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2023 World’s Strongest Man Qualifying Groups Revealed


On Apr. 18, 2023, Terry Hollands revealed the five Qualifying Round groups for the 2023 WSM in Myrtle Beach, SC. The 15-time WSM competitor confirmed that there would be six athletes in each Qualifying Round group who will then duke it out for a total of 10 berths (two from each group). This will determine the Finals that will occur on Apr. 22-23, 2023. The Qualifying Round will span from Apr. 19-20 before the 30-person roster is cut down to 10 finalists for the weekend.

Overall, the 2023 WSM will occur from Apr. 19-23, 2023. In the coming days, there will be a lot to parse through for the 30-man roster and schedule of events. Even while there will be no way to watch the flagship strongman contest live, it should still be a barnburner of strength. The exact organization of the Qualifying Round groups could determine much for the eventual victor.

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Here are the five Qualifying Round groups for the 2023 WSM:

Graham Hicks (United Kingdom)
Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)
Mathew Ragg (New Zealand)
Spenser Remick (United States)
Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia)

As is usual with WSM precedent, the first-place finisher in each Qualifying Ground group on a points basis will earn an automatic berth in the WSM Finals. To close the Qualifying Round, each group’s second and third-place finishers will battle head-to-head for the second Finals spot in a Stone-Off featuring the trademark Atlas Stones.

Here are the events and their scheduling for the 2023 WSM:

Event One: Loading Race — April 19 | 8 a.m., Sand Stage
Event Two: Deadlift Machine — April 19 | 11:29 a.m., Land Stage
Event Three: Log Ladder — April 19 | 4:49 p.m., Sand Stage
Event FourConan’s Wheel — April 20 | 8 a.m., Land Stage
Event Five: Kettlebell Toss — April 20 | 1:20 p.m., Sand Stage
Event Six: Stone Off — April 20 | 6:13 p.m., Land Stage

Rest Day — April 21, 2023

Only 10 competitors will advance to the Finals after the Qualifying Round.

Event OneFingal’s Fingers — April 22 | 8 a.m., Street Stage
Event Two: KNAACK Deadlift — April 22 | 10:41 a.m., Sand Stage
Event Three: Reign Shield Carry — April 22 | 2:18 p.m., Street Stage
Event Four: Max Dumbbell — April 23 | 8 a.m., Land Stage
Event Five: Vehicle Pull — April 23 | 10:10 a.m., Street Stage
Event Six: Atlas Stones — April 23 | 1:54 p.m., Sand Stage

Here is an overview of the 2023 WSM roster:

Tom Stoltman (United Kingdom) — Defending two-time WSM champion
Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
Brian Shaw (United States)
Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)
Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
Evan Singleton (United States)
Trey Mitchell (United States)
Adam Bishop (United Kingdom)
Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia)
Kevin Faires (United States)
Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted (Iceland)
Paul Smith (United Kingdom)
Rauno Heinla (Estonia)
Bobby Thompson (United States)
Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom)
Spenser Remick (United States)
Eddie Williams (Australia)
Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)
Graham Hicks (United Kingdom)
Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)
Mathew Ragg (New Zealand)
Gabriel Rhéaume (Canada)
Fadi El Masri (Lebanon)
Jaco Schoonwinkel (South Africa)
Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf (France)
Mark Felix (United Kingdom)
Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland)
Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou (Burkina Faso)
Thomas Evans (United States)
*Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine) — *Withdrawn
*Maxime Boudreault (Canada) — *Withdrawn

Three current and former WSM champions are present on the 2023 roster. They are the reigning two-time champion in Scotland’s Tom Stoltman, the legendary four-time WSM winner (2011, 2013, 2015-2016) in the American Brian Shaw, as well as the 2020 victor in Ukraine’s OIeksii Novikov. Other potential contenders could also include Canada’s Mitchell Hooper and Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski.

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Now that almost every critical bit of pre-competition information is in the books, the 2023 WSM is set to launch into the stratosphere. Something says the latest edition of the contest will again have the entire strongman world on the edge of its seat.

Featured image: Joe Martinez / World’s Strongest Man

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