Ukrainian Strongman wins Europe’s Strongest Man 2022 – full results and highlights
World record attempts, brand new events and an incredible display of heart, strength and humility – Europe’s Strongest Man 2022 was certainly one for the history books!
The sold-out show at Leeds First Direct Arena featured 14 of the World’s Strongest Men, including two Ukrainian athletes—Oleksii Novikov and Pavlo Kordiyaka—who, against all odds, made it to the UK to represent their country on the world stage during the crisis in Ukraine.
Other athletes included defending champion Luke Stoltman, Ireland’s Strongest Man Pa O’Dwyer, Wales’ Strongest Man Gavin Bilton, and Georgia’s Strongest Man Konstantine Janashia.
American Log Press record holder—Bobby Thompson—and World Record Log Press holder from Burkina Faso—Iron Biby—also attended the show as guests for event 1: The World Log Lift Challenge.
The World Log Lift Challenge 2022
The first challenge awaiting the giants was a huge wooden log—hand carved from a single tree trunk. Athletes had to lift the log from the floor and press it overhead, with a starting weight of 170 kilos!
Bobby “The American Nightmare” Thompson looked strong in both his 185kg and 200kg lifts, but unfortunately was unable to beat his own 217.5kg US record and failed the 218kg attempt.
Only Luke Stoltman and Iron Biby attempted the 230kg lift for a new world record. It was Iron Biby who came so close but couldn’t quite hold it steady at the top.
Iron Biby attempts a new 230kg world record log lift at Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
The second event was a deadlift ladder where the athletes raced to lift 5 bars, each increasing in weight starting with a whopping 300kg and a combined total of 1.7 tonnes!
The “Georginan Bull” Konstantine Janashia took the win on this event, lifting 4 bars in a speedy 35.04 seconds. But it was the two Ukrainian athletes competing side by side who got the biggest roar from the crowd. Oleksii explained to the crowd that he was no longer training like a strongman, but like a soldier. The two Ukrainian strongmen had come from fighting to defend their country to put on an incredible show of strength at Europe’s Strongest Man.
Ukrainian athletes Oleksii Novikov and Pavlo Kordiyaka receive a standing ovation at Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
Event 3 was a carry and drag, with a twist! The athletes had to pick up a giant 125kg anchor and sprint across the 20m course before attaching the anchor to a giant chain and dragging it back.
Oleksii Novikov sprinted his way to victory on this event with a 26.26 second run against Rauno Heinla and Konstantine Janashia.
Oleksii Novikov, Rauno Heinla and Konstantine Janashia race with giant anchors at Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
The penultimate challenge was a brand new event for the Giants Live World’s Strongest Man qualifying tour: the Power Stairs. Athletes had to lift 4 weights from 200 to 250 kilos up to the top of the giant staircase as fast as humanly possible.
Latvian Aivars Smaukstelis stole the show on this one, completing the challenge in just 27.2 seconds!
Aivars Smaukstelis takes on Luke Stoltman in the Power Stairs at Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
Going into the stones, it was close at the top with Novikov on 40 points, Luke Stoltman just 3 points behind and strongman newcomer Shane Flowers sitting in third place with 33.5 points.
Unfortunately, Shane appeared to injure his bicep in the stone run, but while he may have lost his potential podium spot to Konstantine Janashia, he certainly made a statement with his overall performance. You would never have guessed that Shane has been competing in strongman for less than 12 months!
Shane Flowers puts in an incredible performance on the Deadlift Ladder at Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
The race for top spot between reigning champ Luke “the Highland Oak” Stoltman and Oleksii Novikov ended with a dramatic photo finish and an emotional outpouring of support as the 7,000-strong crowd rose to their feet once more and held a moment of silence for all those who have lost their lives in the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Oleksii Novikov wins Europe’s Strongest Man 2022
During this troubling time for Europe, it was an inspirational display of strength in unity and brotherhood – in a way that only strongman knows how.
Tickets for EUROPE’S STRONGEST MAN 2023 are now ON SALE!