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World Strongman 2024 Event Overview: Athletes Presentation & Expectations for the Event

The 2024 World’s Strongest Man is set to begin in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, starting from the 1st of May till the 5th of May, where 30 giants will compete in the six athlete groups for the 2024 WSM Qualifying Stages.

World Strongman 2024 Event
Photo by @theworldsstrongestman

Athletes’ Withdrawal Before the 2024 WSM

Finally, we got the list of all 30 contenders of the World Strong Man 2024, which was agreed later this year because of athletes’ injuries.

We got to know about the trauma of the Latvian-American athlete Martins Licis and a Polish Mateusz Kieliszkowski: the first is currently not in his best form, although he’s a very charismatic athlete who has thousands of fans worldwide.

While Kieliszkowski is showing his peak performance if considering the last Arnold Strongman Classic competition. But he injured his Achilles and will miss the 2024 WSM competition. 


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Another pitiful fact: at the Arnold Classic, the Ukrainian strongman Oleksii Novikov injured his right biceps, but he managed to perform at the event till the end. But, because of the injury, he wasn’t able to train and recover properly.

Strongman Pulling a Car
Oleksii Novikov

Moreover, he went to Leeds to compete at Europe’s Strongest Man where he finished off his biceps and eventually withdrew from the 2024 World Strongest Man. So, Ukraine has only one athlete, Pavlo Kordiyaka who’s going to represent the country at this competition.

The next series of withdrawals refer to strongmen who got injured while working out: namely, the British athlete Shane Flowers got his bicep fully ruptured, and Icelandic athlete Kristjan Haraldsson injured his knee while performing an axle press exercise. So, we are short of three powerful athletes who would have all chances to get to the final stage.

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The list of the leading athletes at the 2024 WSM

Who’s going to compete at this year’s World Strong Man? Let’s start with the previous year’s winner, the Canadian Mitchel Hooper, known as The Moose. Now he’s in his best physical condition and to say the truth he’s always 100% ready for any competition. What’s more, Hooper is the major contender to win the 2024 WSM. 

Mitchell Hooper
Mitchell Hooper

The next participant is Tom Stoltman from Scotland, aka “The Albatross”, the main opponent of “The Moose”: he’s also in perfect form, he has already gained two medals, and he’s pretending to win his third title of the strongest man in the world. However, if he’s really targeted to win the competition, he needs to perform at his maximum from the very start.

The third top athlete is Latvian Aivars Smaukstelis: he showed good results at the 2024 Europe’s Strongest Man finishing second. In 2020, he ranked 8th at the WSM, which was his best result in such an event. So, we’re expecting he has big chances to improve his results this year.

Evan Singleton from the USA is believed to be the strongest American athlete who is gradually increasing the quality of his performance. He ranked 5th in the previous year at the WSM, thus, in theory, in 2024 he can show better results.

Another contender is Pavlo Kordiyaka from Ukraine: he won the title of the strongest man in Europe in 2023. So, he can qualify well without putting much effort and omitting to face Stoltman in the Atlas Stone event.

Pavlo Kordiyaka

Rauno Heinla from Estonia is the oldest athlete at the 2024 WSM. A 41-year-old strongman showed great performance at the 2024 Europe’s Strongest Man.

Gavin Bilton from Great Britain, being 39 years old, displayed quite moderate results at the recent competitions. So, there’s no need to expect some amazing results.

On the contrary, the British athlete Luke Stoltman can improve his prior results. For him, it’ll be already the ninth competition at this level: he managed to rank seventh, moreover, considering the number of injured athletes and good form after the 2024 Europe’s Strongest Man, Stoltman has all the chances to rank higher than the 7th spot.

Jako Schoonwinkel from South Africa: in 2023 he debuted at the World Strongest Man by winning in the highly competitive group and surpassing his opponent Bryan Shaw. So, there’s a chance we’ll see him in the WSM final.

Thomas Evans from the USA: at the Arnold Strongman Classic, he got the same injury as Novikov, however, experts highlight his progress.

Another Canadian strongman is Tristain Hoath: in 2023, he surpassed Kordiyaka at the Magnus Ver Magnusson Strongman Classic, the most brutal strongman event. Currently, he displays pretty good condition.

Pa O’Dwyer from Ireland is a strongman oldster who substitutes injured athletes and has chances to show average performance if not get into the most competitive qualifying group.

A Polish athlete Oskar Ziolkowski doesn’t differ from others with some extreme accomplishments. He’s a newbie at the World Strongest Man this year.

American Trey Mitchell: he got injured seriously at the Rogue Invitational by tearing his Achilles, that’s why he missed all the competitions from October 2023. By the way, he’s strong at overhead movements, deadlifts, and ranked 4th at the 2023 WSM falling behind Oleksii Novikov.

The next American athlete Bobby Thompson: he’s known to be a top deadlift possessing quite a good movement speed, although, his drawback is his low height.

High expectations and hopes for newcomers

As you noticed there are lots of American strongmen who will compete at the 2024 WSM: we counted 10 athletes who will represent the States in the Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Also, we’ll follow the performances of the British athletes. 

Now let’s talk about the “dark horse” at the WST: this is a New Zealander Mathew Ragg who set a national record in deadlift by lifting 460 kg with enough reserve. He has strong overhead movements, a good performance at the Conan’s Wheel exercise.

In a recent interview, he said that he’s aiming to return the title at this WSM. Indeed, he’s a decent contender for Hooper and Stoltman.

The last thing we need is the fact of the participation of the most mysterious athlete who would go to the 2024 WSM is Tom Haviland. Likely, he won’t take part in this event.

Lastly, we also have lots of new faces, like Nicolas Cambi and Ondrej Fojtu who showed good results at Europe’s Strongest Man.

Final thoughts

All in all, considering the fact of numerous injuries of the leading strongmen, it seems that the level of this world’s competition could decrease. But, on the other hand, it’s a great chance for new athletes to show their strength.

Share your thoughts regarding this topic in the comments below, and make predictions about who will reign this competition and will become the strongest man in the world.  

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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