Our readers had already been well-informed about the most important events of the long-awaited WSM qualifier show Giants Live Wembley when it finally took place last weekend. The World Deadlift Championships 2019 brought the answer whether someone could eventually beat Eddie Hall’s milestone of 500 kilograms (1102 pounds), and the “Giants Live Legends Challenge” with Bill Kazmaier and Magnus Ver Magnusson at the center of attention was the first of its kind: Never did the strength sports community witness an event where two long-retired and grayed athletes came back to battle each other again for the sake of reviving a glorious piece of strongman history!
The Giants Live Wembley was not only on paper a spectacular show, but it also proved to live up to the hype. The World Deadlift Championships 2019 brought some quite astonishing results, but one thing should be mentioned right in advance: “The Beast” is still reigning deadlift world record holder! In this context, we should note that three competitors, who might have been able to dethrone Eddie Hall as the strongest deadlifter, missed the event due to injuries: Larry Wheels tore his biceps just a few days before the Giants Live while training with the atlas stones, Benni Magnusson – arguably the most promising candidate to break the 500 kilogram (1102 pound) mark – and Brian Shaw were still recovering from earlier injuries.
With the World’s Strongest Man 2019 just a few days behind us, the next big event is already around the corner: On 6th July at the SSE Arena in Wembley Park in London, the new Giants Live Wembley will feature the World Deadlift Championships where Eddie Hall’s world record from 2016 still has to be […]
Nevertheless, the event was amazing, and the most impressive performance was Rauno Heinla’s: The Estonian athlete pulled 440 kilograms (970 pounds) and 455 kilograms (1003 pounds) with such ease that it had seemed as if he could have possibly broken Hall’s record. But like a few other athletes, Rauno saved some resources for the long run and refrained from further lifts. After all, the World Deadlift Championships were just the first of five disciplines in this WSM qualifier event. And 455 kilograms proved to be enough for Heinla to win the challenge. But given this performance, the Estonian strongman certainly put himself into the small circle of athletes who might actually take the world record from Eddie Hall within the next years.
Jerry Pritchett too managed to pull 455 kilograms, but he fell just short of breaking his own personal record (465 kilograms or 1025 pounds), when he missed the 467,5 kilograms (1030,6 pounds) in his last lift. Pritchett was one of the athletes who had been in the comfortable position to prepare themselves for the Giants Live exclusively, while other big names like Polish Mateusz Kielizskowski, the Stoltman brothers or especially the US-American Martin Licis were still more or less exhausted because of their participation at the World’s Strongest Man event from just a few weeks ago. WSM winner Licis decided to opt out after having pulled 420 kilograms, while Kieliszkowski failed that weight, contented himself with the 400 kilograms (882 pounds) he pulled in his first attempt and skipped the rest of the lifts thereafter. In case of the Polish athlete, who finished runner-up at the WSM 2019, this strategy paid out, as his win of the Giants Live competition showed. He convinced with brilliant performances in the safe press, where he did 13 reps with 150 kilograms (330,7 pounds), and the farmer’s walk with 160 kilograms (352,7 pounds) in 18,78 seconds, therefore winning two of five disciplines.
Sometimes old legends resurrect and make the earth shatter again through the sheer force of the historical impact they had on the sports they once excelled in! There’s a time when these aged athletes feel that itch again – the itch that’s caused by their deeply enrooted ambition that made them pros on a world-class […]
This brings us to the other big event of the Giants Live about which we had reported thoroughly, the “Legends Challenge” which was part of the Hercules Hold event. One can rightfully say, that this discipline was ruled by the elders: Mark Felix succeeded in breaking his own world record by holding the pillars for 83,62 seconds! This is certainly a great accomplishment, given his age of 53 years. That being said, the “Legends Challenge” with Magnus Ver Magnusson and Bill Kazmaier offered a good and entertaining show. Especially 56-year-old Magnusson let some jaws drop through holding the pillars for more than 100 seconds! If it weren’t for a change of the pillar setup that reduced the weight by 30 kilograms to prevent injuries, this would have beaten Felix’ record easily. We can just speculate how long Magnusson would have held the weight with the heavier pillars, but its very likely that he’d have been able to stand his ground against other active athletes.
The Icelandic legend’s opponent Kaz, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful and had to let go of the pillars after roughly 20 seconds because he unfortunately injured himself in the shoulder. But Kaz wouldn’t be Kaz – the tough nut that won the WSM 1981 with a torn pec -, if he didn’t take his fate like the iron warrior he is. He commented his mishap with his typically dry sense of humor: “Those 100 pound curls that I’ve been training with, don’t do me much good in the Hercules Hold.” Asked about his failure, he just replied: “I just wanna look strong at 65, I don’t want to be strong.” We wish this hero of the strength sports history a quick recovery and an otherwise smooth passage into his well-earned second retirement!