Just one day remains in the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM). One day to determine who has the privilege to become ultimate strongman royalty. One day to find out who gets to sit on top of what might be strength sports’ most prestigious throne in Myrtle Beach, SC.
As the second climactic half of the Finals looms on Sunday, here’s where the 2023 WSM Finals leaderboard stands at the end of Day Three, along with a recap of how each athlete fared in the first half of the Finals.
Editor’s Note: Results are provided by our official reporter in attendance. These results are not considered official until after they are confirmed on the World’s Strongest Man homepage.
RankNamePoints1Mitchell Hooper — Canada252Oleksii Novikov — Ukraine24.53Tom Stoltman — United Kingdom244Trey Mitchell — USA22.55Evan Singleton — USA156Brian Shaw — USA14.57Pavlo Kordiyaka — Ukraine148Mathew Ragg — New Zealand11.59Luke Stoltman — United Kingdom810Jaco Schoonwinkel — South Africa5.5
Here are the Day 3 results from the first part of the 2023 WSM Finals, including each athlete’s individual finishes, any relevant corresponding times and distances, and tasked weights on the Reign Total Body Fuel Shield Carry, the KNAACK Deadlift, and the Fingal’s Fingers. Due to a two-hour inclement weather delay, all the event start times were pushed back accordingly. In a scheduling shift, the Fingal’s Fingers became the last event of the day, while the Reign Total Body Fuel Shield Carry began the Finals.
The Reign Total Body Fuel Shield Carry tasked the competitors with carrying a 196-kilogram (432-pound) shield for maximum distance. Competitors moved back and forth along a 20-meter (65.6-foot) course for as much as they could.
In unfortunate circumstances, controversy may have defined the Reign Total Body Fuel Shield Carry. Ukraine’s Pavlo Kordiyaka, who had a legitimate shot at the 2023 WSM podium (and perhaps even more) entering the first day of the Finals, may have lost his opportunity on a debatable penalty for failing to fully cross a boundary line before continuing one lap of his carry. Kordiyaka would lose a whopping five points and be penalized 19.8 meters of distance from his carry, resulting in a score of 46.59 meters. If not for the penalty, Kordiyaka would’ve had the overwhelming best distance of all participating finalists. The competitor would leave the stage in apparent disgust after the penalty ruling.
Instead, the likely growing WSM favorite, Mitchell Hooper, finished with the best carry of 64.8 meters in Heat 3.
Brian Shaw — 39.1 meters
Mathew Ragg — 37.65 meters
Evan Singleton — 48.3 meters
Luke Stoltman — 44.62 meters
Mitchell Hooper — 64.8 meters
Tom Stoltman — 63.15 meters
Trey Mitchell — 50.83 meters
Pavlo Kordiyaka — 46.59 meters (includes 19.8-meter penalty)
Oleksii Novikov — 55.87 meters
Jaco Schoonwinkel — 15.92 meters
The KNAACK Deadlift did not reinvent the wheel for the athletes. It was a traditional deadlift for maximum repetitions with 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds) as rain fell on Myrtle Beach. Hooper claimed another event victory by being the only strongman to finish eight repetitions. Four athletes tied for second on the KNAACK deadlift with seven successful repetitions, including Oleksii Novikov, Trey Mitchell, Brian Shaw, and Mathew Ragg.
Mitchell Hooper — 8 reps
Oleksii Novikov — 7 reps
Trey Mitchell — 7 reps
Brian Shaw — 7 reps
Mathew Ragg — 7 reps
Tom Stoltman — 6 reps
Evan Singleton — 5 reps
Jaco Schoonwinkel — 5 reps
Pavlo Kordiyaka — 4 reps
Luke Stoltman — 3 reps
The end of the first half of the 2023 WSM Finals was a fitting spectacle, as it featured the Fingal’s Fingers. The event had not been a part of a WSM Finals round since 2009, marking a decade-plus absence as a decision-making race. The strongmen had the objective of flipping five successive “fingers” in one minute. The beams had the approximate size of telephone poles and ranged in these weights as they progressed through the course: 145 kilograms (320 pounds), 154 kilograms (340 pounds), 159 kilograms (350 pounds), 163 kilograms (360 pounds), and 172 kilograms (380 pounds).
Two-time defending WSM champion Tom Stoltman paced ahead of the rest of the competitors — completing all five fingers nearly three full seconds before his closest competitor — putting himself in great position for the second half of the Finals on Sunday afternoon.
Tom Stoltman — 5 reps, 39.36 seconds
Oleksii Novikov — 5 reps, 42.26 seconds
Trey Mitchell — 5 reps, 48.46 seconds
Pavlo Kordiyaka — 5 reps, 48.69 seconds
Evan Singleton — 5 reps, 49.85 seconds
Mitchell Hooper — 5 reps, 49.89 seconds
Brian Shaw — 4 reps, 26.61 seconds
Luke Stoltman — 4 reps, 32.54 seconds
Mathew Ragg — 4 reps, 35.03 seconds
Jaco Schoonwinkel — 1 rep, 40.76 seconds
Any number of storylines and questions could define the final day of the 2023 WSM.
Just one year after surprising the elite strongman field in his WSM debut, Mitchell Hooper might lead the fray. The Canadian strongman is arguably in the strongest position to win the title and could culminate one of the more meteoric rises over an approximate year that the sport has ever seen.
Then there’s Brian Shaw. On the last day of his WSM career, Shaw could, theoretically, win all three of the last events to capture a legendary fifth title and cap one of the greatest ever runs in strongman. Technically, two-time defending champion Tom Stoltman is still in a position to finish a rare and legendary “three-peat,” too.
Finally, as the dust settles, it remains to be seen how Kordiyaka’s controversial penalty will define the rest of the contest. It might take a Herculean effort to overshadow a ruling that may have cost an athlete a legitimate opportunity at strongman’s greatest title.
To some, the suspense might be terrible on the last day of the 2023 WSM. To these elite strongmen, they likely hope it lasts.
Featured image: Todd Burandt / Courtesy of World’s Strongest Man