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Icelandic strongman Hafthor Björnsson has won his first major professional victory at the Arnold Sports Festival in the USA at the weekend.Photo courtesy of the Arnold Sports Festival (Dave Emery)

Hafthor Björnsson wins strongman crown

Icelandic strongman Hafthor Björnsson won his first major professional victory at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio at the weekend.

Björnsson, also known in some circles as the actor who plays ‘Mountain’ in Game of Thrones, finished 2nd at the Arnold Strongman Classic in 2017. This year he dominated with two first-place finishes (Elephant Bar Deadlift, Bag Over Bar) and two third-place efforts (The Stone Shoulder, Timber Carry) in the first four events to accumlate a lead over three-time champion Brian Shaw of the United States leading into the final event.

Björnsson and Shaw each pressed the 181 kg Appollon’s Wheels overhead three times in the allotted two minutes to finish tied for first. Björnsson entered the final event only needing one rep to claim the title, but put the famed Rogue Fitness apparatus overhead four times to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

Björnsson also set a new world record in the Rogue Elephant Bar Deadlift by locking in an amazing 472 kg. Shaw was second with a lift of 460 kg. Björnsson also won the Bag Over Bar by tossing a 43 kg, custom-made Rogue Fitness bag over a 15-foot-high bar.

Björnsson, a seven-time Iceland’s Strongest Man winner, qualified for the Arnold Strongman Classic by winning the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series qualifier held at Festival Hommes Forts Warwick in Quebec, Canada in 2017. The Arnold Pro Strongman World Series features qualifying events at Arnold Sports Festival events and select stand-alone competitions around the world, with winners advancing to compete in the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series Championship at the Arnold Sports Festival.

Final results for the 2018 Arnold Pro Strongman:

  1. Hafthor Björnsson (Iceland)
  2. Brian Shaw (USA)
  3. Mikhael Shivlyakov (Russia)
  4. Mateusz Kieliskowski (Poland)
  5. Jean-Francois Caron (Canada)

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