The 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) is scheduled for March 4-5, 2022, in Columbus, OH. The official roster consists of 10 of the top strongmen on the planet battling it out for one of the most coveted titles in the sport. Until now, the 2022 ASC has avoided losing any of its original roster to injuries or other reasons, unlike the 2022 Arnold Classic, which has suffered the withdrawals of five Men’s Open bodybuilders from its initial roster of 14 — Cedric McMillan, Nathan De Asha, Akim Williams, Mohamed Shaaban, and Rafael Brandão all pulled out due to injury and will not be replaced.
On March 2, 2022, the Arnold Sports Festival confirmed to BarBend that two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski is out of the 2022 ASC due to an undisclosed injury. He will be replaced by American log lift record holder Bobby Thompson. That means the roster heading for the 2022 ASC looks like this:
2022 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster
- Maxime Boudreault (CAN)
- JF Caron (CAN)
- Rob Kearney (USA)
- Bobby Thompson (USA)
- Martins Licis (USA)
- Evgeny Markov (RUS)
- Trey Mitchell (USA)
- Oleksii Novikov (UKR)
- Luke Stoltman (GBR)
- Tom Stoltman (GBR)
Of note, 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov shared on his Instagram stories that he did board a flight headed for the US and is expected to compete despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces. Ukraine has banned all men aged 18-60 from fleeing the country to take up arms and defend against Russian aggression.
[Related: Rob Kearney Squats 950 Pounds Equipped In Training For the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic]
Kieliszkowski at the Arnold Strongman Classic
In 2020, Kieliszkowski scored his best ASC finish to date as the runner-up to three-time ASC champion Hafthor Björnsson. Kieliszkowski has six appearances at the ASC, never finishing worse than fourth overall, which he’s done three times (2016-2018). In addition to his runner-up finish in 2020, the “Polish Titan” has two additional podium finishes, earning bronze in his ASC debut in 2015 as well as 2019.
The 2022 ASC events mostly favored Kieliszkowski’s strengths. For the first time in the contest’s history, a deadlift will not be featured, which is notoriously Kieliszkowski’s weakest event — he did not make an attempt during the deadlift event of the 2021 Rogue Invitational but still managed to finish fourth overall. Instead, a max squat is a notable event at the 2022 ASC. The Timber Carry is returning at the 2022 ASC — an event that Kieliszkowski almost assuredly would have scored first-place points in as he is the current world record holder in the event, having scored a time of seven seconds flat in 2020.
Kieliszkowski’s injury, while undisclosed, continues his unfortunate bout with injuries keeping out of major strongman competitions the past several years, including the 2020 and 2021 WSM contests. In addition to the 2021 Rogue Invitational, Kieliszkowski appeared to be back in elite shape when he earned a runner-up finish to Novikov at the 2021 World’s Ultimate Strongman contest. BarBend will update this article with more details of Kieliszkowski’s current injury as they become available.