Rauno Heinla Withdraws From 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Due to Illness

The silver-dollar deadlift world record holder will not compete in Leeds, England.

Days before the 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) contest takes place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England, another athlete has withdrawn from the roster. Silver-dollar deadlift world record holder Rauno Heinla will not compete in Leeds due to illness.

Heinla’s withdrawal was announced via the Giants Live Instagram page on March 30, 2023 — two days prior to the show:


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A post shared by GIANTS LIVE: WSM Arena Tour (@giantslivestrongman)

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Heinla is the second athlete to pull out of the 2023 ESM. Pavlo Nakonechnyy was the first. The Ukrainian sustained a knee injury at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic and is foregoing the 2023 ESM to allow for more recovery time before the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest on April 19-23 in Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Nakonechnyy was replaced by reserve athlete Paul Smith of the UK. No replacement for Heinla has been announced at the time of this article’s publication. The updated 2023 ESM roster is below:

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Roster

Leading up to the contest, Heinla appeared to be training with Mateusz Kieliszkowski and Aivars Šmaukstelis in Poland, judging from a post on his Instagram page on Feb. 16, 2023.


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A post shared by Rauno Heinla (@rauno_heinla)

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The 2023 ESM is a single-day contest comprised of the following five events:

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Events

Novikov is the defending ESM champion and will aim to hold on to his crown before heading to South Carolina to challenge reigning two-time WSM champion Tom Stoltman for the strongman throne.

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Featured Image: @giantslivestrongman on Instagram