More from World's Strongest Man: First Day of the Qualifiers

A source close to the center of things described the opening of the qualifying round of the 2006 WSM contest as being "really a good day . . . great results," and, indeed, with the action only just beginning, the most famous strongman contest on the planet has already produced some terrificly dramatic moments.

Arild Haugen's performance on the barrels today has left people agog - he hurled all ten barrels over the 4.5-meter-tall wall in approximately 41 seconds and to understand why his performance was described as "phenomenal" and left a seasoned observer of the sport saying, "I've never seen such explosiveness in my life," consider that 90 seconds are alloted for this event and that Arild beat even Mariusz Pudzianowski by something like six or seven seconds, we are told. Most competitors did not even succeed with all ten barrels.

Arild Haugen was reportedly so excited that he asked Svend Karlsen to slap him to calm him down, and Svend - who is extremely proud of his young protege - obliged him, which is something local orthodontists must have been watching quite eagerly.

Both Terry Hollands and Janne Virtanen were described as dazzling in the carry and drag.

In a huge disappointment, Magnus Samuelsson, who has been plagued by back problems recently, collapsed in the farmer's walk, as his leg buckled, and there is a fear that he might have "completely done a disk," not an auspicious situation given that Magnus faces the deadlift for reps tomorrow.

Jarek Dymek was reportedly sick all last night, but he made it about five meters in the cannonball carry and then collapsed. Nearly rising from the dead, Dymek rebounded later and nailed all ten barrels, putting him "back into the fray."

The action continues tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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