Day Two of the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) promised fireworks, and it did not disappoint in its delivery. The second day saw the athletes work through the Conan’s Wheel, Kettlebell Toss, and climactic Stone-Off to determine the 10 places in the 2023 WSM Final.
Here’s where the leaderboard stands at the end of Day Two, along with a short recap of how each athlete fared at the end of the Qualifying Round.
RankNamePointsGroup 11Pavlo Kordiyaka — Ukraine — Finalist252Tom Stoltman — United Kingdom — Finalist20.53Bobby Thompson — USA204Konstantine Janashia — Georgia17.55Pa O’Dwyer — Ireland136Eddie Williams — Australia9Group 21Oleksii Novikov — Ukraine — Finalist232Luke Stoltman — United Kingdom — Finalist213Gavin Bilton — United Kingdom204Thomas Evans — USA185Kristjan Jon Haraldsson — Iceland15.56Fadi El Masri — Lebanon7.5Group 31Mitchell Hooper — Canada — Finalist292Mathew Ragg — New Zealand — Finalist22.53Aivars Smaukstelis — Latvia17.54Mateusz Kielszkowski — Poland145Graham Hicks — United Kingdom11.56Spenser Remick — USA10.5Group 41Jaco Schoonwinkel — South Africa — Finalist242Brian Shaw — USA — Finalist23.53Rauno Heinla — Estonia20.54Adam Bishop — United Kingdom145Kevin Faires — USA13.56Gabriel Rheaume — Canada9.5Group 51Trey Mitchell — USA — Finalist262Evan Singleton — USA — Finalist24.53Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — Iceland22.54Mark Felix — United Kingdom12.55Paul Smith — United Kingdom116Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf — France8.5
Here are the Day Two results from each Qualifying Round Group, including each athlete’s individual finishes, any relevant corresponding time, and placing within the Conan’s Wheel and Kettlebell Toss. Plus, there’s an overall recap of the Stone-Off event featuring just the second and third-place finishers in each group.
As one of the last events of the 2023 WSM Qualifying Round, the Conan’s Wheel tested the athletes’ core strength and endurance. They had the objective of holding up a 199.5-kilogram (440-pound) bar in the Zercher position while walking around in a fixed circle as far as possible.
The event’s winners would score the most “degrees” or loops around the circle. A full loop the length of the circle would be considered 360 degrees.
Former 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov recorded the maximum distance with 847 degrees to become the winner in Group 2. Pavlo Kordiyaka, reigning Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) champion, notched the second-most with 749 degrees as Group 1’s winner. Kordiyaka possesses the Conan’s Wheel World Record with a rotation length of 1,009 degrees from his 2023 ESM victory.
Pavlo Kordiyaka — 749 degrees
Pa O’Dwyer — 722 degrees
Bobby Thompson — 649 degrees
Konstantine Janashia — 633 degrees
Eddie Williams — 614 degrees
Tom Stoltman — 598 degrees
Oleksii Novikov — 897 degrees
Gavin Bilton — 557 degrees
Luke Stoltman — 545 degrees
Kristjan Jon Haraldsson — 524 degrees
Fadi El Masri — 70 degrees
Thomas Evans — 69 degrees
Mitchell Hooper — 636 degrees
Mathew Ragg — 628 degrees
Aivars Šmaukstelis —575 degrees
Mateusz Kieliszkowski — 538 degrees
Spenser Remick — 470 degrees
Graham Hicks — 425 degrees
Jaco Schoonwinkel — 713 degrees
Kevin Faires — 636 degrees
Gabriel Rhéaume — 476 degrees
Rauno Heinla — 572 degrees
Brian Shaw — 411 degrees
Adam Bishop — 292 degrees
Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — 629 degrees
Evan Singleton — 589 degrees
Trey Mitchell — 523 degrees
Paul Smith — 518 degrees
Mark Felix — 470 degrees
Jean-Stephen Corabeouf — 143 degrees
Some athletes needed a better performance in the vital Kettlebell Toss than others. After all, it would partly determine who qualified for their Group’s Stone Off.
This event pushed the competitors’ explosive power, presenting them with seven kettlebells that gradually increased in weight. They had one minute to launch as many weights as they could over a 4.5-meter (15-foot) overhead bar.
Here was how the weights progressed in size: 20.5 kilograms (45 pounds), 21.8 kilograms (48 pounds), 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds), 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds), 24 kilograms (53 pounds), 26.3 kilograms (58 pounds), and finally 30.8 kilograms (68 pounds).
Even while mathematically eliminated from the Finals by the time he stepped up to compete, Mateusz Kieliszkowski fared the best in the Kettlebell Toss. The Polish athlete finished all seven throws in a blazing 32.44 seconds in Group 3. In the process, he snapped groupmate Mitchell Hooper’s dominant four-event winning streak.
Pavlo Kordiyaka — Six reps, 18.09 seconds
Konstantine Janashia — Six reps, 19.93 seconds
Tom Stoltman — Six reps, 21.99 seconds
Pa O’Dwyer — Six reps, 31.71 seconds
Bobby Thompson — Six reps, 35.67 seconds
Eddie Williams — Six reps, 36.4 seconds
Gavin Bilton — Six reps, 19.9 seconds
Luke Stoltman — Six reps, 49.35 seconds
Kristjan Jon Haraldsson — Five reps, 15.57 seconds
Thomas Evans — Five reps, 28.68 seconds
Fadi El Masri — Four reps, 20.61 seconds
Oleksii Novikov — One rep, 9.56 seconds
Mateusz Kieliszkowski — Seven reps, 32.44 seconds
Mitchell Hooper — Six reps, 17.18 seconds
Mathew Ragg — Six reps, 21.96 seconds
Aivars Šmaukstelis — Six reps, 25.41 seconds
Spenser Remick — Five reps, 24.31 seconds
Graham Hicks — Four reps, 20.51 seconds
Brian Shaw — Seven reps, 48.45 seconds
Adam Bishop — Six reps, 32.29 seconds
Kevin Faires — Five reps, 34.09 seconds
Jaco Schoonwinkel — Six reps, 47.32 seconds
Rauno Heinla — Five reps, 44.31 seconds
Gabriel Rhéaume — Three reps, 14 seconds
Trey Mitchell — Seven reps, 34.42 seconds
Evan Singleton — Six reps, 28.81 seconds
Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — Six reps, 27.66 seconds
Mark Felix — Four reps, 42.66 seconds
Jean-Stephen Corabeouf — Two reps, 23.65 seconds
Paul Smith — One rep, 28.62 seconds
Finally, it was time to determine the other half of the 2023 WSM Finals field. With Novikov, Hooper, Trey Mitchell, first-time WSM Finalist Kordiyaka, and first-time WSM competitor Jaco Schoonwinkel winning their respective groups, the second and third-place finishes squared off head-to-head in an Atlas Stone battle to earn berths for the weekend’s Finals.
The participating athletes had to lift gradually heavier Atlas Stones over a bar separating them from their opponents. The weights ranged from 140 kilograms (308 pounds) to 200 kilograms (440 pounds). The last Stone’s weight would be lifted for reps until one of the strongmen could not continue.
Tom Stoltman, Luke Stoltman, Brian Shaw, Mathew Ragg, and Evan Singleton all earned places in the 2023 WSM Finals by winning their Stone Off. The 2023 WSM is Ragg’s first appearance in the contest. 2023 marks Singleton’s first time reaching the Finals in four consecutive WSM appearances — his 2020 and 2021 showings were interrupted by withdrawals due to injury, while he failed to pass the Qualifying Stage in 2022.
Tom Stoltman — 3 stones — Winner
Bobby Thompson — 3 stones
Luke Stoltman — 7 stones — Winner
Gavin Bilton — 7 stones
Mathew Ragg — 8 stones — Winner
Aivars Smaukstelis — 8 stones
Brian Shaw — 11 stones — Winner
Rauno Heinla — 11 stones
Evan Singleton — 8 stones — Winner
Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — 8 stones
Here are the 10 confirmed athletes in the 2023 WSM Finals:
Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
Jaco Schoonwinkel (South Africa)
Trey Mitchell (United States)
Tom Stoltman (United Kingdom)
Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)
Mathew Ragg (New Zealand)
Brian Shaw (United States)
Evan Singleton (United States)
Some of the more notable achievements in qualifying for the 2023 WSM Final include two-time defending champion Tom Stoltman surviving his Stone Off. The Scottish athlete will officially have the opportunity for a three-peat victory over the weekend. Meanwhile, after blitzing the 2022 WSM for a surprise Finals berth, Mitchell Hooper may seem like a bona fide favorite heading into the weekend and the person that might unseat Stoltman from his throne.
From a longer-term perspective, the legendary Brian Shaw extended his streak of WSM Final appearances to 15. In his last WSM before a strongman retirement later this summer, the four-time champion (2011, 2013, 2015-2016) will have officially made it 15 of 16 appearances in the Finals over his illustrious career. The only instance of Shaw ever missing the Finals was his WSM debut in 2008.
The 10 finalists in the 2023 WSM now get to enjoy a rest day on Friday before returning to compete in the Finals on Saturday, Apr. 22, and Sunday, Apr. 23, 2023. While many eyes might be on Stoltman in his repeat quest, on Hooper in trying to finish his meteoric climb up strongman’s summit, and on Shaw in his last WSM, it could be anyone’s contest to win.
Truly, until that last Atlas Stone is lifted onto its platform on Sunday, all bets are off for the 2023 WSM.
Featured image: Todd Burandt / Courtesy of World’s Strongest Man