• 3 September, 2023

Two World Records for Underdown as Singleton Storms to Victory in Cardiff

A sell-out Cardiff crowd was wowed by Britain’s Lucy Underdown as she twice added to her own deadlift world record at the Utilita Arena. On an unforgettable night that saw America’s Evan Singleton blow away his rivals in the Strongman Open, Graham Hicks took the World Deadlift Championships win, but was unable to complete the long awaited 505kg world record.

Becoming the first woman to lift 300kg back in 2021, Lucy proved to the Welsh fans why she is the queen of this event with a world record 305kg on her second attempt. The lift looked well within her capabilities, and she returned to the platform to pull successfully at 318kg, shattering the 700lb barrier in the process! 2021 World’s Strongest Woman Rebecca Robert’s 280kg opener established a new Welsh Record and she managed to raise 305kg to just below knee height in what was a brave effort to equal Underdown’s first record.

The Welsh fans were given plenty more to cheer about as Gavin Bilton took second place in the Strongman Open, behind the T-Rex. Singleton took the lead after Event 2, the Dumbell Ladder, and proceeded to establish a massive 13.5-point lead going into the Castle Stones. Second placed Luke Stoltman faltered on the 5th stone allowing both the Welsh Bull and Shane Flowers to overtake him and claim the podium places as well as their invites to the 2024 World’s Strongest Man. This was Flowers’ first Giants Live podium finish and the second for Bilton, who took silver at Britain’s Strongest Man back in January.

Singleton’s victory is his 5th win at a Giants Live event and his second this season following his defeat of World’s Strongest Man, Mitch Hooper, at the Strongman Classic. T-Rex was the only man contesting the full contest, aside from Rauno Heinla, to successfully deadlift 1,000lb and was able to take 2nd in the Load & Push,  3rd in the Dumbbell Ladder and 1st place in the Wrecking Ball hold. The 6-foot, 6-inch American seems to have established a winning habit and he was in a class of his own in this contest.

Excellent performances were made by the three Giants Live debutants; Oskar Ziólkowski, the recent OSG European Champion; Evans Nana of Ghana; and Austin Andrade from Mexico. Ziólkowski recorded a stunning event win in the Dumbbell Ladder and finished tied on 31 points with Nana who performed very strongly in the Wrecking Ball Hold and Load & Push. Andrade, the SCL World’s Strongest Latino winner, placed just behind in 8th overall, claiming the notable scalps of both Heinla and Pa O’Dwyer.

Event 1: BoohooMAN World Deadlift Championships

The evening’s first event featured three guest lifters in the World Deadlift Championships, and as the bar rose steadily through the rounds, three men would attempt the $55,000 world record of 505kg. Jamal Browner, the powerlifting sensation from America, looked comfortable at 430kg but fell short of his 455kg (1,000lb) goal. So too did Gavin Bilton, who smoked a 430kg Welsh Record in Round 2. Last year’s winner, Rauno Heinla, and Singleton were the only men contesting the Strongman Open to successfully lift 455kg, whilst guest lifter, Ivan Makarov of Georgia, made that weight look like child’s play. Graham Hicks passed and then confidently lifted 470kg to take the lead and establish a new lifetime best.

As the bar was reloaded to 505kg, Hicks was forced to follow himself and raised the weight to just below his knees, where it would go no further. Makarov’s effort was possibly the least convincing of the three previous attempts he has made at 505kg, and this could be the last time he goes for such a weight. With just Heinla left to lift, the entire auditorium was urging the 41-year-old to success, but once again, the massive load would not budge above his knees. With both Heinla and Makarov passing 470kg, victory was handed to Hicksy and he promised to return next year, as long as the unclaimed $55,000 was rolled over for a £110,000 prize pot in 2024!

Event 1: BoohooMAN Men’s World Deadlift Championships
Place Name Result Points
1 Graham Hicks (GBR) 470kg Guest
=2 Ivan Makarov (GEO) 455kg Guest
=2 Rauno Heinla (EST) 455kg 10.5
=2 Evan Singleton (USA) 455kg 10.5
=2 Jamal Browner (USA) 430kg Guest
=5 Shane Flowers (GBR) 430kg 8
=5 Austin Andrade (MEX) 430kg 8
=5 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 430kg 8
=9 Evans Nana (GHA) 400kg 4
=9 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 400kg 4
=9 Rob Kearney (USA) 400kg 4
=9 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 400kg 4
=9 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) 400kg 4
14 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) No Lift 0
Event 1: BoohooMAN Women’s World Deadlift Championships
Place Name Result Points
1 Lucy Underdown (GBR) 318kg Guest
2 Rebecca Roberts (GBR) 280kg Guest

Event 2: SBD Dumbbell Ladder

Oleksii Novikov was the pre-event favourite here, but after a lacklustre showing in the deadlift, the Ukrainian was in obvious pain as he wrestled with the 80kg, and 90kg implements. The massive 100kg dumbbell proved too much for his injured right elbow and he subsequently withdrew from the contest. Luke Stoltman was one of just two men to go on to successfully lift the 110kg and 120kg weights within the 75-second time limit, but it was Poland’s Oskar Ziólkowski who ran away with the victory after competing solo in the opening round!

Americans Singleton and Rob Kearney produced solid Dumbbell runs, as did Mexico’s Andrade, but Shane Flowers lost valuable points with just two implements locked out overhead.

Event 2: SBD Dumbbell Ladder
Place Name Result Points Overall Points
1 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) 5 in 54.36 sec 11 11
2 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 5 in 58.87 sec 10 14
3 Evan Singleton (USA) 4 in 29.79 sec 9 19.5
4 Rob Kearney (USA) 4 in 33.10 sec 8 12
5 Austin Andrade (MEX) 4 in 43.52 sec 7 15
6 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 4 in 51.83 sec 6 14
7 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 3 in 25.64 sec 5 9
8 Evans Nana (GHA) 3 in 26.92 sec 4 8
9 Rauno Heinla (EST) 3 in 32.23 sec 3 13.5
10 Shane Flowers (GBR) 2 in 18.92 sec 2 10
11 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) 2 in 20.11 sec 1 5

Event 3: Mirafit Load & Push

Inaugurated at this year’s Europe’s Strongest Man, this was the second time this twist on a traditional Loading Race has been contested. Racing in pairs, the athletes were confronted with a 100kg tyre, a 120kg anvil and a 130kg sack, each to be loaded into a giant barrow and pushed down the 20m course.

Shane Flowers made good early running in his heat win over Heinla, but his 55.13 second run would be narrowly eclipsed by Gavin Bilton, whose huge strides seemed to eat up the ground. Kearney came to the fore with a third-placed 52.08 but lost his heat to Singleton who was nearly 3-seconds ahead. The final pairing saw Ziólkowski look somewhat inexperienced in contrast to the veteran Luke Stoltman, despite his solid performance of 53.80 seconds which was good enough for 5th. Stoltman’s slick 49.15 was just two-hundredths of a second quicker than Evan’s time, handing the event win to the Scot and keeping him just about in-touch with the American’s 29.5 points total.

Event 3: Mirafit Load & Push
Place Name Result Points Overall Points
1 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 49.15 sec 11 25
2 Evan Singleton (USA) 49.17 sec 10 29.5
3 Rob Kearney (USA) 52.08 sec 9 21
4 Evans Nana (GHA)  53.60 sec 8 16
5 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) 53.80 sec 7 18
6 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 55.07 sec 6 20
7 Shane Flowers (GBR) 55.13 sec 5 15
8 Austin Andrade (MEX) 56.13 sec 4 19
9 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 56.30 sec 3 12
10 Rauno Heinla (EST) Sack loaded in 49.17 sec 2 15.5
11 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) Withdrew 0 5

Event 4: ClearScore Wrecking Ball Hold

This excruciating trial of grip strength was brand new for Giants Live and saw the athletes go head-to-head, with each man holding a 270kg giant metal orb off the ground using pure grip strength. The event was first used at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man as the penultimate event in the heats. On that occasion few were surprised to see Mark Felix take top honours after he held on for 140.49 seconds, although the weight was some 40kg lighter than this set-up.

Taking victory with 75.03 seconds, this was Evans’ only event win of the night, despite his dominant display. His time was bettered only by guest lifter Felix, who stepped up to the platform amid some of the loudest cheers of the night. The Miracle Man did not disappoint, proving age has done nothing to diminish the otherworldly grip power he possesses. Holding on to the handle for 81.08 seconds, Felix established yet another Giants Live record.

Shane Flowers’ 65.26 seconds helped him move up the leader board, whilst Evans Nana showed his mettle with a tremendous 69-second effort that earned him second. Both Heinla and Stoltman struggled, leaving Evan way out in front with the next 7 places separated by just 5-points in what would be a titanic scrap for the lower podium places.

Event 4: ClearScore Wrecking Ball Hold
Place Name Result Points Overall Points
1 Evan Singleton (GBR) 75.03 sec 11 40.5
2 Evans Nana (GHA) 69.79 sec 10 26
3 Shane Flowers (GBR) 65.26 sec 9 24
4 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 63.96 sec 8 20
5 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 63.16 sec 7 27
6 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) 57.29 sec 6 24
7 Rob Kearney (USA) 48.23 sec 5 26
8 Austin Andrade (MEX) 47.90 sec 4 23
9 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 47.84 sec 3 28
10 Rauno Heinla (EST) 24.66 sec 2 17.5
11 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) Withdrew 0 5

Event 5: Castle Water Stones

Evan Singleton needed only to lift one stone to ensure victory in the final heat. Paired with Luke Stoltman, he roared encouragement as Luke failed to get to grips with the final 180kg stone. This proved costly for Luke, who slipped from 2nd to 5th in the overall standings.

Shane Flowers faltered with the second stone and was far from satisfied with his 20.69 run, but no one could go any quicker and he leap-frogged Stoltman, Kearney and Nana to take third overall. Bilton’s 22.10 effort also saw him move ahead of Stoltman to claim his best finish at a Giants international.

For Singleton though, the Stones were a formality thanks to the huge lead he had established. This was his second Giants Live Open win, having triumphed in Manchester back in 2021. Few would bet against him adding a third title when the Strongman Open moves to Birmingham next year.

Event 5: Castle Water Stones
Place Name Result Points Overall Points
1 Shane Flowers (GBR) 5 in 20.69 sec 11 35
2 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 5 in 22.10 sec 10 37
3 Rob Kearney (USA) 5 in 22.23 sec 9 35
4 Rauno Heinla (EST) 5 in 22.80 sec 8 25.5
5 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) 5 in 24.17 sec 7 31
6 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 5 in 24.91 sec 6 26
7 Evans Nana (GHA) 5 in 26.25 sec 5 31
8 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 4 in 16.51 sec 4 32
9 Austin Andrade (MEX) 4 in 16.56 sec 3 26
10 Evan Singleton (USA) 1 in 6.88 sec 2 42.5
11 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) Withdrew 1 5
Overall Standings
Place Name Overall Points
1 Evan Singleton (USA) 42.5
2 Gavin Bilton (GBR) 37
3 Shane Flowers (GBR) 35
4 Rob Kearney (USA) 35
5 Luke Stoltman (GBR) 32
6 Evans Nana (GHA) 31
7 Oskar Ziólkowski (POL) 31
8 Austin Andrade (MEX) 26
9 Pa O’Dwyer (IRE) 26
10 Rauno Heinla (EST) 25.5
11 Oleksii Novikov (UKR) 5