The first day of finals at the World’s Strongest Man in Sacramento are in the books! The first event of the day was the Flinstone Press. This was a last man standing event. Each athlete had to overhead press weight from behind the head. If the athlete could lock out the weight, he would proceed to the next round. The starting weight was 385 pounds. The weight jumps were as follows: 420 pounds, 440 pounds, 470 pounds, 490 pounds and 510 pounds. Apparently, Luke Stoltman and Oleksii Novikov would need additional rounds as they both locked out 510 pounds. Two more rounds were added with weights of 529 and 542 pounds. Oleksii Novikov would win the event with the 542 pound press and set a new world record. Luke Stoltman would finish second with 529 pounds. Martins Licis would finish third with a 510 press. This event had a number of ties. Trey Mitchell, Brian Shaw, Maxime Boudreault and Luke Stoltman would all tie for fourth with the 470 pound press. Mitchell Hooper followed with his 440 pound press and, Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted and Gabriel Rhéaume would tie for the ninth spot with 420 pounds.
The second event of the day was the deadlift for max reps. Each athlete had to deadlift a 795 pound Jeep for as many reps as possible in sixty seconds. This event is a staple at World’s and in strongman competitions in general. This event was a tight race with, again, a lot of ties. Oleksii Novikov would be the sole athlete in first place with fifteen reps. Tom Stoltman and Trey Mitchell would tie for second place with thirteen reps each. Mitchell Hooper, Martins Licis and Brian Shaw all tied for fourth place with twelve reps each. Maxime Boudreault placed seventh with ten reps, Luke Stoltman placed eighth with nine reps and Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted tied for ninth place with Gabriel Rhéaume with eight reps each. This event didn’t really seem to shuffle the deck very much.
The final event of the day was the KNAACK Giant’s Medley. Each athlete had to walk with two KNAACK tool boxes filled with 275 pounds each for ten meters (32 feet) down and back, then finish with a super yoke run weighing at a whopping 1,000 pounds. That’s some serious tonnage being moved around. Mitchell Hooper would finish with a time of 21.96 seconds for the first place finish in the event. Tom Stoltman finished second with a time of 24.75 seconds. Oleksii Novikov would finish third with a time of 24.86. The rest of the placements are as follows Luke Stoltman, Martins Licis, Brian Shaw, Trey Mitchell Garbriel Rhéaume, Maxime Boudreault and lastly, Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted. Obviously, there were no ties in this event. After day 1 of the finals the rankings are as follows:
1. Oleksii Novikov - 28 points
2. Tom Stoltman - 26.5 points
3. Martins Licis - 20 points
4. Mitchell Hooper - 19 points
5. Trey Mitchell - 18 points
6. Brian Shaw - 16.5 points
7. Luke Stoltman - 15.5 points
8. Maxime Boudreault - 11.5 points
9. Gabriel Rhéaume - 6 points
10. Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted - 4 points
Going into the last day of competition, Oleksii Novikov looks like he’s comfortably in the lead with Tom Stoltman not too far behind him. Martins Licis is holding onto the podium, but only by a single point. Licis needs to perform well or Mitchell Hooper or Trey Mitchell could very easily take his position. Brain Shaw will need to have a really good day if he wants a chance at claiming his fifth title, and he might need a few guys to not do so well in order for him to make substantial jumps. It appears that everyone else is solidly out of the race for a position on the podium. There are only three events left, and things are starting to shape up and fall into place. I think that Novikov and Tom Stoltman will do what they need to do to stay on the podium. They are going to battle to see who can finish first. Martins Licis could potentially end up top dog, but he must have a good performance to just stay in third. He has some monsters tailing him, and they aren’t going to leave World’s without a fight. As for Brian Shaw, I do think that he will not see the podium, much less claim his fifth title, but I do have to commend him for making it to the finals. I think he’s proven he can still compete at a high level, but I don’t think he is the top dog anymore. Everything will be settled soon, and we will have our next World’s Strongest Man!
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