• 12 March, 2023
  • 10 minutes

Britain’s Strongest Woman & England’s Strongest Man Preview!

Get ready for a weekend of EPIC proportions at the Giants Live Weekend of Strength!

Britain’s Strongest Woman & England’s Strongest Man 2023 – Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October at the Doncaster Dome

Giants Live was proud to announce last week that it will be hosting its first ever professional strongwoman show as part of the Weekend of Strength on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October.

In what promises to be a truly monumental weekend of strength action, a dozen of the nation’s most powerful women will be battling it out, rep for rep, for the Britain’s Strongest Woman title. Once the British champion is crowned on Saturday evening, it will be the turn of the men as twelve of England’s best strongmen battle it out for the Official England’s Strongest Man crown.

With tickets now on sale, Giants Live have been able to reveal five confirmed athletes from the twelve expected to compete in each contest. Featuring several World’s Strongest Woman winners and a men’s line-up of some of the most exciting strongman talent in England today, as well as one individual who has become a living legend in the sport, it has to be said: what a line up!

Britain’s Strongest Woman – Line-up Reveal

Rhianon Lovelace (Wales)

Already announced last week, Rhianon is arguably one of the strongest pound-for-pound strength athletes in the world, male or female. She will be stepping-up from her usual U64kg weight class – in which she is the World’s Strongest Woman – to mix it with the big girls in the open weight category. For most athletes a daunting and unthinkable task, but to “Rhi,” who has set world records across four weight divisions, just another day at the office!

Rebecca Roberts (Wales)

Welsh Wonderwoman, Rebecca Roberts is the 2021 World’s Strongest and reigning Europe’s Strongest Woman. She has recently returned from Columbus, Ohio, where she placed 2nd at the Arnold Strongman Classic. At a lofty 6-foot 4-inches she is usually the tallest woman in any contest and is renowned for her prowess in grip-related events, being a multiple Grip World Champion and holder of several grip world records.

Rebecca recently appeared on the Giants Live podcast where she shared the remarkable story of her journey from bullied schoolgirl to strongwoman star. She describes strongwoman as her “calling” and attributes her physical and mental fortitude to the confidence the sport has instilled in her. Roberts, a multiple Wales’s Strongest Woman winner, wowed the crowds in Liverpool at last November’s World’s Strongest Nation event, beating most of the men in Hercules Hold!

Andrea Thompson (England)

Bringing another World’s Strongest Woman title to the table, as well as a bevy of world records ,will be England’s Andrea Thompson who topped the podium in 2018. She has not been off the podium at World’s since, and was second last year, losing out to Ukraine’s Olga Liashchuk, despite winning three of the six events.

Andrea is no stranger to success at Britain’s Strongest Woman and has taken the title on 4 occasions, winning in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. She recently placed 3rd at the Arnold Strongman Classic where she won the Log Press with 5 reps on the 122kg American Oak. Andrea is the women’s world record holder in Log Press and has reset her own world record multiple times. In October last year she lifted 140kg (308lb) at the World Log Lift Championships. She has also set world records in Deadlift, including a staggering 800lb (363kg) Hummer Tyre Deadlift at the Arnold’s in 2022.

Lucy Underdown (England)

Lucy is the current and defending Britain’s Strongest Woman and possesses the heaviest deadlift ever performed by a woman. Underdown claimed the title in Doncaster in August last year, defeating Katie Smith and Naomi Hadley. She also won the Arnold UK Pro Strongest Woman in 2022 and was 4th at World’s Strongest Woman, where she took top honours in the Deadlift for Reps.

In 2022, Lucy shocked the strength community by becoming the first woman to reach the 300kg deadlift milestone. She broke Andrea Thompson’s 290kg (639lb) world record at the UK’s Strongest Man event in Milton Keynes in 2022. Since then, she has lifted even more in training, posting a 302.5kg (667lb) unofficial world record.

Donna Moore (England)

What Britain’s Strongest Woman line-up would be complete without the queen of British strongwoman, Donna Moore, the 3-time World’s Strongest Woman. Winning the sport’s top title in 2016, 2017 and 2019, Moore was also the Arnold Strongman Classic winner in 2018 and captured her last big title in 2021 at UK’s Strongest Woman.

Moore is renowned for her supreme stone lifting ability and has established world records for maximum single stone lifting with Atlas Stone lifts of 171.3kg (378lb) with the aid of tacky, and 147.5kg (325lb) without.

Donna has recently dropped a substantial amount of body mass from her peak weight of 105kg/231lb. She has slimmed down to around 80kg/176lb in order to compete in the middle-weight category with the aim of winning the World Title in the under 82kg division. She was 3rd at the 2022 World’s Strongest Woman U82kg class but will be competing in the open division in Doncaster.

Seven more athletes have yet to be announced and will join the five superstars already confirmed. Giants Live will announce the remaining line-up later this year, so look out for updates on social media and via the Giants Live website.


Official England’s Strongest Man – Line-up Reveal

England’s Strongest Man is one of Britain’s longest running and most respected titles and has served as a launchpad for many of this country’s most successful international strongmen. Both Eddie Hall and Terry Hollands are past winners, and it was “The Beast” who made the Doncaster Dome his home, winning four Britain’s Strongest Man titles there from 2014 – 2017. And it’s an invite to Britain’s Strongest Man, now held at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, that the twelve men invited to Doncaster will be vying for.

Giants Live are proud to announce the first 5 athletes confirmed to go head-to-head on October 1st:

Mark Felix

First name on the start list at the Official England’s Strongest Man 2023 will be the Miracle Man himself, Mark Felix. By the time the contest gets underway, at the Doncaster Dome on October 1st, Mark will be well into his 58th year. Felix, a plasterer from Blackburn, still believes that he can compete as well as he has ever done, and his competitors are only too aware of the many strengths he still possesses.

Felix is still world class in Deadlift for Reps and Max, Atlas Stones, Yoke and Farmer’s. In fact, any grip related event is almost certain to feature Mark at the top of the standings. With these weapons in his arsenal, he represents a very real threat for the overall title – one that in his long career he has yet to win. Felix was 3rd at the 2004 contest and 2nd at the IFSA sanctioned version the year after.

Earlier this year, Mark announced his intention to retire from World’s Strongest Man competition but still intends to continue competing domestically and at Giants Live events. In just a few weeks he will make his 18th appearance at World’s Strongest Man and will break Odd Haugen’s record as the oldest ever competitor.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith has developed into one of Britain’s best and most improved strongmen over the last few years and is undoubtedly one of the favourites to take the English title. He placed 4th at January’s Britain’s Strongest Man contest after agonisingly missing out on what looked to be a certain podium finish following a disastrous Power Stairs run.

Paul is the 2022 UK’s Strongest Man and standing below 6-foot and under 300lb, he is something of a giant killer, regularly defeating much larger competitors. At the 2022 World Tour Finals he briefly held the world record in the Nicol Stones and set a record in the Viking Press at Britain’s.

Paul is one of the most technically proficient of all the British strongmen and is also highly respected as one of the fiercest competitors on the circuit. Paul will be competing at Europe’s Strongest Man on April 1st and will be returning to World’s Strongest Man just two weeks after.

Ryan Bennett

The third athlete to be confirmed in the 2023 line-up is defending England’s Strongest Man, Ryan Bennett. The victory he clinched at Liverpool’s FitXpo Arena last year is his greatest achievement in the sport to date, beating Ben Williams and Kane Francis into 2nd and 3rd.

Ryan’s victory earned him an invite to Britain’s Strongest Man in January where he performed very solidly, placing 8th overall. His best event result came in the Viking Press where he tied for second with Graham Hicks and Gavin Bilton.

Bennett showed great consistency through the 6 events of last year’s England’s Strongest Man and is probably at his strongest lifting overhead – he has a 190kg (419lb) max in the Log Press. Ryan is currently trained by Laurence Shahlaei, who is enjoying great success as a coach – at present he works with both Mitchell Hooper and Andrea Thompson.

Bennett will not relinquish his title without a fight and has the kind of all-round ability that makes him difficult to beat.

Shane Flowers

Flowers is coming off the back of a run of unfortunate contest results and will be keen to reassert himself at England’s having wowed the Sheffield crowds with his 4th place finish at Britain’s Strongest Man in 2022. That showing earned him a place at World’s Strongest Man, but he was unable to live up to his true potential due to a foot injury.

At Britain’s this year he was again forced to withdraw due to illness and having exploded onto the international scene at the end of 2021, his progress has faltered. An ex-powerlifter, Flowers has exhibited remarkable athleticism, not least when he blitzed the field in the Sandbag Toss at BSM last year.

Shane will undoubtedly feel that this is a title that is within his grasp and having received little in the way of good luck in recent competitions, he may well be highly motivated to prove himself.

Kane Francis

The final athlete to be named is the 2022 England’s Strongest Man third place finisher, Kane Francis. Kane made a tremendous impact on his Giants Live debut at Britain’s Strongest Man earlier this year, placing 5th overall, just a half point ahead of Scotland’s Andy Black. His nickname, “The Hurricane,” is perfectly apt after he blew away several of the UK’s more established athletes.

Francis grew up with and is good friends with Shane Flowers, but unlike his friend did not begin lifting weights until he was 25; his podium finish at England’s last year was his first contest! His favourite event is the Atlas Stones, which were not included at Britain’s, so the Weymouth man will no doubt be keenly awaiting the event schedule and hoping that the stones are back on the menu.

With over six months to The Weekend of Strength, that concludes the athlete reveal at this stage. With the calibre of athletes already confirmed both line-ups look certain to provide a thrilling and memorable weekend of strength action.

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