Hafthor Bjornsson Wins World's Ultimate Strongman, Beasts in the Middle East

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 27, 2018

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19:  Hafthor Julius Bjornsson of Iceland competes in the Arnold Classic Professional Strongman competition during the 2016 Arnold Classic on March 19, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Hafthor "Thor" Bjornsson became the inaugural World's Ultimate Strongman on Friday after triumphing in the Beasts in the Middle East championship in Dubai on Friday.

The Icelandic juggernaut took the top prize of $75,000 (£58,400) in the United Arab Emirates after beating long-time rival Brian Shaw, who was runner-up, and third-placed finisher Mateusz Kieliszkowski.

The World's Ultimate Strongman Dubai Instagram confirmed Bjornsson as its first champion on Friday.

Bjornsson maintained his career-best form with victory. He was named World's Strongest Man for the first time in his career in May and won his maiden Arnold Strongman Classic title this year. He also won Iceland's Strongest Man for the eighth year in succession in 2018.

Thirteen strongmen took part in six events at the Bab Al Shams Arena, which were:

  • Truck Pull 
  • Arm Over Arm Pull 
  • Silver Dollar Deadlift 
  • Yoke Walk 
  • Press Medley 
  • Atlas Stones 

Kelly Clarke of the Khaleej Times reported on Bjornsson's victory and provided a video from the victor celebrating his status as the World's Ultimate Strongman.

One of the events in which the 6'9" behemoth illustrated his might was the truck pull, as the Khaleej Times shared:

English veteran Terry Hollands is famed for his truck pull and also competed well in the event. Hollands has leaned out considerably in recent years and finished ninth overall. He posted on his Instagram after the competition and was in good spirits, looking forward to the Britain's Strongest Man championship in January.

American runner-up Shaw took a considerable victory off Thor in the final of the Atlas Stones, where he was the first to get the fifth and final stone—a hefty 225 kilograms—on to the platform, as World's Strongest Fan shared:

Third place was an admirable finish for Poland's Kieliszkowski, who was second overall to Bjornsson in the World's Strongest Man earlier this year.

Fan favourite Iron Biby, who was born in Burkina Faso but moved to Canada as a teenager, didn't manage to grab a podium place but attracted big crowds for his arm over arm pull:

Zydrunas Savickas, 43, may have been disappointed not to have come away with some silverware, though it wasn't for a lack of intensity:

Instead, Bjornsson continues to elevate on the strongman stage and continued what's been the best year of his career to date, having also celebrated his marriage earlier in the week.

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