2020 Europe’s Strongest Man Luke Richardson has suffered what is thought to be a biceps injury during the first event of the 2021 World’s Strongest Man contest in Sacramento, CA. Richardson was competing in Group Three with fellow competitors Robert Oberst, JF Caron, Mikhail Shivlyakov, and Eythor Melsted. The injury took place during the Loading Medley Race, which was the first event during the first day of Finals qualification.
After the news broke, Richardson took to Instagram and revealed that the injury is a “distal biceps tendon rupture.”
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The event required the competitors to carry two wine barrels weighing 225 pounds each to a podium, followed by an anvil that weighed 275 pounds, and then an 825-pound frame down the 10 meter course in the fastest time possible, up to a max time of 90 seconds. The lifters were not allowed to use lifting straps for the carry. The temperature on the course was around 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the event. Richardson had completed both wine barrels at the time of the injury.
World’s Strongest Man has confirmed to BarBend that Richardson is now, in fact, out of the competition. However, it was not disclosed which arm was injured or the severity of the injury.
The 23-year old known as “The Future” had appeared to be the strongest he has ever been going into the contest. In February of this year, he had deadlifted 340 kilograms (750 pounds) for 5 reps in training.
No competitor in Richardson’s group was able to complete the entire medley. Oberst came the closest, having completed 11 meters of the final phase of the event. As a result, he took the event win for his group. Second place went to Caron, with Shivlyakov and Melsted finishing third and fourth, respectively. The fastest athlete overall was Tom Stoltman in Group Two, who completed all four implements in 46 seconds.
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The second event of the first day was different for the groups. Richardson’s group and Group One were scheduled to perform the squats reps while Groups Two, Four, and Five performed the deadlift for reps.
“Obviously gutted as I felt in a really good position to improve on last year’s performance but it was not to be this time,” Richardson wrote on Instagram. “Just a bump in what is going to be a long road but excited to test myself against a new challenge and grow closer to the athlete and person I am destined to be. Thank you all for your show of support and especially my loved ones and the guys here at WSM, you’re proper gents.”
Richardson’s withdrawal comes 24 hours after Graham Hicks announced he had to withdraw from the competition due to a groin injury. Ervin Toots took his place. There will be no replacement for Richardson since the competition had started at the time of his injury.
Stay tuned to BarBend for more updates on the 2021 World’s Strongest Man as they develop.
Featured Image: @lukeerichardson on Instagram