World's Strongest Man: "Pfister and Mariusz . . . The Class of the Field"

The defending champion, Phil Pfister, and the three-time winner, Mariusz Pudzianowski, were described as "the class of the field," as the World's Strongest Man competitors enjoyed a day of rest today.

But the top dogs were not the only guys to win accolades.

"Kevin Nee is explosive and he is ready to make an impact . . . After a so-so year, Don Pope is looking like a contender . . . Terry Hollands, already powerful, has a more competitive attitude this year, sure to boost his performance."

One of the most impressive stories involves Magnus Samuelsson: "His resurgence was amazing and for him to come into the finals without injury . . . who knows what he might do? He would like to touch the podium one more time before retiring."

"Sebastian Wenta . . . with his height and power . . . huge potential . . . Tarmo Mitt is a quiet guy, but it's more like a silent rage . . . not a bad event . . . very consistent."

"Dave Ostlund looked fantastic on the stones . . . his shoulder strength is way up . . . his intellectual and analytical ability is unsurpassed in the history of the sport." And Mark Felix, with another year of experience under his belt, continues to impress: "Just look at him!"

It's not just about competition, though, because the camaraderie has been applauded, with many of the guys who did not make it to the finals sticking around, to support their friends.

By Southern California standards, the weather has been cool, "perfect for strongman," and the food and service at the Hilton have been winning high marks, so enjoy the rest, because on Friday, the sparks are going to fly.

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