Mick Gosling Wins MetRx Britain's Strongest Man

By all accounts it was a thriller, with many calling it the best strongman contest they had ever seen, and when the dust had settled, Mick Gosling kept the title in his family as he was crowned MetRx Britain's Strongest Man 2005 yesterday.

Set in Dudley Castle, with approximately 5,000 fans on hand, executive producer Colin Bryce, in collaboration with TWI, didn't merely change the format of this event: What was unveiled was a contest format that produced a finish with drama of the highest order and that made the winner apparent immediately after the last event concluded.

An initial field of 12 competitors headed into six events, and after three events, the field was cut to the top eight competitors. After two more events, only the top three competitors continued to the final event.

In this war of attrition, one of the casualties was two-time Britain's Strongest Man Richard Gosling, who was going for an unprecedented third successive title. Nonetheless, the Gosling family name was still in the thick of things, as Richard's brother Mick had made the final cut.

The last event was a 75-meter farmer's walk, uphill, with 125-kg implements, and the start was based on point position going into this last event: Ade Rollinson's 3-1/2 point lead meant that head referee Geoff Capes gave Ade the whistle to start and only 3-1/2 seconds later, Mick Gosling got the starting whistle. Carl Wiatoa, who came into the final event trailing Mick Gosling by 2-1/2 points, had to wait another 2-1/2 seconds until World's Strongest Man winner Geoff Capes gave him the whistle to start.

Ade Rollinson forged such an initial lead that it appeared insurmountable, but fatigue turned his legs to lead and meanwhile Mick Gosling was picking up steam. Ade ended up collapsing just shy of the finish line, Mick Gosling got the win, and Carl Wiatoa came in second, and one of the beauties of Bryce's reformulation of this contest was that the winner was obvious immediately - no need to consult a score sheet and delay the announcement as numbers were input, tabulated and checked. The first guy over the line took home the marbles and in this case, that man was Mick Gosling. Mick, in addition to the title, picked up a total prize package worth close to US10,000 for his efforts.

Colin Bryce described the contest as one filled with "scenes of tears and joy for the family," since Richard Gosling was not able to three-peat on the title, but his brother Mick's victory kept it within the family.

Sky Sports covered this highly-visible event, and MexRx sales executive Robert Walker was among those on hand watching the drama unfold.

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