With just days until the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition kicks off in Bradenton, Florida, there has been a roster change. Twenty-four-year-old Canadian strongman Jimmy Paquet injured his left hamstring and was forced to drop out of the event.
He told BarBend how it went down:
Pulled big PR of 420kg in training. 2 weeks later during deadlift training left hamstring pulled when I went for 380kg for reps. Very disappointed. I had also pressed 194kg on log in training, I was in best shape ever.
[See the list of events at the 2019 World’s Strongest Man.]
We got a video of the 420kg deadlift personal record here:
This would have been Paquet’s second time competing at World’s Strongest Man; he made his debut in 2017. He began his career as a training partner (or perhaps protégé) of veteran strongman and fellow Canadian Jean-François Caron, who has placed fifth in the last three World’s Strongest Man competitions.
In Paquet’s place, 34-year-old South African athlete Gerhard van Staden will be stepping in. At 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing in at 374 pounds, van Staden is an accomplished strongman who won South Africa’s Strongest Man in 2011 and has competed at World’s Strongest Man for the last five years.
Interestingly, when he’s not training he’s looking after lions in his own sanctuary in South Africa, where he also holds educational camps on wildlife conservation.
[See the full list of athletes competing at this year’s World’s Strongest Man here!]
We couldn’t reach Van Staden for comment, but we imagine he’s happy to be able to continue his five-year streak of competing at the event.
As for Paquet, he says that his hamstring tear is minor and he hopes to still be able to compete in the Arnold Canada in four weeks. We wish him the best of luck in his recovery.
Featured image via @jimmypaquetstrongman on Instagram.