The 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition took place almost a month ago. So, we already saw the winner, Mitchell Hooper, and the second-place finisher, Tom Stoltman, post their recaps of the competition. The only one remaining was the bronze medal winner, Oleksii Novikov. However, he has also given his thoughts about the 2023 WSM competition on May 8th. Oleksii sat down for a 40-minute YouTube video in order to paint the full picture of his 2023 WSM campaign.
Oleksii Novikov covered every topic in his video, from the initial travel to the USA to his mental state after the competition. However, one thing stood out the most, and that was his elbow injury. This injury was one of the reasons why Oleksii could not secure his second WSM title, as his overhead strength plummeted because of it.
Oleksii Novikov’s 2023 WSM Recap
Oleksii Novikov’s journey at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition got off to a rocky start even before the event kicked off. Upon starting his journey from Ukraine to the USA, he had no idea that it would end up taking three days to get there.
“The road (trip) was the longest and hardest in all of my competing history. It took three days. It is hard to get out of Ukraine currently… When we got to New York, all the fun things started… We were told that the next flight would be in 20 hours.”
Even after arriving in Myrtle Beach, Oleksii Novikov had to sit down for multiple interviews and media shoots which caused his energy levels to deplete.
“We came there (Myrtle Beach) at night. Woke up in the morning and all the interviews, photoshoots, and media stuff started… So, lots of organizational activities before the start of the competition. Usually, all the athletes come three days before this… I just had to accept it.”
Oleksii Novikov was absolutely impeccable during the qualifying stage, winning three out of the five events. Consequently, he qualified for the finals with ease. His greatest performance in the qualifying stage came in the Conan’s Wheel event, which he won confidently. He believes that his rivals did not warm-up for the event properly. So, his attention to detail helped him get the best score across all five groups.
“It was interesting that all the athletes did not warm up the way I think is needed… The point is simple, they put too much pressure on their diaphragm and just switched off… I started off carefully, picked it up, felt the weight and my goal was to catch the needed speed and pace so the weight wouldn’t be wobbling.”
Oleksii Novikov didn’t have a great time at the Finals of the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition. Unlike the qualifying stage, things didn’t go as planned for him. On the second day of the finals, there was a Max Dumbbell Press event that Oleksii was looking forward to. After all, the Dumbbell Overhead Press is his favorite event, but sadly, he didn’t do as well as he had hoped.
Oleksii Novikov revealed that while preparing for the 2023 WSM, he injured his elbow and was not able to extend his elbow without pain. Consequently, he was not able to lift more than 132 kilograms (291 pounds) in the Dumbbell Overhead Press event.
“This event is one of my best, but I will tell you what happened before and during the competition… In the last training session I lifted 144 kilograms (317 pounds), and during these processes I got an injury which I didn’t pay much attention to, just some elbow pain. I kept training and only then noticed this issue with my elbow.
The elbow lost the function of full extension and activating. There were problems with the lock out, and that is why locking out heavy weights became a problem for me… Don’t know if I need surgery or not, but I’ll certainly take care of my elbow… So, my signature event became an Achilles heel.”
In the end, Oleksii Novikov was happy with his performance at the 2023 WSM, but revealed how the mental pressure of having to win the competition took a toll on his performance. According to him, it is easier to perform well when you don’t have high expectations as opposed to aiming to become the World’s Strongest Man.
Watch the video here:
Oleksii Novikov’s Full Performnce
- Loading Race: First-Place
- Deadlift Machine: First-Place
- Log Ladder: Third-Place
- Conan’s Wheel: First-Place
- Kettlebell Toss: Sixth-Place
- Reign Shield Carry: Third-Place
- Knaack Deadlift: Tied-Second
- Fingal’s Fingers: Second-Place
- Max Dumbbell: Tied-Second
- Bus Pull: Eight-Place
- Atlas Stones: Fourth-Place
Oleksii Novikov has now competed in 36 International contests and came out with 11 victories. In addition, he has appeared in three WSM finals, winning one (2020) and placing third twice (2022, 2023).
Oleksii Novikov is already moving on to other competitions, having previously announced that he will take part in the 2023 Shaw Classic, Rogue Invitational, and Strongman Classic. So, with at least three more appearances this year, Oleksii has the chance to improve his resume even further.