What a weekend it was for fans of strength sports on October 14th, since the 2023 World Strongman Championships in Latvia turned out to be one of the most entertaining shows of the year. The second edition of the competition displayed a number of incredible feats of strength performed by 12 elite Strongman athletes. They had to endure six very difficult events, attempting to claim as many points as possible by the end of the day. When the competition concluded, the leaderboards showed that Aivars Šmaukstelis was the winner.
Aivars Šmaukstelis won the inaugural edition of the World Strongman Championships this year, but it seemed that a much more difficult challenge was ahead of him this year. However, Aivars came in even more prepared and put in one of the most dominating performances of the year. He ended up claiming 67.5 points out of the possible 72 points, which is mind-blowing seeing how he faced some proven athletes and World Record holders.
2023 World Strongman Championships Results
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 67.5 points
- Rauno Heinla — 51 points
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 50.5 points
- Adam Roszkowski — 49 points
- Didzis Zariņš — 47.5 points
- Mantas Lalas — 44.5 points
- Māris Krievelis — 43 points
- Kevin Faires — 36 points
- Paul Smith — 23.5 points
- JF Caron — 19 points
- Andris Dilāns — 18 points
- Mairis Kopeika — 15.5 points
Event One — Loading Race
The first event of the 2023 World Strongman Championships was quite unusual, as athletes found themselves faced with six wooden logs that were placed horizontally on the floor. Then, when the timer started, the competitors had to pick up one side of each log and place it on what is best described as a metal shelf. They first picked up the lightest log and loaded it on the highest shelf. As the logs got heavier, the shelf heights were lowered.
As the event was unusual, the results were quite unpredictable as well. So, it ended up being a two-man race, as Mantas Lalas and Adam Roszkowski easily separated themselves from the pack. Their times, however, were less than 0.20 seconds apart, and it was Lalas who took the max points in a photo finish.
With Adam Roszkowski in second place, the next spot that was up for grabs was third. Similarly, two men finished within fractions of a second of each other, but Aivars Šmaukstelis ultimately rounded up the top three.
- Mantas Lalas — 27.42 seconds
- Adam Roszkowski — 27.61 seconds
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 29.18 seconds
- Māris Krievelis — 29.31 seconds
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 30.05 seconds
- Rauno Heinla — 31.57 seconds
- JF Caron — 32.04 seconds
- Paul Smith — 38.07 seconds
- Kevin Faires — 39.50 seconds
- Didzis Zariņš — 39.73 seconds
- Andris Dilāns — 42.07 seconds
- Mairis Kopeika — 51.78 seconds
Event Two — The Winch
By the time the second event rolled around, it was clear that the organizers put in a lot of effort in order to make the competition stand out. So, the second event of the day was a bit unusual, as it forced the athletes to pull in four wooden logs by using a winch manually.
‘The Winch’ turned out to be more of a speed based event than an endurance one, as Aivars Šmaukstelis led the roster with a time of 12.69 seconds to pull the logs from one end of the field to the finish line. While other athletes looked extremely fast, Aivars’ performance was almost perfect, and it brought him the maximum of 12 points.
Mantas Lalas carried over the speed from event one and took second place on The Winch. His grip strength and pulling ability were on full display, but not for too long, as he finished the event in a mind-blowing 13.39 seconds.
The 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man, Pavlo Kordiyaka engaged in a battle with Lalas, but had to settle for third place with a time of 13.54 seconds.
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 12.69 seconds
- Mantas Lalas — 13.39 seconds
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 13.54 seconds
- Adam Roszkowski — 14.40 seconds
- Kevin Faires —14.71 seconds
- Rauno Heinla — 15.99 seconds
- Māris Krievelis —17.20 seconds
- Didzis Zariņš — 17.64 seconds
- JF Caron — 18.05 seconds
- Andris Dilāns — 18.52 seconds
- Mairis Kopeika — 20.53 seconds
- Paul Smith — 22.37 seconds
Event Three — Deadlift
The third event was a Car Deadlift, but it was much more aesthetically pleasing than usual. The weight of the deadlift was not revealed, but the sole goal was to complete as many repetitions as possible.
The Masters Deadlift World Record holder, Rauno Heinla, was the main favorite in this event for a reason. So, unsurprisingly, Rauno managed to lock out nine repetitions, and no one else managed to equal or outperform his effort.
Three men managed to complete eight repetitions, so the time needed to lock out the final rep was used as a tiebreaker. Based on this, Aivars Šmaukstelis earned second place, finishing less than two seconds ahead of Didzis Zariņš.
- Rauno Heinla — 9 in 38.14 seconds
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 8 in 47.85 seconds
- Didzis Zariņš — 8 in 49.20 seconds
- JF Caron — 8 in 65.29 seconds
- Māris Krievelis — 7 in 38.86 seconds
- Kevin Faires — 7 in 61.98 seconds
- Paul Smith — 6 in 62.67 seconds
- Adam Roszkowski — 5 in 24.41 seconds
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 5 in 24.78 seconds
- Mantas Lalas — 5 in 31.96 seconds
- Andris Dilāns — 4 in 22.11 seconds
- Mairis Kopeika — 3 in 15.94 seconds
Event Four — Viking Press
The fourth event of the 2023 World Strongman Championships was the Viking Press, which is a fairly common event in the major competitions. In this case, it was an overhead shoulder press on a machine that had a few wooden logs loaded on the back of it. The weight was unspecified, but each competitor took a turn to perform as many reps as possible on the same machine.
Aivars Šmaukstelis and Didzis Zariņš tied for first place, since both athletes locked out 16 repetitions on the overhead press. Consequently, they each took 11.5 points instead of the usual 12 that a sole winner would get. Regardless, both men displayed impressive shoulder strength and left the other ten athletes behind them.
Adam Roszkowski performed 15 reps, making him the third place finisher. His repetitions looked very smooth, and his feat of strength was accomplished with only a lifting belt and a pair of elbow sleeves.
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 16 reps (Tied-First)
- Didzis Zariņš — 16 reps (Tied-First)
- Adam Roszkowski — 15 reps
- Kevin Faires — 14 reps
- Paul Smith — 13 reps (Tied-Fifth)
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 13 reps (Tied-Fifth)
- Māris Krievelis — 12 reps
- Rauno Heinla — 11 reps
- Mantas Lalas — 8 reps (Tied-Ninth)
- Mairis Kopeika — 8 reps (Tied-Ninth)
- Andris Dilāns — 7 reps
- JF Caron — Withdrew
Event Five — Car Ramp Push
The penultimate event of the 2023 World Strongman Championships tasked the athletes with pushing a huge car ramp for an undisclosed distance. The event was timed, so the athletes had to cross the finish line in as little time as possible.
Aivars Šmaukstelis was not intimidated by the size of the contraption ahead of him. Instead, he picked it up and pushed as fast as he could. He ended up crossing the finish line at the 14.43-second mark, which was enough for another event win.
Pavlo Kordiyaka found his way into second place after beating Didzis Zariņš in the closest race of the day. Pavlo finished in a time of 15.48 seconds, while Didzis crossed the line 0.13 seconds later.
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 14.43 seconds
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 15.48 seconds
- Didzis Zariņš — 15.61 seconds
- Mantas Lalas — 16.89 seconds
- Rauno Heinla — 17.01 seconds
- Māris Krievelis — 17.09 seconds
- Andris Dilāns — 18.19 seconds
- Adam Roszkowski — 18.71 seconds
- Mairis Kopeika — 19.54 seconds
- Kevin Faires — 21.23 seconds
- Paul Smith — 22.54 seconds
Event Six — Natural Stones
To wrap up the 2023 World Strongman Championships, the athletes had to perform one last event. It just so happened to be the Natural Stones, featuring five boulders that had to be loaded onto a platform. The format of the event was identical to that of the Atlas Stones, the only difference being that the Natural Stones were not round, but instead awkwardly shaped.
Rauno Heinla took the win in the final event by loading all five stones in a time of 27.82 seconds, which was substantially faster than any other athlete. This sealed the silver medal for him in the overall standings.
Although he already had more than enough points to win the competition prior to the final event, Aivars Šmaukstelis still gave it his all on the Natural Stones, finishing in second and being three seconds slower than Rauno.
Pavlo Kordiyaka finished in third, securing just enough points for a bronze medal overall. For reference, Pavlo also completed all five stones, but was 15 seconds slower than the winner of the event, Rauno Heinla.
- Rauno Heinla — 5 in 27.82 seconds
- Aivars Šmaukstelis — 5 in 30.97 seconds
- Pavlo Kordiyaka — 5 in 42.28 seconds
- Adam Roszkowski — 5 in 43.63 seconds
- Didzis Zariņš — 4 in 20.92 seconds
- Māris Krievelis — 4 in 24.30 seconds
- Mantas Lalas — 4 in 27.98 seconds
- Kevin Faires — 4 in 51.41 seconds
- Mairis Kopeika — 3 in 44.34 seconds
- Andris Dilāns — 2 in 16.51 seconds
- Paul Smith — 2 in 17.32 seconds
Check out all six events from the performances of Adam Roszkowski:
Aivars Šmaukstelis has spent almost a decade competing at the highest level in Strongman and has by now accumulated some tremendous success. He took part in a total of 63 international competitions and claimed victories in 23 of them. Aivars has also appeared at the WSM six times, with his most remarkable finish being 8th place in 2020. He is still relentlessly pushing forward and is obviously making progress. His performance at the 2023 World Strongman Championships is the most recent proof of that, as he is arguably stronger than ever. So, there is still a lot more coming from him in the future.