Jaco Schoonwinkel Withdraws From 2023 World’s Strongest Man on the Final Day of Competition

Schoonwinkel was helped off the stage by medical during the Max Dumbbell event.

Aside from a withdrawal by Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou on Day One, the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) has been devoid of competition-threatening injuries and withdrawals. But on the last day of the Final, the Max Dumbbell event got the better of Jaco Schoonwinkel. The South African athlete collapsed to the ground during his second attempt at 125 kilograms (276 pounds). Soon after, Schoonwinkel was listed as officially withdrawn from competition on the WSM leaderboard.

Schoonwinkel missed his first attempt at 125 kilograms (254 pounds). The injury seems to have occurred during that attempt, as he couldn’t even begin his second attempt — he collapsed and had to be helped off the stage by medical. His withdrawal was announced relatively quickly on the WSM site and subsequently posted on WSM’s Instagram. Check out the announcement below:


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[Related: 2023 World’s Strongest Man Results and Leaderboard]

Note: BarBend will update this article as more details of Schoonwinkel’s injury emerge.

2023 World’s Strongest Man Finals Roster

There will not be a replacement stepping into Schoonwinkel’s spot, as reserves are only called up before the contest begins. The last day of the Final will proceed with a field of the following nine athletes:

  1. Mitchell Hooper 
  2. Oleksii Novikov
  3. Tom Stoltman
  4. Trey Mitchell 
  5. Evan Singleton 
  6. Brian Shaw
  7. Pavlo Kordiyaka 
  8. Mathew Ragg
  9. Luke Stoltman
  10. Jaco Schoonwinkel — withdrawn

Jaco Schoonwinkel’s Strongman Career

According to Strongman Archives, the South African strongman has only participated in three pro contests, where he’s performed quite well. He finished second out of 10 competitors at both the 2022 Official Strongman Games and the 2021 Africa’s Strongest Man. The previous year, he placed fourth out of six competitors at his international debut at Africa’s Strongest Man.

This was Schoonwinkel’s debut on the World’s Strongest Man stage. His debut featured a powerful opening with a group win in Event One, “Loading Race,” and Event Four, “Conan’s Wheel.” 

2023 WSM Final Day

Schoonwinkel’s withdrawal came after a single event on the final day of competition. The rest of the day’s events will feature the Vehicle Pull and Atlas Stones. The 2023 WSM champion will be crowned later today.

Featured Image: World’s Strongest Man