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World’s Strongest Man 2023: Competition Review, Highlights & Results (WSM 2023 RECAP)

Starting from 1977, every competition is held to find the answer to the question “Who’s the next strongest man in the world?”. Each year athletes around the globe who set themselves to compete in this grueling contest, will become stronger than the year before and beat the records of former leaders. They’ll become better than anything the world has ever seen before. 45 competitors who push their bodies to the limit and challenge their bodies.

The winner is the last man standing and he’s truly the strongest. With 25 athletes going head to head testing strength by squatting 317kg (700lbs) or smashing a deadlift world record with a lift of 537.5kg (1185lbs). These athletes make it impossible by bringing nothing, but their best in this strength quest for the title of becoming the next World’s Strongest Man.

The World’s Strongest Man 2023 competition is about more than just physical strength. The competition is about stamina, skill, training strategy, and psychology. These 45 most powerful athletes push themselves to their ultimate limits by challenging not only their physical capabilities, but their flexibility, and mental toughness.

We presented you with the full World’s Strongest Man 2023 event coverage and analysis. Here, you’ll find the final leaderboard and results for each of the qualifying day’s accomplishments. Additionally, we prepared a consistent guide on the top strongmen this year and their prominent records.


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About the WSM Winners

The Canadian athlete Mitchell Hooper claimed the title of the world’s strongest man athletes in 2023 in this largest competition in just his second appearance. He was dominating in his qualifying group and the final round of competition by winning three of the six events (Shield Carry, Deadlift, Bus Pull) and getting the top spot in another (Max Dumbbell Press). He was outside the top list in just one event (Fingal’s Fingers). So, he gained 53.5 points. However, Hooper admitted to placing his chances of winning the competition at less than 50%.

A British strongman Tom Stoltman finished second with 49 points.

Oleskii Novikov from Ukraine came third with 41 points by managing to perform defend his position in the Atlas Stones contest.

WSM 2023 Finals Leaderboard

1Mitchell Hooper
2Tom Stoltman
(United Kingdom)
3Oleksii Novikov
4Trey Mitchell
5Evan Singleton
6Pavlo Kordiyaka
7Brian Shaw
8Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)21.5
9Mathew Ragg
(New Zealand)
10Jaco Schoonwinkel
(South Africa) — Withdrawn

Qualifying Day 1

Loading Race:

At this event, athletes had to carry and load five hefty objects onto a platform, in the fastest time possible in order to get the highest points. The race shows strength and agility, including a 265 lb sandbag Husafell, a 265 lb heavy sandbag, a 275 lb anvil, and two log bundles weighing 234 lb and 253 lb. Being tested for power and speed, our athletes showed the following results:

Group 1

  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — 5 in 41.38 sec
  • Tom Stoltman — 5 in 43.84 sec
  • Bobby Thompson — 5 in 56.56 sec
  • Konstantine Janashia — 5 in 61.10 sec
  • Pa O’Dwyer — 5 in 65.89 sec

Group 2

  • Oleksii Novikov — 5 in 52.15 sec
  • Kristján Jón Haraldsson — 5 in 54.18 sec
  • Thomas Evans — 5 in 57.40 sec
  • Luke Stoltman — 5 in 62.78 sec
  • Gavin Bilton — 5 in 63.01 sec
  • Fadi El Masri — 4 in 49.57 sec

Group 3

  • Mitchell Hooper — 5 in 42.05 sec
  • Aivars Smaukstelis — 5 in 52.71 sec
  • Mathew Ragg — 5 in 58.72 sec
  • Spenser Remick — 5 in 67.15 sec
  • Mateusz Kieliszkowski — 5 in 67.53 sec
  • Graham Hicks — 4 in 53.40 sec

Group 4

  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — 5 in 47.10 sec
  • Rauno Heinla — 5 in 51.41 sec
  • Brian Shaw — 5 in 53.70 sec
  • Adam Bishop — 4 in 43.12 sec
  • Gabriel Rheaume — 4 in 51.03 sec
  • Kevin Faires — 3 in 65.30 sec

Group 5

  • Evan Singleton — 5 in 46.90 s
  • Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — 5 in 56.41 s
  • Trey Mitchell — 5 in 66.64 s
  • Paul Smith — 4 in 44.79 s
  • Mark Felix — 4 in 54.32 s
  • Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf — 3 in 40.63 s

Stone Off

The runner-up and third-place finisher in each of the five Qualifying groups went head-to-head, lifting a series of six Atlas Stones weighing 140 and 200 kilograms over a bar until one strongman no longer could.

As a reward for ranking higher, the runner-up of each group lifted second in each event. The loser is determined by whoever fails a lift first, even if both athletes lift an equal number of stones. Let’s take a look at five pairs of athletes and who managed to perform the exercise first;

Group 1

  • Tom Stoltman: Won
  • Bobby Thompson: Lost

Group 2

  • Luke Stoltman: Won
  • Gavin Bilton: Lost

Group 3

  • Mathew Ragg: Won
  • Aivars Smaukstelis: Lost

Group 4

  • Brian Shaw: Won
  • Rauno Heinla: Lost

Group 5

  • Evan Singleton: Won
  • Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted: Lost

Day 3. Rest Day

Day 4. Final Day 1

Reign Total Body Fuel Shield Carry

Each strongman was tasked to carry a 432-pound shield in a bear-hug position for the farthest distance possible up and down a 20-meter course. Having seen the outcomes, we can already define the top three rivals in the competition:

  • Mitchell Hooper — 64.8 meters
  • Tom Stoltman — 63.15 meters
  • Oleksii Novikov — 55.87 meters
  • Trey Mitchell — 50.83 meters
  • Evan Singleton — 48.3 meters
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — 46.59 meters — issued a 19.8-meter penalty
  • Luke Stoltman — 44.62 meters
  • Brian Shaw — 39.1 meters
  • Mathew Ragg — 37.65 meters
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — 15.92 meters

KNAACK Deadlift

The 10 finalists had to deadlift 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds) for as many reps as possible in a time limit of 75 seconds. The athlete with the highest rep total amount was awarded first-place points.

  • Mitchell Hooper — eight reps
  • Oleksii Novikov — seven reps (T-second)
  • Brian Shaw — seven reps (T-second)
  • Trey Mitchell — seven reps (T-second)
  • Mathew Ragg — seven reps (T-second)
  • Tom Stoltman — six reps
  • Evan Singleton — five reps (T-seventh)
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — five reps (T-seventh)
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — four reps
  • Luke Stoltman — three reps

Fingal’s Fingers

The event concentrates around a series of hinged poles, or fingers, that should be lifted starting from a horizontal resting position and flipped over to the other side. The poles are getting progressively heavier and longer, making the challenge to flip the fingers tougher and tougher as the timer counts down. This stage is scored by time and by how many of the poles an athlete is able to flip over.

With weights ranging from 200 kg to over 300 kg, athletes have to flip all five fingers being pushed by the clock ticking. On WSM 2023, 10 finalists have to lift and topple five fingers with the weight of 320, 340, 350, and 380 pounds in the fastest time possible.

So, this event resulted in such a rank:

  • Tom Stoltman — five in 39.36 seconds
  • Oleksii Novikov — five in 42.26 seconds
  • Trey Mitchell — five in 48.46 seconds
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — five in 48.69 seconds
  • Evan Singleton — five in 49.85 seconds
  • Mitchell Hooper — five in 49.89 seconds
  • Brian Shaw — four in 26.69 seconds
  • Luke Stoltman — four in 32.54 seconds
  • Mathew Ragg — four in 35.03 seconds
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — four in 40.76 seconds

Day 5. Final Day 2

Max Dumbbell

10 athletes had to clean and press ascendingly heavy dumbbells with the weight of 115, 125, 132.5, 140, 145, 151, and 155 kilograms (254, 276, 292, 309, 320, 333, and 342 pounds accordingly) to perform their max lift. Athletes could choose to skip any weight to go heavier immediately. The results were the following:

  • Mitchell Hooper — 309 pounds (T-first)
  • Evan Singleton — 309 pounds (T-first)
  • Oleksii Novikov — 292 pounds (T-third)
  • Tom Stoltman — 292 pounds (T-third)
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — 292 pounds (T-third)
  • Luke Stoltman — 292 pounds (T-third)
  • Brian Shaw — 276 pounds (T-seventh)
  • Trey Mitchell — 276 pounds (T-seventh)
  • Mathew Ragg — 276 pounds (T-seventh)
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — no lift — withdrew from the competition

Vehicle Pull

This jaw-dropping exercise implies trams, boxcars, buses or planes pull across a 100 ft course, by hand, in the quickest time possible. Originally, the Strongmen would wear a pulling harness, but today it’s more common for them to have a harness and a pulling rope. The old harness-only system did seem to give an advantage to the competitors with the strongest body weight.

So, the Vehicle Pull challenged the nine finalists to pull a 51,000-pound bus down a 25-meter course in the fastest time within the 75-second time cap. The leader impressed the spectators with his lighting-speed pull showing such results:

  • Mitchell Hooper — 30.24 seconds
  • Tom Stoltman — 32.27 seconds (T-second)
  • Evan Singleton — 32.27 seconds (T-second)
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — 32.46 seconds
  • Trey Mitchell — 32.49 seconds
  • Brian Shaw — 32.65 seconds
  • Luke Stoltman — 32.83 seconds
  • Oleksii Novikov — 33.35 seconds
  • Mathew Ragg — 36.29 seconds
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — withdrew

Atlas Stones

Being a signature event in the WSM competition, this event involves five heavy, spherical stones which increase in weight of 330, 350, 395, 440, and 460 pounds that must be placed on top of five high platforms that span a 50-inch height in the fastest time possible.

  • Tom Stoltman — five in 33.26 seconds
  • Mitchell Hooper — five in 36.96 seconds
  • Trey Mitchell — five in 45.72 seconds
  • Oleksii Novikov — four in 27.47 seconds
  • Evan Singleton — four in 28.16 seconds
  • Brian Shaw — four in 35.88 seconds
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka — four in 45.86 seconds
  • Luke Stoltman — four in 48.49 seconds
  • Mathew Ragg — four in 49.50 seconds
  • Jaco Schoonwinkel — withdrew

About the WSM Winners

The World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition always celebrates the accomplishments of the top world’s strongest man athletes starting from 1977. Below you can see a list of the top 10 WSM winners starting in the 2000s:

  1. Tom Stoltman (2021, 2022)
  2. Oleksii Novikov (2020)
  3. Martins Licis (2019)
  4. Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson (2018)
  5. Eddie Hall (2017)
  6. Brian Shaw (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
  7. Žydrūnas Savickas (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  8. Phil Pfister (2006)
  9. Vasyl Virastyuk (2004)
  10. Mariusz Pudzianowski (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)

These strongman champions left an indelible mark on the history of the high-ranked and prestigious WSM 2023 competition by continuing to impress us with their unlimited physical capabilities, superb performance, and solid will to win this challenging race.

Top 5 2023 World’s Strongest Man Winners List

Let’s rename the best 5 athletes of this year’s Strongman competition, each of them was dominating in specific events and their qualifying group accordingly, by showing us the massive endeavors and strength that pushed them to such unbelievable scores.

1. Mitchell Hooper 

By dominating from the very start in his qualifying group and the final round of the competition, by winning three of the six events (Shield Carry, Deadlift, Bus Pull) and clinching the top spot in another (Max Dumbbell Press), Mitchell Hooper became the 1st time ever Canadian who won the title of 2023 World’s Strongest Man and lifted the flag of Canada to the top of the podium this year. “The Moose” Hooper attended the Powerlifting World’s Strongest Man championships just for the second time. For you to know, in 2022, he was picked up as the last-minute replacement by getting 8th place in the contest, and it was his debut in such SBD world competitions.

Imagine, he was outside the top two in just one event (Fingal’s Fingers). Hooper got a total of 53.5 points for the victory in WSM 2023. 

2. Tom Stoltman

Aside from his previous WSM success, ‘The Albatross’ Stoltman broke the world record for lifting 5 Atlas stones in just 16.01 seconds. He also holds the world record for the heaviest Atlas stone ever lifted over a bar at 286 kg.

Tom Stoltman’s Powerlifting PBs:
Squat: 400 kg
Deadlift: 430 kg
Bench press: 250-260 kg

Tom Stoltman’s Strongman PBs:
Log press: 200 kg
Atlas stone: 286 kg
Push press: 205/210 kg

3. Luke Stoltman

Currently holding the British Log Press record, Luke Stoltman has a goal of becoming the World’s Strongest Man. He placed 7th in the 2022 WSM competition, alongside being 5-time Scotland’s Strongest Man and Europe’s Strongest Man champion of 2021.

Luke Stoltman’s Powerlifting PBs:
Squat: 410 kg
Deadlift: 410 kg
Bench press: 250 kg

Luke Stoltman’s Strongman PBs:
Log press: 228.5 kg
Hummer tire deadlift: 422 kg
Push press: 220 kg

4. Brian Show

Four-time World Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw announced he would compete in the 2023 WSM competition. However, he mentioned that he will go for ‘one more big push’ to win his fifth and final career WSM title.

Brian Shaw’s Powerlifting PBs:
Squat: 410 kg
Deadlift: 467 kg
Bench press: 240 kg

Brian Shaw’s Strongman PBs
Tire deadlift: 570 kg (with straps)
Log lift: 200 kg x 2
Atlas stone: 254 kg

5. Oleksii Novikov

Novikov won the 2020 World’s Strongest Man competition, placed third last year, and won two World’s Ultimate Strongman competitions in 2021, the Rogue Invitational and Europe’s Strongest Man in 2022.

Oleksii Novikov’s Strongman PBs:
Hummer Tire Deadlift: 549 kg
Squat (with wraps): 350 kg
Log Press for Reps: 180 kg × 4


Where is The 2023 World’s Strongest Man Competition?

The WSM 2023 took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from April 19th to the 23rd, with a one-day break on Friday, April 21, to separate the Qualifying rounds from the finals.

How Many Competitors Are There in World Strongest Man?

30 of the world’s top strongman athletes gathered in the Palmetto State for the 45th edition of the competition. The competitors competed over the course of two days in the qualifying stage, after which the athletes’ field was narrowed down to only 10 rivals. Following a rest day, the finalists participated in 6 additional events over two days to determine the overall winner. 

Where is 2024 The World’s Strongest Man?

Britain’s Strongest Man is returning to Utilita Arena Sheffield for 2024 Britain’s Strongest Man 2024 is the first stop on the prestigious Giants Live World’s Strongest Man Arena Tour – 6 of the UK’s biggest arenas play host to grueling challenges and epic lifts that will amaze fans

On the back of a hugely successful 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man, the Giants Live World’s Strongest Man Arena Tour is back for 2024, bigger, better – and stronger than ever!


Congratulations to Mitchell Hooper, this time on the WSM 2023 he did his best to prove who’s the strongest man. Although, he’s still a relative newcomer to Strongman, having made his pro debut a year ago. But what a year he’s had! The 320 lb “Moose” won the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic in March, and he is now the first Canadian who hit the World’s Strongest Man podium. And it needs to be mentioned that he’s just getting started.

Hooper’s performance shows us that there are no limits and you don’t need 20 or more years of exhausting training under your lifting belt to be a strongman athlete. You just need the correct mix of raw talent, skills, a firm, and hardshell work ethic, and the will to devastate everyone, and sure a lucky day on the events.

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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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