The World’s Strongest Man competition has brought together the buffest and toughest strongman competitors in the world since it was created in 1977. This year’s event took place from June 15 to June 20 in Sacramento, California, with a field of 25 participants (that narrowed down to 22 after early withdrawals due to injury) who competed in 12 iconic events like the Keg Toss, Atlas Stones, and more.)
Once all the big weights had been lifted, tossed, and dragged and the dust settled, the top prize went to the United Kingdom’s Tom Stoltman. The 27-year-old from Scotland nicknamed “The Albatross” claimed the title after finishing second last year.
“I’m the first Scotsman to win World’s Strongest Man and the first with autism to win,” said Stoltman after the event. “I made a promise to my mom before she died that I would win this event and I had the whole world on my shoulders until that Stones event. It hasn’t sunk in yet that I am the World’s Strongest Man.”
American Brain Shaw, a four-time World’s Strongest Man who was competing in his 14th WSM competition in search of a record-tying fifth title, finished in second place. After Stoltman held a wide lead after the first day of Finals events, Stoltman and Shaw entered the competition’s last event, the Atlas Stones, separated by just one point according to BarBend. Stoltman’s specialty is the Stones, however, and he won the day after placing all five stones in 20.21 seconds to Shaw’s 31.45 seconds.
While Shaw didn’t walk away with his fifth title, he did break his own world record in the REIGN Total Body Fuel Keg Toss with a 7.75 meter toss. Canada’s Maxime Boudreault took third place to round out the podium finishers.
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The biggest shock of the competition was when defending champ Oleksii Novikov of Ukraine failed to advance past the group stage to make the final stage of the competition.
But it was Stoltman’s consistently impressive performance over the multi-day event that clinched his win. Out of 12 events, he only finished outside the top three once. He won or tied for first in five of the events, including three wins out of the six Finals events.
If you want to catch the TV coverage of the competition, the televised broadcast will begin airing on July 3 on the CBS Sports Network and CBS, with a full schedule to be released within the coming weeks.