Pavlo Nakonechnyy Withdraws from 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Due to Injury

The Ukrainian is resting his knee before the 2023 World's Strongest Man contest.

The 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) contest is scheduled for April 1, 2023, at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. The contest is just over two weeks before the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest on April 19-24, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The proximity to the season’s biggest show is partly why Pavlo Nakonechnyy of Ukraine has withdrawn from the 2023 ESM. To recover from a knee injury sustained during the deadlift event at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) in Columbus, OH, won by Mitchell Hooper, Nakonechnyy’s next competitive appearance won’t be until the 2023 WSM.

[Related: 2023 Australia’s Strongest Man and Strongest Woman Results]

Nakonechnyy’s Replacement

Nakonechnyy’s withdrawal made his slot on the roster open to Paul Smith of the UK, who was initially listed as a reserve athlete. According to Strongman Archives, Smith’s most recent competitive appearance was at the 2023 Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM) on Jan. 28, 2023, where he finished just off the podium in fourth place; Adam Bishop won the contest.

In addition to Smith, Shane Flowers was also confirmed on the 2023 ESM roster on March 18, 2023. The updated 2023 ESM roster of 14 strongmen representing nine different countries are listed below: 

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Roster

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2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Events

There are five events scheduled for the single-day contest in Leeds. Given Nakonechnyy’s knee injury was sustained in a deadlift; the events are not conducive to his success. All five of the events involve significant some kind of leg drive and performing at less than 100 percent is unlikely to result in a favorable finish. We’ll see if Nakonechnyy’s injury heels well enough to bring his best to Myrtle Beach when the Qualifying stage starts on April 19.

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Featured image: @giantslivestrongman on Instagram