Here’s what Europe’s finest will have to contend with in early April.

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On Apr. 1, 2023, Europe’s most powerful strongmen will determine who stands the above the rest. The contest will be the 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM), which will take place in Leeds, England. With the roster featuring defending champion Oleksii Novikov already announced earlier this year, the organizing body, Giants Live, has shared the competition’s expected events.

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Events

The 2023 ESM will be a single-day competition comprised of five distinct events. Here’s an overview of the events for the European strongman contest.

At the time of this writing, specifics have not been offered on the details of each event. Such information concerning exact implements, weights, and potential formats may be shared at a later date.

Novikov is the defending ESM champion, but there is no shortage of potential top contenders for his title. Athletes to watch might include fellow Ukrainian countryman Pavlo Nakonechnyy, who captured a victory in the 2022 Giants Live World Open last summer. The third-place finisher from the 2022 ESM, Georgia’s Konstantine Janashia, should probably also not be discounted. Two-time Britain’s Strongest Man (2020, 2023) and 2020 ESM runner-up Adam Bishop could be another one to watch.

As for a dark horse, Masters deadlift World Record holder Rauno Heinla could also be in the mix, as the Estonian possesses the requisite power for a shorter contest like the 2023 ESM, compared to multi-day contests like the World’s Strongest Man. Heinla had to withdraw after the third event during the 2022 ESM and may be seeking a degree of redemption.

Here’s an overview of the complete roster for the 2023 ESM:

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Roster

  • Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) — Reigning Champion
  • Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine)
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
  • Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)
  • Rauno Heinla (Estonia)
  • Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia)
  • Eythór Ingólfsson Melsted (Iceland)
  • Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf (France)
  • Dennis Kohlruss (Germany)
  • Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland)
  • Adam Bishop (United Kingdom)
  • Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom)
  • Graham Hicks (United Kingdom)
  • Paul Smith (United Kingdom) — Reserve

Notably, some events, like the Log Press Ladder and Castle Stones (an Atlas Stone name variation), could be game-changers for competitors. That’s because two-time reigning World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Tom Stoltman and his brother Luke Stoltman (the 2022 runner-up), who are proficient in both, are not participating in this year’s ESM iteration. Such a development potentially leaves a lot of points on the table for the prospective winner.

Only time will tell whether Novikov can build on his ESM title. The Ukrainian athlete will likely enter this ESM as a heavy favorite to win. However, with the precise format unknown and a few new faces on the roster, it would be anyone’s competition to take a stranglehold of.

Featured image: @novikov_strong_wsm on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

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