Pavlo Nakonechnyy presses 200 kilograms (440.9 kilos) for 7 reps within the Shaw Traditional Prep

Nakonechnyy seems primed for another big win.

On July 13, 2023, strongman Pavlo Nakonechnyy shared an Instagram video of himself completing one 450-pound bench press for seven reps during a training session. According to the caption of Nakonechnyy’s post: The session is part of the Ukrainian athlete’s ongoing preparation for the Shaw Classic (SC) 2023.. The competition will take place August 19-20, 2023 in Loveland, CO. American athlete Trey Mitchell is the SC’s two-time defending champion (2021–2022).

In a stacked SC field featuring Mitchell and various World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champions such as Mitchell Hooper (reigning, 2023), Tom Stoltman (2021-2022), Oleksii Novikov (2020) and eponymous competition competitor Brian Shaw ( 2011, 2013, 2015-2016), 26-year-old Nakonechnyy is still considered a dark contender for the title. Winning an event like the bench press – its presence in the 2023 SC event catalog is why Nakonechnyy is buffing it – would greatly improve his odds.

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Still a relatively young athlete in the strongman context, Nakonechnyy made his mark by winning the Giants Live World Open (GLWO) title in 2022. Nakonechnyy’s triumph was notable as he defeated other notable strongman superstars such as Hooper, Novikov and 2023 Giants Live Strongman Classic (GLSC) champion Evan Singleton. However, a knee injury sustained at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) prevented Nakonechnyy from building on his success with two major competitions from the 2023 strongman season. At the time of writing, the extent and nature of Nakonechnyy’s injury is still unclear.

Instead of making his respective debuts at Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) 2023 and WSM 2023, Nakonechnyy was forced to withdraw from both competitions and take the time to come back to full strength. After a recent third place finish on the podium at the 2023 Pahlavon Mahmud Strongman Grand Prix (PMSGP), Nakonechnyy seems poised to once again raise his profile in a more prestigious competition like the SC 2023.

Here’s an overview of the current SC 2023 roster and the full list of contenders Nakonechnyy will need to defeat in his debut at the competition:

Shaw Classic roster 2023

  • Trey Mitchell (United States) – Reigning two-time champion
  • Brian Shaw (United States) – Second in 2022
  • Mitchell Hooper (Canada) – 2022 third place
  • Tom Stoltman (Great Britain)
  • Luke Stoltman (Great Britain)
  • Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
  • Bobby Thompson (United States)
  • Adam Bishop (Great Britain)
  • Graham Hicks (Great Britain)
  • Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine)
  • Thomas Evans (United States)
  • Maxim Boudreault (Canada)
  • Kevin Faires (United States)
  • Aivars Shmaukstelis (Latvia)
  • Evan Singleton (United States)
  • *Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom) | *Replaces Mateusz Kieliszkowski

According to his Strongman Archives résumé, Nakonechnyy has generally done well in his young career in competitive debuts. In seven first-time appearances in respective strongman competitions, including his win at GLWO 2022, Nakonechnyy has six top-five finishes. Such a precedent could bode well for the athlete at SC 2023.

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In a superstar-packed competition like SC 2023, Nakonechnyy faces a tough challenge to make a name for himself. If he is indeed back in full force, this young Ukrainian dynamo’s success story in Colorado should probably come as no surprise.

Featured image: @pavlo_nakonechnyy on Instagram

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