“‘Veni,Vidi, Vici’ as they say, and Canada’s Simon Bourdeau must have taken it to heart as he came, he saw, and he won his very first SCL competition ever,” Ilkka Kinnunen told IronMind today.
“He told us even before that he came for the title—MLO Strongman Champions League Finland,—and would settle for nothing less.
“But still, it was really a very tight battle until the end, this last weekend in Vaasa (Finland).
In a two-day event with in total 7 disciplines, the Canadian Simon Bourdeau took the victory just one point ahead of the Latvian Aivars Smaukstelis, who won also this year already 2 SCL competitions, and one and half points before the Estonian Lauri Nämi.
“The first day in sunny Vaasa brought around four thousand people to watch when the strongmen started their battle in 4 hard events. The first event was Mini Bus pull which was kind of warm up for harder events to come. Winner in first event was the Irish Giant Sean O’Hagan, nearly 200 kg heavy and 212cm [nearly 7 ft.] tall.
“In the second event, the Overhead Medley, athletes had to lift two Logs and a Giant Dumbbell of 100 kg at the end. This was also a timed event and the fastest man here was the current Log Lift World Champion, Vidas Blekaitis. Second was Aivars Smaukstelis and Lauri Nämi was third.
“In third event, the House Frame Carry and Cross Carry Medley, was a challenge—especially to bring back the 170-kg cross was not easy for the athletes. The winner here was Aivars Smaukstelis. Second was Lauri Nämi and third was Simon Bourdeau.
“The last event of the first day was the Forward Hold: Vidas Blekaitis won, the Finnish Viking Antti Mourujärvi was second and and Simon Bourdeau was third.
“The second day started in little rain, but it did not scare the public. Before the first event took place the area was again full of cheering people, which is typical in Finland, where the people love strongman.
“There were three events on the second day, starting with Hercules Hold with cars. On this event we could clearly see that Simon is one of the best grip people in the world. He was standing easy the longest time, so that is promising for the future, especially when he can compete against Mr. Grip at the moment, Stoyan Todorchev from Bulgaria. Second place here was Antti Mourujärvi and third was the French strongman, Aurelien Le Jeune.
“After that, the Deadlift Medley was won by another Finnish athlete, Jarno Kirsela, in one of his best and favorite events. He took the victory over Simon Bourdeau and UK Junior Champion Paul Smith. Paul Smith is only 22 years, but still did the 400-kg deadlift easily.
“The Frame Carry and Yoke Medley was the final event and there were three athletes tied at 45 points, chasing Simon who had 3 points more. All very exciting and interesting. Aivars Smaukstelis took first, second was Lauri Nämi and third was Vidas Blekaitis.
“This gave the win overall to Simon and Aivars went from third to second place in the end.
|10.||AURELIEN LE JEUNE||France||28.5||3|
“The show was really fantastic and exciting , and we look forward to be in Finland again with the MLO Strongman Champions League.
“But saying that, in just three weeks’ time we will do the World’s Strongest Man under 90 and 105 kg,” said Kinnunen, who, along with Marcel Mostert, founded the 105-kg strongman category for a 2005 contest in China, as part of an IFSA initiative.
“This year it will be at 9 and 10 September in Kokkola, Finland and it will be televised and broadcast under the MLO Strongman Champions League World Championships, so stay tuned to IronMind for more news,” said Kinnunen.
Vidas Blekairis and Antti Mourujarvi on the Log Lift at SCL Finland. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL
“Mastodons in Holland: Coming Saturday,” SCL Director Marcel Mostert told IronMind today. Part of the 16-stage MHP Strongman Champions League (SCL) series, SCL Holland is slated for this coming Saturday (June 11) at 13.30 in Zelhem, Holland, so if you want to see the big and the strong, this is the place to be.
With Krszysztof Radzikowski injured, Canadian strongman start J-F Caron will wear the yellow leader shirt, Mostert said.
“Since the beginning of the Strongman Champions League, we can see an impressive list of winners and to win the SCL Holland is prestigious—no Dutch strongman has yet won it, because it’s for sure not easy,” Mostert said, and a quick look at the past winners proves his point:
Zydrunas Savickas (2008)
Mikhail Koklyaev (2009)
Travis Ortmayer (2010)
Laurence Shalaei (2011)
Zydrunas Savickas (2012)
Zydrunas Savickas (2013)
Hafthor Bjornsson (2014)
Grzegorz Shymanski (2015)
This will be a six-event competition and field will have 14 competitors, including:
• Gregorz Shymanski
• JF Caron
• Marius Lalas
• Sean O’Hagan
• Eric Dawson and
• Alex Moonen.
“Maybe Gregorz Shymanski will be the only one who takes the title in a row like the big Z?,” said Mostert. “Watch it live in Holland, or on their On Demand channel at 14.00 hours.” And speaking of TV coverage, Mostert said that SCL contests are broadcast in 95 countries, worldwide.
When a last minute injury caused Zydrunas Savickas to withdraw from the 2016 Log Lift World Championships, Vidas Blekaitis (Lithuania) and Robert Kerney (USA) seized the opportunity.
Lithuania and USA Win the SCL Log Lift Worlds
by Marcel Moster
MHP Strongman Champions League
Vidas Blekaitis and newcomer Robert Kearney from the USA won the MHP/SCL Log Lift World’s 2016.
In a very nice sunny day in Kaunas, with a great stadium and a fantastic cheering audience, it was these two men who caused a sensation: With both hitting 202.5 kg, they shared first place after 4 attempts. Vytautas Lalas (Lituania) could have ruined their party with an almost good lift on 205 kg. He was very close.
Marcos Ferrari from Brazil made a new national Brazilian record with 182.5 kg. Patrick Baboumian ripped his right tricep after he tried 180 kg.
Zydrunas Savickas injured himself just before, with a muscle in his neck. He expects it will be recovered soon. Therefore he could not compete, which was of course a pity for the world record holder, but for the contest of course it was very excited to see who would be number 1 in this crazy log lift battle and the 3rd stage of the MHP Strongman Champions League was again a hard one.
Place: Kg. Ranking points
1-2 Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 202,5 25
1-2 Robert Kerney USA 202,5 18
3 Vytautas Lalas Lithuania 200 15
4 Dimitar Savatinov Bulgaria 195 12
5-7 Dainis Zageris Latvia 190 10
5-7 Gregorz Szymanski Poland 190 8
5-7 Graham Hicks England 190 6
8 Bjorn Solvang Norway 185 5
9 Marcos Ferrari Brasil 182,5 4
10 Matjaz Belsak Slovenia 180 3
11 Saulius Brusokas Lithuania 175 2
12 Patrick Baboumian Germany (injured) 170 1
The next stage will be 11 June in Holland, with stars as Vytautas Lalas, J-F Caron and Gregorsz Szymanski and Dainis Zageris at the start. 15 athletes will be there in a total over 6 events. It promises to be a great battle again, so stay tuned!
Marcel Mostert (right) interviews Vidas Bleikaitis (Lithuania) at the 2016 SCL Log Lift World Championships, where Blekaitis shared the victor with Robert Kerney (USA). IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
The 2016 SCL Log Lift World Championships are tomorrow, May 21, and there is every expectation that the King of the Log Lift, Zydrunas Savickas, will once again deliver a new world record.
Live broadcasting and a field filled with impressive strongman athletes, “will make this world championships one of the most spectacular log lift worlds ever,” SCL director Marcel Mostert told IronMind.
Here is the line up:
1 Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania
2 Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania
3 Vytautas Lalas Lithuania
4 Saulius Brusokas Lithuania
5 Gregorsz Szymanski Poland
6 Dainis Zageris Latvia
7 Graham Hicks England
8 Dimitar Savatinov USA
9 Niels Gordijn Holland
10 Patrick Baboumian Germany
11 Matjaz Belsak Slovenia
12 Bjorn Solvang Norway
13 Marcos Ferrari Brasil
The live broadcast is at 12.00 CET.
It was a battle to the end, but Krzystof Radzikowski edged out Matjaž Belšak on count back to claim victory at the Strongman Champions League-FIBO.
Radzikowski and Belšak Have a Repeat Performance Taking First and Second at SCL FIBO 2016
By Aryn Lockhart/Strongman Rage
On Saturday, for the second time in a row, Krzysztof Radzikowski won the MHP Strongman Champions League FIBO held in Cologne, Germany. And for the second time in a row, to Matjaž Belšak’s disappointment, he took second place. In a fast-paced, heavy competition Radzikowski and Belšak went down to the wire finishing the competition with the exact same points (65.5). It was only because Radzikowski won two events that he was able to take the win.
This year’s competition, held at the largest fitness expo in the world, was witness to a new world record in frame carry and JF Caron tying the record for the axle deadlift held by Zydrunas Savickas.
The legendary Heinz Ollesch (12x Germany’s Strongest Man) hosted the tenth Strongman ClassX. With some of the best equipment in the strongman world, the stage was set for battle and 14 athletes from around the world were ready to get the second stage of the MHP Strongman Champions League underway.
The day began with the Conan’s Wheel. With 460kg (1,012lbs) pressing down and making breathing excruciating with every step. Andreas Altmann and Matjaž Belšak tied for first place with 1,120 degrees. Round and round they go. Third place in this event went to Dainis Zagaris far behind with 830 degrees.
Event two was the Giant Log. This log is larger than the standard log. It is 36cm wide and three meters long. With no surprises, Radzikowski won this event with 200kg (440lbs). He dared to break his world record from last year, with 207.5kg (456.5lbs), but just barely fell short unable to lock out his right arm. His 206kg (453.2lbs) world record would stand for another year. Second in this event was Dainis Zagaris with 190kg (418lbs) and Matjaž Belšak with 180kg (396lbs).
Event three was a 300kg (660lbs) frame for distance. Martin Wildauer previously held this world record with 60m. Grip strength and endurance are the keys to this event. This field of athletes had some of the best grips in the world. First place with a new world record was Stoyan Todorchev from Bulgaria. He won the event smashing Wildauer’s record with 80m (262ft). Stoyan is hard to beat when he’s carrying any kind of weight. He takes off with lightening speed and just keeps going. Second in this event was Cestmir Sima from the Czech Republic far behind with 55.30m (181.5ft) and third came from the giant newcomer from Ireland who stands over 2.1m (6’10”)tall, Sean O’Hagen with 51.15m (168ft).
Event four was the front hold. With 30kg (66lbs) outstretched in front of the athletes, there is no question, the front hold is one intense power event. Krzysztof won this event with 43.80 seconds. Andreas Altmann placed second with 42.04 seconds and Raffael Gordzielik from Germany took third with 41.60 seconds.
The fifth event before heading to the main stage was the atlas stones ranging from 140kg-180kg (308-396lbs). Last year Matjaž Belšak smashed the long standing record on these stones. This year he won the event with 20.59 seconds, but didn’t quite break his record. He was just under a second slower. JF Caron took second in this event with 23.03 seconds. Stoyan Todorchev took third with 24.81 seconds. JF Caron was finally starting to get into the groove. He had horrible travel challenges to get to the FIBO. While Germany was breaking into spring, Caron was dealing with winter storms and delays leaving Canada that left him traveling 32 hours to finally arrive at the FIBO on the morning of the competition. Without any rest, he was tapping into all of his reserves and still performing impressively. Despite his travel woes, he was still motivated throughout the day. In true strongman spirit, after Caron completed the event, he turned to support Raffael Gordzielik. As Gordzielik struggled with his final atlas stone, Caron offered tacky from his own arm helping Rafael to complete the event.
The final event was the 350kg (770lbs) axle deadlift. Heinz Ollesch explained what makes this event so difficult is that the bar does not bend which means you are moving 350kg the moment you pull. After learning of Caron’s travel challenges, it was unbelievable to watch him take the stage and knock out 11 reps as if it were nothing. With this amazing performance, he won the event and tied Zydrunas Savickas’ record. Four athletes took second with eight reps to split second place. Zagaris, Todorchev, Belšak and Radzikowski. Belšak and Radzikowski entered the event tied with 54 points. Since they completed the same number of reps, they ended competition with the exact same points. It was only because Radzikowski won both the front hold and the log lift that he was able to take first overall.
After speaking with Krzysztof, he was excited to win his second FIBO in a row. “I came and I won.” When I inquired if he was concerned at all since he barely beat Belšak he explained, “After the first three events, I didn’t think I could win. I was eight points behind, but after that were power events. I am much better at those than frame for distance or Conan’s wheel.”
Belšak had to settle for second place again. He could not have come closer to a win. When I asked if he was disappointed, his response was, “Ervin Katona told me he came in second place eight times before winning his first SCL. It will come.” He went on to explain he is hopeful he will take his first win this year.
The strongman season is just beginning to head into full swing. The third stage is up next on 21 May for the World Log Championship in Lithuania. The season promises to be exciting with new locations for MHP Strongman Champions League throughout the world. We’ve only completed stage two and already, JF Caron has lost the leader shirt and Radzikowski is back in the lead.
1. Krzysztof Radzikowski (Poland) – 65.5pts
2. Matjaž Belšak (Slovenia) – 65.5 pts
3. Stoyan Todorchev (Bulgaria) – 64 pts
4. JF Caron (Canada) – 57.5
5. Dainis Zagaris (Latvia) – 57.5 pts
6. Andreas Altmann (Germany) – 53.5 pts
7. Cestmir Sima (Czech Republic) – 50 pts
8. Alex Moonen (Netherlands) – 46pts
9. Raffael Gordzielik (Germany) – 42.5 pts
10. Aaron Page (UK) – 33.5pts
11. Akos Nagy (Hungary) – 31.5 pts
12. Sean O’Hagen (Ireland) – 30.5 pts
13. Nemo Tasic (Austria) – 19.5 pts
14. Julian Groth (Germany) – 10 pts
Don’t think SCL has been sleeping since their last contest—things have been busy behind the scenes and this weekend SCL will be part of the FIBO 2016, the world’s largest fitness expo, SCL director Marcel Mostert told IronMind.
“FIBO, in Cologne, is 4 days long, 12 buildings full of action and the biggest stars in the house, with all sports, 250,000 visitors and the 2nd stage of the MHP Strongman Champions League.
“It will be exciting and madness again: Last year Krzysztof Radzikowski broke the world record of Zydrunas Savickas on the World’s biggest log and he is planning to break his own record again this year. Let me just say, the man is in shape,” said Mostert.
SCL Giant Log for max weight, the biggest log in the world.
Frame Carry for Distance 300 kg
Forward Hold 30 Kg
Stones 140-180 kg
Apollon’s Wheel deadlift for reps, 350 kg
1 Krzysztof Radzikowski POL
2 JF Caron CAN
3 Andreas Altmann GER
4 Martin Wildauer AUT
5 Sean O`Hagan IRE
6 Julian Groth GER
7 Cestmin Sima CZ
8 Matjaz Belzak SLO
9 Alex Moonen NED
10 Dainis Zageris LAT
11 Raffael Gordzielik GER
12 Stoyan Tidorchev BUL
13 Akos Nagy HUN
Competition starts Saturday 9 April at 11:00 AM
Canadian strongman Jean-Francois Caron kicked off the new year with a huge win as he was crowned World’s Strongest Viking 2016 at SCL Norway.
SCL Norway – World’s Strongest Viking 2016
by Kikki Berli-Johnsen
Up in the mountains above the little village of Vinstra, placed in the beautiful valley of Gudbrandsdalen, MHP Strongman Champions League Norway – World’s Strongest Viking 2016 was held January 29th and 30th.
This was the first stage of the MHP Strongman Champions League 2016. In total, there will be 16 stages throughout the whole year, broadcasted in 95 countries, to crown the ultimate world champion at the end.
The venue is, as it was last year, Fefor High Mountain Hotel, a hotel whose walls are filled with history of poets and kings, and an atmosphere unlike anything else. The owner of the hotel, Anne Grethe Horten, has a dream of building the ultimate strongman arena for both national and international competitions, and so far, she is on the right track. All the equipment are made with Viking as a theme, and with a Viking village as a backdrop this competition is something different from what you find anywhere else in the world.
Both athletes and audience was promised a cold experience up in the mountains, but little did the crew, arranging this competition, knew that the Norse gods of weather had other plans. They planned that a hurricane named Thor would ravage Norway this weekend, making this winter wonderland a dangerous place to be. With heavy snow as well as wind, first event was changed from Hercules Hold to front hold. This was considered a less dangerous event than the original.
At 8.00 PM, a young Viking girl opened the competition by blowing her horn, Vikings with shields and weapons were surrounding the competition arena, and the first two athletes were ready for action. A tough event became even tougher with snow blowing in the faces of the athletes, but the men were tough, and toughest of them all were Bjorn Andre Solvang, who stood for 66, 26 seconds.
After this first event, both Vikings and athletes took refuge inside while the crew got the arena ready for next day’s big competition. Weather was a theme during almost every conversation that night, athletes hoping for better weather to compete in, Vikings hoping for less wind so their tents wouldn’t fly away.
When everybody was inside the hotel, the MC of the weekend, Magnús Ver Magnússon, invited to a seminar about his life and his view of training and competing. It was a very interesting hour for all fifty in his audience.
Saturday dawned, with sunshine and less wind that the night before. In the restaurant, the athletes were eating their breakfast number one and two, on the arena the crew was finishing the last few details for the competition.
At 11.00 AM, the Vikings started to beat their drums, followed up by the same young Viking girl blowing her horn. Viking warriors ran roaring on to the arena, beating their shields with swords and axes and the competition was declared open.
First event was Viking longboat pull. A Viking longboat was to be pulled as fast as possible 20 meters. The boat itself wasn’t very heavy, but with a weighed down sleigh that froze to the ground in between each competitor the event was more than hard enough this cold winter day.
All athletes struggled with the start of the pull – except Matjaz Belsak. According to Krzysztof Radzikowski he had “spikes that he could climb Mount Everest with …“ Matjaz exploded from the start and sprinted the boat over the finish line, winning the event.
Next event was Hercules Hold. This piece of equipment was built for last year’s competition, and looks even more awesome this year after standing outside in wind and weather. Each log weighed 150 kg in the hand, and in wind that makes the temperature even lower than it actually was, this was going to be a very tough event. The first three or four athletes really struggled with finding the balance on the platform, so they lasted for very few seconds. The fastest time of them all had Aaron Page from England, with 1,7 second. He wasn’t too happy with that result, but still; a record is a record … The winner of the event was JF Caron from Canada, who lasted 55,92 seconds in the freezing cold.
In between events two and three, there was supposed to be a break, but because of the weather and the light, crew and TV-crew decided to go on. The athletes where happy for that decision, knowing that they would be able to get inside sooner than expected, so they gave it all for the last three events.
Powerstairs was the third event. This awesome event was built for this year’s competition, and the weights was cast at a casthouse further south in the county. Three weights, weighing 185, 195 and 205 kg was to be lifted as fast as possible up four stairs, the athletes going in pairs. The crew was afraid that the weights would be too light for the athletes, but it turned out that the weights were just fine in these weather conditions. The big Swede, Johan Espenkrona, had injured his back three weeks before the competition, so he had to give in after two implements. The winner of the event was Krzysztof Radzikowski from Poland who did all three implements in 23,09 seconds.
Second to last event was Viking press. This big wooden equipment built to last year’s competition by the hotel’s own carpenter weighed 160 kg in the hands, and the athletes had to go out in pairs. The Norwegian Vikings and audience had big hopes for Bjorn Andre Solvang, who is an excellent presser. The part of the audience that cheered for mr. Page from England hoped that he would find his revenge in this event, since his major strength is pressing as well. Aaron ended up on 13 reps, and a joint 3rd place with Dainis Zargeris from Latvia. Both Matjaz and Krzysztof ended up on 15 reps, and the winner of the event was Norway’s own Bjorn Andre with 19 reps.
The last event was the event Krzysztof had dreaded the most. For weeks he had been complaining about lifting atlas stones in the cold weather, he was sure no tacky would hold the cold weather, that no stones would be lifted … so when Jorgen Skaug Aukland, the Norwegian 105-strongman, did 4 stones, Krzysztof sighed and opened his box of tacky.
It turned out that Krzysztof was right; it was difficult to find the right kind of tacky. For all the athletes the two or three first stones went up easily, but after that the tacky froze and the stones became close to impossible to lift. The only one who managed to get up all five of them was JF Caron – who with that fifth stone could call himself World’s Strongest Viking 2016.
SCL is set to launch its 2016 season at the Fefor High Mountain Hotel in Vinstra, Norway this coming weekend—temperatures are expected to dip down to about -30C/-22F so everyone who thinks strongman is a winter sport would say that contest conditions will be perfect.
Preview: SCL Norway–World’s Strongest Viking 2016
by Kikki Berli-Johnsen
Up in the mountains above the little village of Vinstra, placed in the beautiful valley of Gudbrandsdalen, SCL Norway–World’s Strongest Viking 2016 will be held January 30th.
It is the first stage from the MHP Strongman Champions League 2016. In total there will be 16 stages again throughout the whole year, broadcast in 95 countries, to crown the ultimate world champion at the end.
The venue is, as it was last year, Fefor High Mountain Hotel, a hotel whose walls are filled with history of poets and kings, and an atmosphere unlike anything else.
Twelve of the strongest men in the Northern Hemisphere will compete in a total of six events, where the first event will be held Friday at 8:00 PM.
The events are:
– Hercules Hold.
– Viking Longboat pull
– Front Hold with swords
– Viking Press
– Atlas Stones
The twelve athletes are:
– Krzysztof Radzikowski, Poland
– Dainis Zargeris, Latvia
– Johan Espenkrona, Sweden
– Ole Martin Hansen, Norway
– Stefan Sölvi Petursson, Iceland
– J-F Caron, Canada
– Matjaz Belsak, Slovenia
– Jorgen Skaug Aukland, Norway
– Jon Olav Granli, Norway
– Aaron Page, England
– Antti Mourujarvi, Finland
– Bjorn Andre Solvang, Norway
According to the weather forecast, it will be very cold at Fefor this last weekend of January, down to -30C/-22F, so this battle of finding out who is the strongest Viking in the world will be tougher than ever.
Strongman Champions League kicks off its 2016 season with the World’s Strongest Viking in Fefor, Norway January 29–30.
Remember what happened here last year, when SCL brought some of the biggest names on the professional strongman circuit to this winter wonderland: among other things, the primal power of Hafthor Julius Bjornsson was unleashed on a massive log and his feat of strength went viral.Mark your calendar and stay tuned to IronMind for more details.