Hafthor Bjornsson, Brian Shaw, Martins Licis Lead Field at 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Defending champion Hafthor Bjornsson of Iceland; three-time winner Brian Shaw of Fort Lupton, Colo., and red-hot Martins Licis of Santa Monica, Calif., headline a field of 10 qualifiers for the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic set for the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Bjornsson broke through to win the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic in his seventh attempt after finishing second in 2017 and fifth in 2016. Bjornsson, the actor who plays The Mountain on the HBO hit series Game Of Thrones, backed up the victory by winning the 2018 World’s Strongest Man contest. Shaw, winner here in 2011, 2015 and 2017, hopes to reclaim the title after finishing runner-up to Bjornsson a year ago.
Licis is coming off victories at Arnold Pro Strongman Europe in September 2018 and Arnold Strongman USA this past weekend on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. Licis, fourth at 2018 World’s Strongest Man, finished 8th in 2017 in his only appearance in Columbus.
Other qualifiers include Rauno Heinla (Estonia), Mikhail Shivlyakov (Russia), Jean-Francois Caron (Canada), Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland), Matjaz Belsak (Slovenia), Jerry Pritchett (USA) and Olexii Novikov (Ukraine).
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic will be dedicated to Dr. Terry Todd, the event founder who was a weightlifting champion and founder and director of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas.
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic serves as the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series Championship. The qualifiers were determined through a series of pro strongman events held mostly in conjunction with Arnold Sports Festivals in 2018. Novikov earned his spot by winning the Arnold Amateur World Championship at the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival. Visit www.arnoldprostrongman.com for more information on the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series.
Events at the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic include: ROGUE Elephant Bar Deadlift (rounds system, with the beginning weight set at 751 pounds/340 kilos); Husafel Stone Carry (409 pounds/189 kilos for distance); Conan’s Wheel of Pain (details to be announced); Austrian Oak (430 pounds/195 kilos overhead press for reps); and the Odd Haugen Stone to Shoulder (natural stone to shoulder for reps, 410 pounds/186 kilos).
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic will be held March 1-2, 2019 during the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, with the final event held at 7 p.m., March 2 as part of the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic Men’s Physique & Bikini International Finals at the Battelle Grand Ballroom.
The Arnold Pro Strongman World Series was founded in 2016 to increase the visibility and prize pursues in professional Strongman and to give the world’s best athletes an opportunity to compete around the world and earn a spot in the Arnold Pro Strongman World Championships. The Arnold Strongman Classic has been held at the Arnold Sports Festival annually since 2002.
Admission to the Arnold Strongman Classic is included with a daily Arnold Fitness EXPO ticket ($20 each in advance, $25 at the door). Admission to the fifth and final event is included in Arnold Classic, Bikini International and Arnold Classic Men’s Physique Finals show at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at Battelle Grand. (tickets are $50-$100)