A new hopeful from Sheffield will take on the might of the World’s Strongest Man, when the city and Giants live host the annual ‘Britain’s strongest man competition’ at the Fly DSA arena this weekend.
Currently the World’s Strongest Junior, after returning victorious from Canada last year, Paul Smith of Sheffield will compete against 31-stones Eddie Hall, aka The Beast, who will attempt to defend the title he has won 4 times.
A personal trainer in strength and weightlifting as rehabilitation, Paul was also the UK’s strongest Junior in 2015, England’s strongest man in 2016-17 (the youngest athlete ever to win it), and is now Northern England’s Strongest Man.
He is 5’11” in height, has a 56 inch chest, 21 inch biceps and weighs 140 kg, in contrast to Eddie Hall who is 6’3”, with a 65 inch chest, 24 inch biceps and weighs 186 kg.
Eddie Hall is known as the king of the deadlift with his unprecedented 500kg lift at Europe’s strongest man in 2016, when compared to Paul Smith’s 360 kg deadlift but there is more to the competition.
Paul is armed with a great log press which poses a real threat to other competitors. He has hit 160kg on the log in training.
Other competitors on Saturday include Mark Felix, 51, from Lancashire, and Terry Hollands. both World’s Strongest Man competitors who featured on television over Christmas. Sheffield’s Jamie Reeves son the title over 20 years ago, giving Sheffield a mark on the sport.
The sport is seeing a resurgence in general. Yorkshire’s strongest man competition runs in South Yorkshire with Simon Knowles as the current holder of the prestigious regional title.
Simon is 6’5” tall and tips the scales at around 26 stones. He boasts a 58” chest, 21” biceps and a 365 kg deadlift.
He is studying for a degree in classical studies when not strength training or competing, and he trains with Paul at Titanium strength gym in Sheffield.
The Titanium gym is owned by retired policeman and England’s current strongest man Phil Roberts, to add to Sheffield’s titles.
It is the first time that the competition to find Britain’s Strongest Man has taken place in Sheffield, and the city is seen as well placed in 2018 to pull off a shock or take a podium finish.
Sheffield and South Yorkshire have a rich history of strength sports. Man Beast Strongman events in Doncaster provide strongman roadshows, even hosting the Yorkshire Strongman Highland Games.
Their head referee for events, Mark Anglesea, holds two Guinness World Records for carrying cars and lifting them.