This past weekend at the World’s Strongest Man competition in Botswana, Hafthór Júlíus “Thor” Björnsson was so close to taking home the title he could taste it. Unfortunately, a penalty from the judges during the Viking Press event ultimately sunk his chances for winning the coveted top spot. The Icelandic strongman, who trains and eats like a beast to get in peak condition for each Strongman event, was none too pleased by the questionable penalty.
Coming in second is nothing to be ashamed of, but there is controversy afoot, because The Mountain believes he had the title stolen from him by some poor judging.
“This weekend I was robbed. The integrity of my beloved sport is in question,” said Bjornsson, according to The Mirror Online. “I completed 15 reps but the referee took the last rep away from me. They say I double dipped. This would have been equal first place with Eddie Hall, which would have scored me one point higher. I know it’s only one point, but sometimes one point can change the game completely.”
On his Instagram page, Björnsson posted a video of himself participating in the Viking Press, which he claims he completed with 15 reps. That would have been enough to edge him into first place, but the judges didn’t count his final rep, claiming that he double dipped:
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Really proud of my effort in the Viking Press at The Worlds Strongest Man. I completed 15 reps but the referee took the last rep away from me. They say I double dipped. This would have been equal first place with Eddie Hall, which would have scored me one point higher. I know it's only one point, but sometimes one point can change the game completely. Strongman fans out there what do you think? ?
According to the Reykjavik Grapevine, Björnsson’s originally posted an even stronger condemnation of the judges, but later deleted it:
“This weekend I was robbed. The integrity of my beloved sport is in question,” Hafþór wrote on Instagram below a grave picture of himself, which he later deleted.”
Björnsson filed an official appeal requesting that footage of his final rep be reviewed, but it was denied.
Eddie Hall became the first Brit to win the World’s Strongest Man competition since Gary Taylor 24 years ago. Although a small consolation, Bjornsson was able to finish second ahead of four-time champion Brian Shaw, who came in third.
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