Biby vaulted his log overhead to thunderous applause.
[Related: Strongman Robert Oberst’s Tips For How to Be An Elite Log Lifter]
A New Era?
Thanks in part to Biby’s effort in Glasgow, the log lift has regained its status as one of the most exciting and highly competitive movements in strongman. Ten years ago at the World Log Lift Championships, no athlete — including Savickas — exceeded 200 kilograms. Now in 2021, many of strongman’s best competitors have regularly exceeded 210 kilograms, with Biby leading the pack.
Whether losing his crown inspires Savickas to come back and post a truly inhuman feat or if Biby’s display in Scotland heralds his reign at the top of the sport, one thing is for sure — the fans are the ones winning in the end.
Featured Image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram