In this heat the competitors were dominated by one man, Hafthor Bjornsson. The huge Icelandic is still a young contender compared to some, and yet it seems as if he has been around for ages. He’s been on the podium twice in the last two years coming in third, and this year he said he is even stronger. He’s young, hungry and very determined so I predict he will be on the podium again this year.
In this heat he blew the competition out of the water in some events and was knocked into second place in others after some amazing performances by J F Caron, the French Canadian, and the deceptively strong Dave Ostlund, the American. Ostlund has been off our screen for a couple of years due to injury, but the absence has not left a big gap between him and the competition. He had impressive performances in a few of the events, which meant there was a real battle for second place and a spot in the final. In the end it went to Caron, but there are two wildcards now in the final, for those who came in third, so hopefully Ostlund will be there as he certainly deserves to be.
I love watching this competition every year, and I know they are lifting enormous weights, and yet some part of me forgets. In both heats I’ve been reminded of how dangerous the competition is. In heat 1 Frankie Scheun of South Africa had to withdraw due to injury, and in this heat the mighty American Robert Oberst, had to drop out due to tearing something in his leg. Superhuman is a word bandied about a lot, but these guys make fantasy a reality.
After Bjornsson put in a great performance in the Squat lift, JF Caron did it even faster, winning the event. Also in Fingal’s Fingers, the Icelandic was doing very well but he couldn’t relax as Ostlund was right there, only a few seconds behind him. The competition really is getting tougher every year which means the final is going to be even more explosive and hopefully unpredictable.