The Top Up-and-Coming Strongman/Strongwoman Athletes to Watch in 2020

Here is who to keep your eyes on in the New Year.

The sport of strongman has seen its share of big names rise to the top in recent years but that doesn’t mean that they will stay there for too long. There are several up and coming stars that will be looking to make big moves in 2020. Watch for these names to be at the top of some leaderboards and taking home trophies at the start of the next decade.

Mateusz Kieliszkowski

This is a name that really shouldn’t be on this list because he is considered by many to be at the top of the sport now. This is due to him winning the Giants Live event in Manchester as well as the 2019 World’s Ultimate Strongman. But since he is only 26, he should have a long future in the sport ahead of him. Many people that follow the sport feel this young man from Poland is going to be the man of the sport. He has been close to the top at both the Arnold Strongman Classic and World’s Strongest Man. The only chink in his armor is the deadlift, but he has been improving on that as well. Don’t be surprised if he takes at least one of those top two titles in 2020.

Alexey (Oleksii) Novikov

Novikov made his presence known in 2019 by winning two Arnold Pro Strongman events. He actually beat Kieliszkowski in both South America and Africa. He made his World’s Strongest Man debut in June of this year but was unable to make it to the finals. He has been in the mix of every other contest he enters and is only 23 years old so time and youth are on his side.

Tom Stoltman

Both Stoltman brothers have been representing Scotland well. They both advanced to the World’s Strongest Man finals in 2019, becoming the first pair of brothers to do so in the same year. Tom finished 5th and Luke finished 7th. Tom is the younger brother (age 25) and is now a two-time defending Scotland’s Strongest man winner. He has been following in big brother Luke’s footsteps but watch for him to make his move to join the elite of the sport next year.

Danielle Vaji

On the ladies side of the sport, Danielle Vaji made her arrival on the scene by winning the amateur middleweight division at the Arnold in 2019. 2020 could very well be the year that she takes that top spot. The Texas police officer has been on a steady rise since her first competition in Dallas, Texas which she won. 

Jessica Fithen

Fithen won the 2019 Strongest Woman in the World event in Alaska in dominating fashion. She is also qualified for the 2020 Arnold Pro Strongwoman event in Columbus, Ohio. So she will be going head to head against the current champion, Olga Liaschuck. Don’t be surprised if the Indiana native leaves Ohio with that title under her belt, too.

Featured Image: Instagram/kieliszkowskimateusz

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Roger "Rock" Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He's also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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