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It’s not often that a strongman competition comes down to a photo finish, but the Giants Live: Wembley event on July 6 saw exactly that when American Rob Kearney and Briton Adam Bishop finished the farmer’s walk within 20 milliseconds of each other.
The 40-meter course had to be completed with 160kg (352.74 pounds) in each hand—that’s more than 700 pounds total. Mateusz Kieliszkowski, of Poland, smashed the event with an 18.78-second finish on his way to winning the overall competition.
The two dropped the handles multiple times during their run. As Bishop approached the finish line, however, it was his final drop that allowed Kearney to drag himself forward in a last-ditch effort to beat his opponent. You can see just how close it was here, or watch the official video on giants-live.com:
This was closer than some Triple Crown photo finishes: Bishop’s time was 51.96 seconds, and Kearney’s was 51.98.
Kearney tied for fifth overall (with Mikhail Shivlyakov), above Bishop’s seventh-place finish.
The tight race wasn’t the night’s only highlight: Mark Felix set a new Pillars of Hercules world record at 83.62 seconds, one second longer than the record he set just a few months ago at Europe’s Strongest Man.
In a surprising turn of events, 2019 World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis came in third overall. He won the Atlas stones with a 20.27 time, and came in second at the Pillars of Hercules (50.94 seconds), but struggled in all other events.
Here all the full overall rankings, courtesy of giants-live.com.
Kieliszkowski dominated just about every event except for the highly anticipated deadlift competition, where he failed to get past 420kg (925 pounds). The deadlift kings that night were Estonian Rauno Heinla and American Jerry Pritchett, who both lifted 455 kg (1,003.1 lbs.).
Pritchett unsuccessfully attempted a 467.5 kg (1,030.7 lbs.) deadlift. That means, for now, Eddie Hall’s world-record 500 kg (1,102.3 lbs.) lift remains untouched.
But the fact that the starting weight was 400 kg (881.8 pounds) shows that The Beast has set a bar that, ahem, is hard to lift.