The 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) roster received a shake-up on April 9, 2023. Pavlo Nakonechnyy of Ukraine withdrew from the biggest contest in the sport.
“I [will] miss WSM 2023,” Nakonechnyy writes. “I wish all athletes success and see you next year at WSM 2024.
Shortly after news of Nakonechnyy’s withdrawal broke, it was announced that Thomas Evans of the United States received the nod to replace Nakonechnyy. It will be Evans’ WSM debut. The full 2023 WSM roster is listed below.
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It’s not clear why Nakonechnyy withdrew from the contest, though it’s possible that the announcement is related to a knee injury sustained at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC). That same injury compelled Nakonechnyy to withdraw from the 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) contest.
This would have been Nakonechnyy’s first appearance at the World’s Strongest Man. Though the Ukrainian strongman still has plenty of experience competing on the big stage. He’s participated in the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (sixth place), the 2022 rogue Invitational (fifth place), and several Giants Live events, including the 2022 Live World Tour, which he won.
2023 World’s Strongest Man Roster
- Tom Stoltman (UK) — Reigning two-time WSM champion
- Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
- Evan Singleton (USA)
- Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
- Trey Mitchell (USA)
- Adam Bishop (UK)
- Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia)
- Kevin Faires (USA)
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted (Iceland)
- Paul Smith (UK)
- Rauno Heinla (Estonia)
- Bobby Thompson (USA)
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)
- Gavin Bilton (UK)
- Spenser Remick (USA)
- Eddie Williams (Australia)
- Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)
- Graham Hicks (UK)
- Luke Stoltman (UK)
- Mathew Ragg (New Zealand)
- Gabriel Rhéaume (Canada)
- Brian Shaw (USA)
- Fadi El Masri (Lebanon)
- Jaco Schoonwinkel (South Africa)
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
- Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf (France)
- Mark Felix (UK)
- Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland)
- Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou (Burkina Faso)
- Thomas Evans (USA)
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine) — withdrawn
About Thomas Evans
The 28 year-old is a relative new-comer to the sport of strongman, competing in five full contests, according to Strongman Archives. Here’s a quick breakdown of his competitive history:
- 2021 America’s Strongest Man: 5th
- 2022 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships: 1st
- 2022 Shaw Classic Open (Men): 1st
- 2022 Official Strongman Games: 8th
- 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic: 5th
With a couple of wins under his lifting belt, and a few middle-of-the-pack finishes at top-tier shows, Evans isn’t entirely out of his league at the 2023 WSM. A strong showing from a rookie competitor has, after all, happened before.
At the 2022 World’s Strongest Man, Canadian Mitchell Hooper was called up to the show and put on a iconic performance. He blitzed through the Group stage, besting four-time WSM winner Brian Shaw, and went on to finish eighth overall. Since that breakout performance, Hooper has won the 2022 Arnold Strongman UK contest, the 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals, and the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic.
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