October in England turns into a battle of the British heavyweight titans.
This autumn, on 1 October 2023, some of England’s mightiest athletes will gather in Doncaster to determine who stands tallest and strongest over their compatriots. They will use the 2023 England’s Strongest Man (ESM) competition to analyze this competition score amongst themselves.
On March 17, 2023, the Official Strongman Games (OSG) and Giants Live organizations unveiled the first parts of the 2023 ESM squad. Paul Smith is the defending champion, but even in this first reveal, there’s no shortage of worthy contenders for the title. The events for the competition have not been confirmed at the time of this writing but may be announced at a later date.
Here is an overview of the current ESM roster:
List of England’s Strongest Man 2023
- PaulSmith | defending champion
- Mark Felix
- Ryan Bennett
- Shane flowers
- Kan Francis
The 2022 ESM squad included 12 participants. While the exact number of athletes that will be featured in this year’s iteration is yet to be revealed, more is expected to be announced in the coming weeks and months. Note: Breaking Muscle will update this article accordingly as more strongmen are confirmed for ESM 2023.
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As for the competitors already announced for ESM 2023, some have their own big claims to fame. For example, in addition to his 2022 ESM title, Smith also won the 2022 British Strongest Man Championship. The win may also have cemented his relative dominance across the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, 56-year-old Grenada-based strongman Mark Felix has been a professional competitor for nearly two decades, holding 17 wins in the annual World’s Strongest Man (WSM). Felix was a fixture on the British strongman scene at the time and holds the world record in wrecking ball hold with a time of two minutes 20.49 seconds at WSM 2022. ESM 2023 is likely to be one of the inaugural strongman competitions of Felix after WSM 2023, which takes place from April 19th to 23rd and will be Felix’s final appearance in the sport’s tentpole competition.
At first glance, Smith and Felix are likely to be the favorites in the fight for the latest ESM title. This is especially true considering the relative newcomers in Bennett, Flowers and Francis have never won a strongman competition, according to Strongman Archives. However, in a normally competitive strongman environment, anything can and will happen. Not to mention the potential of new additions to the squad like 2023 Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM) Adam Bishop across the board.
At this point in the competition’s timeline, with so much of the line-up and event line-up still unclear, it would probably be a silly prospect to rule out a rise to the top of the English power scene firmly for anyone.
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A lot can happen before October. Smith and Felix may be the headliners for now, but a lot can be thrown into this enticing mix of English strongmen. The competitive drama will only build.
Featured image: @officialstrongman_ on Instagram
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