Here’s what Europe’s best are grappling with in early April.
On April 1, 2023, Europe’s most powerful strongmen will determine who is above the rest. The competition will be the 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) which will be held in Leeds, England. Since the squad with defending champion Oleksii Novikov was announced earlier this year, organizer Giants Live has done so shared the expected events of the competition.
2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Events
ESM 2023 will be a one-day competition consisting of five different events. Here is an overview of the events for the European Strongman Contest.
At the time of writing this article, no details on the details of each event have been offered. Such information on exact equipment, weights and possible formats may be communicated at a later date.
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Novikov is the defending ESM champion, but there is no shortage of potential top contenders for his title. Athletes to keep an eye on could include fellow Ukrainian Pavlo Nakonechnyy, who clinched a win at the 2022 Giants Live World Open last summer. Third place finisher at ESM 2022, Georgia’s Konstantine Janashia, should probably not be ignored either. Two-time Britain’s Strongest Man (2020, 2023) and 2020 ESM runner-up Adam Bishop could be another to keep an eye on.
As for a dark horse, Masters deadlift world record holder Rauno Heinla could also be in the mix as the Estonian has the strength required for a shorter competition like ESM 2023 compared to multi-day competitions like World’s Strongest Man. Heinla was forced to withdraw after Event 3 during ESM 2022 and may be seeking some redemption.
Here is an overview of the full lineup for ESM 2023:
2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Roster
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) – reigning champion
- Pavlo Nakonechny (Ukraine)
- Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
- Konstantin Janashia (Georgia)
- Rauno Heinla (Estonia)
- Aivar’s Schmaukstelis (Latvia)
- Eythor Ingólfsson Melsted (Iceland)
- Jean Stephen Coraboeuf (France)
- Dennis Kohlruss (Germany)
- Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland)
- Adam Bishop (Great Britain)
- Gavin Bilton (Great Britain)
- Graham Hicks (Great Britain)
- Paul Smith (United Kingdom) — reserve
In particular, some events, such as the Log Press Ladder and Castle Stones (a variation of the name of Atlas Stone), could be crucial for the participants. That’s because two-time reigning World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Champion Tom Stoltman and his brother Luke Stoltman (the 2022 runner-up), who both dominate, are not participating in this year’s ESM iteration. Such a development potentially leaves many points on the table for the prospective winner.
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Time will tell whether Novikov can build on his ESM title. The Ukrainian athlete is likely to attend this ESM as a big favorite to win. However, with the exact format unknown and a few new faces on the list, it would be anyone’s competition to take a stranglehold.
Featured image: @novikov_strong_wsm on Instagram