World’s Strongest Man

Sunday 28th December at 8:00pm on five

Returning this week is Five’s exclusive coverage of the most important international event in strength athletics. The contest sees the most powerful men from across the globe gather for seven days of competition to decide the title of World’s Strongest Man. This year’s action takes place in the city of Charleston in West Virginia.

Competitors qualify for the annual WSM contest based on top placings at the Super Series events throughout the year. Thirty contestants take part across four days of qualifying events, with the top two from each of five groups making it through to the final. For the first time, the action this year takes place in Charleston, West Virginia, where local hero Phil Pfister will be hoping to make the most of the home advantage.

The first day of the competition sees the athletes head to Magic Island in the Kanawha River for the two opening events –the loading race and the keg toss. Thought to be one of the most brutal events in WSM history, the loading race sees athletes go head to head as they carry barrels and sacks of increasing weight onto a high platform. Specialists Terry Hollands and Mariusz Pudzianowski are expected to perform well in this event. After a punishing morning, it is time for the keg toss, in which athletes attempt to throw a set number of metal barrels over a high bar.

The crowds then head to the picturesque Kanawha Boulevard for fingal fingers and the truck pull. This year, the fifth ‘finger’ that must be upended in the first of the day’s events weighs a record 320kg – 20kg more than in last year’s contest.

Day three comes from the State Capitol Complex, where athletes fight it out in the squat lift, dead lift and Viking press events. Once again, the British competitors –in particular Laurence Shahlaei – are expected to excel in these strength tests.

The final qualifying round on day four takes place at the University of Charleston. Here, those men still able to battle on take part in the axle press and the ever-popular atlas stones. Today, all eyes will be on Texan strongman Travis Ortmayer, known locally as the ‘Texas Stoneman’ owing to his dominance in the atlas stones event. However, even Travis may struggle this year, with the last stone weighing a record 82kg.

After four gruelling days of challenges, the 30 athletes will be whittled down to just ten. Taking place at Haddad Riverfront Park, Kanawha Boulevard and Coonskin Park, the final events include the power stairs, the car walk and the overhead lift. The penultimate event is the legendary plane pull, in which the ten finalists head to the runway at Charleston Airport to drag a C-130 Hercules plane weighing some 40 tons. The closing event of the 2008 competition sees the would-be champions head to the Power Park to go through the agony of the atlas stones one last time.

Athletes to look out for this year include current champion Mariusz Pudzianowski from Poland, a 31-year-old strongman legend who has claimed the Super Series title for the last five years and has won the WSM title an amazing four times. However, home fans will look towards Charleston’s own Phil Pfister to bring the title back to the USA. Standing at 6’6’’ tall and weighing in at nearly 25 stone, Phil won the WSM competition in 2006 and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since.

British hopes rest with two men –the ever-popular Terry Hollands and Albanian-born Jimmy Marku of Harrow. Having burst onto the strongman scene in 2006 with victory in the England’s Strongest Man competition, Jimmy cemented his place as a real contender on the world circuit with an impressive win at this year’s BSM contest –despite being involved in a car accident just days before the final.

But former champion Terry Hollands will be keen to return to winning ways. Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield provides the voiceover for Five’s coverage, while Nick Halling commentates and head referee Colin Bryce lends his expert advice.

Friday 19th December at 8:00pm on five

Concluding this week is Five’s exclusive coverage of the World’s Strongest Man Super Series – the international tour of strength athletics that acts as a qualifier for the World’s Strongest Man competition. This week’s action comes from the final Grand Prix of the tour – the Sweden Super Series in the picturesque town of Lysekil.

The WSM Super Series consists of a sequence of four Grands Prix taking place throughout the year, in which strongmen from all over the world compete for places in the main WSM competition in Charleston, West Virginia.

Typically, between ten and 12 athletes take part in each Grand Prix, with the top six in the international rankings competing alongside at least four qualifiers or wildcard entries. With points awarded in each contest according to positioning, the highest scoring competitor at the end of the series is crowned world champion. The top four athletes from each contest automatically qualify for the World’s Strongest Man.

The final Grand Prix of the season is the Sweden Super Series in Lysekil, a small fishing town on the west coast of Sweden. Here, all eyes will be on local hero Magnus Samuelsson, a former WSM title winner who holds the record for appearances in the WSM finals. Standing at over 6ft 7in tall and weighing some 24.5 stone, Magnus won the first ever Super Series back in 2001 and has been a firm favourite with strongman fans ever since.

However, the 38-year-old Swede will face some stiff competition in this Grand Prix, not least from American Derek Poundstone, who claimed the Mohegan Sun title, Norwegian Arild ‘Hulk’ Haugen who won the Viking Power Super Series, and Texan Travis Ortmayer, who was victorious at the Madison Square Garden Super Series in New York. Other athletes to look out for include Polish giant Mariusz Pudzianowski, a 31-year-old strongman legend who has claimed the overall Super Series title for the last five years, and veteran competitor Mark Philippi, a 38-year-old American currently working as director of strength and conditioning at the University of Nevada.

British hopes rest with two men – the ever- popular Terry Hollands and Albanian-born Jimmy Marku of Harrow. Having burst onto the strongman scene in 2006 with victory in the England’s Strongest Man competition, Jimmy cemented his place as a real contender on the world circuit with an impressive win at this year’s BSM contest – despite being involved in a car accident just days before the final. But former champion Terry Hollands will be keen to return to winning ways. Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. He eats two litres of porridge for breakfast, can consume five chicken breasts a day and has a daily intake of around 7,000 calories. Hollands explains that the worst thing about his sport is breaking his bed on a regular basis. And his advice to would-be strongmen? “Train hard and eat big”!

Among the disciplines featured in the Sweden Super Series this week are the power medley, in which contestants must flip a 900lb tyre four times before carrying a 385lb weight 50 feet to the finish line; the axle lift, in which athletes have one minute to lift a 300lb axle from the ground to their shoulders, and then over their head; and the ever-popular atlas stones, in which competitors lift and load stones ranging in weight from 295lbs to 420lbs onto raised platforms.

Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield provides the voiceover for Five’s coverage, while Nick Halling commentates and head referee Colin Bryce lends his expert advice.

Friday 12th December at 8:00pm

Continuing this week is Five’s exclusive coverage of the World’s Strongest Man Super Series –the international tour of strength athletics that acts as a qualifier for the World’s Strongest Man competition. This week’s action comes from Madison Square Garden in New York.

The WSM Super Series consists of a sequence of four Grands Prix taking place throughout the year, in which strongmen from all over the world compete for places in the main WSM competition in Charleston, West Virginia.

Typically, between ten and 12 athletes take part in each Grand Prix, with the top six in the international rankings competing alongside at least four qualifiers or wildcard entries. With points awarded in each contest according to positioning, the highest scoring competitor at the end of the series is crowned world champion. The top four athletes from each contest automatically qualify for the World’s Strongest Man.

The third Grand Prix of the season is the Madison Square Garden Super Series in New York, where all eyes will be on local hero Derek Poundstone. Weighing in at an impressive 22.5 stone, Derek won the America’s Strongest Man title in 2007 and will be a firm favourite in this contest on home soil. Also close to home is Texan strongman Travis Ortmayer. Nicknamed the ‘Texas Stoneman’ owing to his dominance in the atlas stones event, the 27-year-old gym owner weighs in at 23 stone and will be hoping to make the most of the home advantage. However, the Americans will face stiff competition from Polish giant Mariusz Pudzianowski, a 31-year-old strongman legend who has claimed the overall Super Series title for the last five years.

Other athletes to look out for this year include veteran competitor Mark Philippi, a 38-year-old American currently working as director of strength and conditioning at the University of Nevada; and Swedish farmer Magnus Samuelsson, a former WSM title winner who holds the record for appearances in the WSM finals.

Once again, British hopes rest with Englishman Terry Hollands, who won the title of Britain’s Strongest Man in 2005 and 2007. Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing some 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. He eats two litres of porridge for breakfast, can consume five chicken breasts a day and has a daily intake of around 7,000 calories. Hollands explains that the worst thing about his sport is breaking his bed on a regular basis. And his advice to would-be strongmen? “Train hard and eat big”!

As well as the Madison Square Garden Super Series, Grand Prix contests this year include the Sweden Super Series, the Viking Power Super Series and the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix. Among the disciplines featured are the power medley, in which contestants must flip a 900lb tyre four times before carrying a 385lb weight 50 feet to thefinish line; the axle lift, in which athletes have one minute to lift a 300lb axle from the ground to their shoulders, and then over their head; and the ever-popular atlas stones, in which competitors lift and load stones ranging in weight from 295lbs to 420lbs onto raised platforms.
Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield provides the voiceover for Five’s coverage, while Nick Halling commentates and head referee Colin Bryce lends his expert advice.

Continuing this week is Five’s exclusive coverage of the World’s Strongest Man Super Series –the international tour of strength athletics that acts as a qualifier for the World’s Strongest Man competition. This week’s action comes from the Viking Power Super Series in Storefjell, Norway. The WSM Super Series consists of a sequence of four Grands Prix taking place throughout the year, in which strongmen from all over the world compete for places in the main WSM competition in Charleston, West Virginia.

Typically, between ten and 12 athletes take part in each Grand Prix, with the top six in the international
rankings competing alongside at least four qualifiers or wildcard entries. With points awarded in each contest according to positioning, the highest scoring competitor at the end of the series is crowned world champion. The top four athletes from each contest automatically qualify for the World’s Strongest Man.

The second Grand Prix of the season is the Viking Power Super Series in Storefjell, Norway, where all eyes will be on local favourites Arild ‘Hulk’ Haugen and Richard Skog. However, the Norwegians will face stiff competition from Polish giant Mariusz Pudzianowski, a 31-year-old strongman legend who has claimed the overall Super Series title for the last five years.

Other athletes to look out for this year include veteran competitor Mark Philippi, a 38-year-old American currently working as director of strength and conditioning at the University of Nevada; and Swedish farmer Magnus Samuelsson, a former WSM title winner who holds the record for appearances in the WSM finals.

Once again, British hopes rest with Englishman Terry Hollands, who won the title of Britain’s Strongest Man in 2005 and 2007. Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing some 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. He eats two litres of porridge for breakfast, can consume five chicken breasts a day and has a daily intake of around 7,000 calories. Hollands explains that the worst thing about his sport is breaking his bed on a regular basis. And his advice to would-be strongmen? “Train hard and eat big”!

As well as Viking Power, Grand Prix contests this year include the Madison Square Garden Super Series in New York and the Sweden Super Series. Among the disciplines featured are the power medley, in which contestants must flip a 900lb tyre four times before carrying a 385lb weight 50 feet to the finish line; the axle lift, in which athletes have one minute to lift a 300lb axle from the ground to their shoulders, and then over their head; and the ever-popular atlas stones, in which competitors lift and load stones ranging in weight from 295lbs to 420lbs onto raised platforms.

Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield provides the voiceover for Five’s coverage, while Nick Halling commentates and head referee Colin Bryce lends his expert advice.

Friday 28th November
8:00pm on five

Beginning this week is Five’s exclusive coverage of the World’s Strongest Man Super Series –the international tour of strength athletics that acts as a qualifier for the World’s Strongest Man competition. The action begins with the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix in Connecticut.

The WSM Super Series consists of a sequence of four Grands Prix taking place throughout the year, in which strongmen from all over the world compete for places in the main WSM competition. Typically, between ten and 12 athletes take part in each Grand Prix, with the top six in the international rankings competing alongside at least four qualifiers or wildcard entries. With points awarded in each contest according to positioning, the highest scoring competitor at the end of the series is crowned world champion. The top four athletes from each contest automatically qualify for the World’s Strongest Man.

The first Grand Prix of the season is at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, where all eyes will be on local hero Derek Poundstone. Weighing in at an impressive 22.5 stone, Derek won the America’s Strongest Man title in 2007 and will be a firm favourite in this contest on home soil. However, he will face stiff competition from Polish giant Mariusz Pudzianowski, a 31-year-old strongman legend who has claimed the overall Super Series title for the last five years.

Other athletes to look out for in this year’s competition include veteran competitor Mark Philippi, a 38-year-old American currently working as director of strength and conditioning at the University of Nevada; and Swedish farmer Magnus Samuelsson, a former WSM title winner who holds the record for appearances in the WSM finals.

Once again, British hopes rest with Englishman Terry Hollands, who won the title of Britain’s Strongest Man in 2005 and 2007. Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing some 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. He eats two litres of porridge for breakfast, can consume five chicken breasts a day and has a daily intake of around 7,000 calories. Hollands explains that the worst thing about his sport is breaking his bed on a regular basis. And his advice to would-be strongmen? “Train hard and eat big”! As well as Mohegan Sun, Grand Prix contests this year include the Madison Square Garden Super Series in New York, the Viking Power Challenge in Norway and the Sweden Super Series. Among the disciplines featured are the power medley, in which contestants must flip a 900lb tyre four times before carrying a 385lb weight 50 feet to the finish line; the axle lift, in which athletes have one minute to lift a 300lb axle from the ground to their shoulders, and then over their head; and the ever-popular atlas stones, in which competitors lift and load stones ranging in weight from 295lbs to 420lbs onto raised platforms.

Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield provides the voiceover for Five’s coverage, while Nick Halling commentates and head referee Colin Bryce lends his expert advice.

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