World's Strongest Man: Preview

It's the title all the strongmen want to win, it's the TV show that is watched around the world, and this year, changes in the contest format, a revised scoring system and an emphasis on heavy events hold the promise of even an better show for 2004.

In a move that many strongman fans and competitors alike will embrace, the 2004 contest is not going to resemble a foot race, and while they have been designed with the idea that they should look good to television audiences, this year's contest features key tests of strength and classic strongman events. Thus, the events include such staples as the squat, deadlift, an overhead lift, stone loading, and a harness and rope pull, although the exact form each event takes is part of what makes this contest distinct.

Although everyone should be cheering for his or her favorite, and you never know what will happen, defending winner Mariusz Pudzianowski has to be considered a favorite to win this year's title. Zydrunas Savickas is the man many would consider to be the biggest threat to Pudzianowski, but Vasyl Virastiuk, Svend Karlsen and Magnus Samuelsson are on a lot of insiders' short lists, and a healthy and focused Hugo Girard is never to be taken lightly.

The action starts tomorrow, as the qualifying round kicks off with the deadlift, yoke race and stones.

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