By: Kalle Beck
Europe’s Strongest Man is set to return to Leeds, England, on July 9 for the fifth time. One of the most prestigious titles in the sport, it is set to be the biggest live strongman contest of all time, and a majority of the First Direct Arena is already being sold out.
Luckily, you can watch all the action LIVE on FloElite.com.
The line-up of competitors will be historic. In Part 1 of our two-part breakdown, we'll familiarize you with some of the big names.
Adam BishopCountry: United Kingdom
Bishop, a former Rugby player, currently works as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the English Rugby Union team Harlequins F.C. He won UK’s Strongest Junior in 2012, and took second at 2014's UK’s Strongest Man. Thanks to his rugby background, Bishop excels in the more athletic events such as the yoke walk and Atlas stones.
Laurence ShahlaeiCountry: United Kingdom
After a few setbacks due to injury, Shahlaei is looking to make a comeback and improve on his third-place performance in 2012. The two-time Britain's Strongest Man winner is also a seven-time World’s Strongest Man™ competitor, and posted his best finish in 2011 by taking fourth. Incredibly quick, Shahlaei holds a world record in the farmer's walk.
Hafthor BjornssonCountry: Iceland
Hafthor "Thor" Bjornsson (better known as The Mountain from "Game of Thrones") is looking to win Europe’s Strongest Man for the third consecutive year. The former basketball player is arguably the most athletic strongman today, and dominates most moving events. His static strength was once a weakness, but it has shot up in recent years, including a 450kg deadlift last year at Europe’s Strongest Man. Bjornsson is the clear favorite this weekend, and if he wins, he'll pass the great Jon Pall Sigmarsson as the Icelander with the highest number of Europe’s Strongest Man titles.
Eddie HallCountry: United Kingdom
Known for his brash personality and world-record deadlift (which he set at this event last year), Hall is a four-time World’s Strongest Man™ competitor and two-time Britain's Strongest Man. The heavy deadlifts at past Europe’s Strongest Man contests came at a price, though—Hall withdrew due to injury last year. If Hall can stay healthy throughout the contest, he should make a podium spot, but that will depend on how much the 500kg deadlift goal takes out of him.
Mark FelixCountry: United Kingdom
Felix is the ageless wonder—at 50 years old, he only continues to get better. The 10-time World’s Strongest Man™ finalist is fresh off a second-place finish at the North American Open Championships.
Marius LalasCountry: Lithuania
The brother of former Arnold Classic winner Vytaus Lalas, Marius is making his own mark in the sport. With a win at the Strongman Champions League Austria, and many more recent top finishes, he's well on his way. This will be Lalas’ first time at Europe's Strongest Man.
Continue to Part 2