Tom “The Albatross” Stoltman wins the 43rd edition of Britain’s Strongest Man. The 27-year old successfully defended his BSM title on Feb. 26 at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England, against 10 other tenured competitors. Pa O’Dywer placed second, and 2020 BSM winner Adam Bishop placed third.
Stoltman — who placed first in four out of five events — is the first to win the BSM back-to-back since 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall won five consecutive titles from 2014 to 2018.
The three podium finishers all qualify for the 2022 World’s Strongest Man contest on May 24-29, 2022, in Sacramento, CA. The only man that had yet to qualify was O’Dwyer. The final standings at the end of the contest are below.
- Tom Stoltman — 53.5 points
- Pa O’Dwyer — 41.5 points
- Adam Bishop — 38.5 points
- Shane Flowers — 35.5 points
- Paul Smith — 32.5 points
- Andy Black — 30.5 points
- Ryan England — 20.5 points
- Mark Felix — 19.5 points
- Mark Steele — 18 points
- Luke Stoltman — 13.5 points*
- Desmond Gahan — 9.5 points*
*Withdrew from the contest.
Shield Carry for Distance
The Shield Carry was the opening event. Competitors lifted and carried a 200-kilogram (440-pound) shield for max distance.
Tom Stoltman wasted no time going for it all in his title defense, winning this event with a distance of 65.3 meters (214.2 feet), which was announced as a Giants Live world record. Pa O’Dwyer put out an impressive effort with a carry of 62.15 meters, which placed him second. Luke Stoltman rounded out the top three by carrying the massive shield a little over 50 meters.
- Tom Stoltman — 65.3 meters
- Pa O’Dwyer — 62.15 meters
- Luke Stoltman — 50.25 meters
- Paul Smith — 45.8 meters
- Desmond Gahan — 45.2 meters
- Adam Bishop — 40 meters
- Andy Black — 35 meters
- Mark Felix — 32 meters
- Ryan England — 25.1 meters
- Shane Flowers — 21.1 meters
- Mark Steele — 11.55 meters
Axle Deadlift for Reps
Next, athletes deadlifted 360 kilograms (793.8 pounds) on the axle barbell from the floor for as many reps as possible within 60 seconds.
Once again, Tom Stoltman was up to the task. He completed six successful reps before time expired. However, 2020 BSM champion Adam Bishop matched Stoltman, and as a result, they split first and second place points evenly. O’Dwyer, Flowers, Andy Black, and Mark Felix got four reps. Third through six place points were added and split evenly between the four strongmen.
- Tom Stoltman — 6 reps
- Adam Bishop — 6 reps (tie for 1st)
- Pa O’Dwyer — 4 reps
- Shane Flowers — 4 reps (tie for 3rd)
- Andy Black — 4 reps (tie for 3rd)
- Mark Felix — 4 reps (tie for 3rd)
- Paul Smith — 2 reps
- Luke Stoltman — 2 reps (tie for 7th)
- Ryan England — 1 rep
- Desmond Gahan — 1 rep (tie for 9th)
- Mark Steele — No Attempt
Axle Press for Reps
Before this event, both Luke Stoltman and Desmond Gahan withdrew from the contest. (Why they bowed out is unclear). This leaves nine men to continue competing for the championship.
The third event of the day was another axle event. Athletes pressed 155 kilograms (341.7 pounds) overhead for reps with 60 seconds on the clock.
The reigning World’s Strongest Man once again placed first because he was the only man to achieve five reps with the weight. Five men — O’Dwyer, Bishop, Paul Smith, Ryan England, and Mark Steels — got four repetitions. The only other man to complete reps was Flowers, who got two within the 60 seconds.
- Tom Stoltman — 5 reps
- Pa O’Dwyer — 4 reps
- Adam Bishop — 4 reps (tie for 2nd)
- Paul Smith — 4 reps (tie for 2nd)
- Ryan England — 4 reps (tie for 2nd)
- Mark Steele — 4 reps (tie for 2nd)
- Shane Flowers — 2 reps
- Andy Black — 0
- Mark Felix — 0
The Sandbag Toss was fourth on the itinerary for the competitors. Athletes had 60 seconds to toss six sandbags, weighing between 18 to 28 kilograms (39.7 to 61.7 pounds), over a 4.5 meter (14.7 feet) high crossbar. The winner is the man to toss the most bags in the fastest time.
For the first time in this competition, Tom Stoltman didn’t place first. Shane Flowers breezed through all six bags in less than 19 seconds. Stoltman still placed second, and he held on to a nine-point lead going into the final event. Andy Black was the only other man to successfully toss all six bags over the bar, placing him third in this event.
- Shane Flowers — 6 in 18.38 seconds
- Tom Stoltman — 6 in 22.4 seconds
- Andy Black — 6 in 49.17 seconds
- Pa O’Dwyer — 5 in 13.64 seconds
- Adam Bishop — 5 in 33.35 seconds
- Paul Smith — 4 in 13.5 seconds
- Mark Steele — 4 in 14.44 seconds
- Ryan England — 4 in 15.2 seconds
- Mark Felix — 4 in 21.97 seconds
Last but certainly not least is a strongman tradition — the Atlas Stones. The contestants had to lift five stones, ranging from 120 to 200 kilograms (264 to 440 pounds) to each of their respective podiums in one minute.
With Tom Stoltman in such a commanding lead and his signature event being the final one, his victory seemed all but a lock at this point. Sure enough, “The King of Stones” breezed through all five stones in less than 22 seconds to win the event and his second straight BSM title.
The runner-up in this event was Flowers, who also lifted all five stones in 28.35 seconds. The bronze spot went to Black, who completed the task in 30.57 seconds.
- Tom Stoltman — 5 in 21.57 seconds
- Shane Flowers — 5 in 28.35 seconds
- Andy Black — 5 in 30.57 seconds
- Pa O’Dwyer — 5 in 32.05 seconds
- Adam Bishop — 5 in 33.01 seconds
- Paul Smith — 5 in 38.38 seconds
- Mark Felix — 4 in 22.65 seconds
- Mark Steele — 4 in 29.59 seconds
- Ryan England — 4 in 31.55 seconds
The next big event on the strongman calendar is the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, which will be held in Columbus, OH on the weekend of Mar. 4-5, 2022. Tom Stoltman will join his brother Luke and eight other contenders with hopes of winning this prestigious contest for the first time in their careers.