At 6ft 9ins (205cm) tall and 179kg / 396lbs Hafthor Bjornsson or Thor as he is known by his fans, looks like he is straight out of the pages of a comic book. A role he revels in, his lean physique a stark contrast to the traditional image of a strongman and sporting a ferocious victory roar, the icelandic giant is hard to ignore.
One thing is for sure no one could ignore him today at Giants Live Sweden, as he went head to head against an all star field. Overcoming Johannes Arjso, who looked very strong in the beginning winning the first two events. Thor came into his own after that though winning the car deadlift and loading race with relative ease.
The highlight of the show however without a doubt was the keg toss, something the the 2500 screaming fans in the sold out Stadium Arena, Norrkoping made abundantly clear. Thor in incredible form beat out a formidable field, including local favourite and former Official Strongman World Record holder Arjso. Europes Strongest Man Thor launched seven increasingly heavy kegs 4.5m in 7.2 seconds to take an easy victory, before deciding to step up for a world record attempt with the 33lb (15kg) keg. Talking to Thor before hand he commented:
'Nothing can stop me, nothing cab break me'
it was far from an empty promise. The three time World's Strongest Man finalist, shattered all expectations flinging the 33lbs of steel an incredible 7.05m in the air.
We caught up with him afterwards and he had this to say
'I t was easy! I could have broken the roof, it was amazing to do this in front of the grear crowd. Bring on Europes Strongest Man"
Ever since the inception of strongman in 1977 throwing events have been a staple of the competition, appearing in 13 WSM finals ever since. By far the most popular of these variations is the keg toss, where an athlete must throw 8 increasingly heavy kegs over a set bar. While the deadlift suits the shorter lifter, the keg toss certainly favours the taller athletes. As Jimmy Marku discovered at the 2007 World's Strongest Man, at 5?10 the Brit struggled to swing the kegs between his gigantic legs. After several unsuccessful attempts he opted to put a smile on the crowds faces instead and climbing atop two of the kegs, he finally got his first keg over to tremendous applause and cheers.
For all 6 foot 9 inches of former basketballer Thor, that was never going to be a problem. Especially if every single fibre in your body is trained and honed to be as explosive as possible. A point he well and truly showed to the world today, doing something that no man has done before him; hurling a 15kg keg over a 7.05m pole. To put that into perspective that's the
equivalent of throwing a 4 year old over three buses stacked on top of each other. The only question is can anyone stop him.