The Mountain Is No Longer the World's Strongest Man

The World’s Strongest Man competition took place over the weekend, and after all the kegs were tossed, trucks pulled, and the last Atlas Stone was set, a Mountain had fallen and a new champion emerged. American strongman Martins Licis, a.k.a. the Dragon, took the crown. Icelandic actor and defending champ Hafthor Bjornsson, The Mountain on HBO’s now-complete Game of Thrones, took third place while fighting through a foot injury. Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski was the runner-up.

Licis, who just missed the podium with back-to-back fourth place showings in 2018 and 2017, emerged as the winner after finishing first in two of the five Finals events, according to on-the-scene reporting from Barbend. He took the Squat Lift, in which competitors had to gut through as many reps of possible of 750 pounds in 75 seconds, by finishing with 9 reps. Brian Shaw and Bjornsson were close behind in the contest, with 8 and 7 reps, respectively. Licis also won the competition’s signature event, the Atlas Stones, in which competitors lift increasingly heavier spheres up and place them on high platforms.

Bjornsson, who was widely expected to repeat his victory after sweeping through other competitions like the Arnold Classic earlier in the year, was hobbled by a torn plantar fascia after the Farmers and Yoke medley during qualifying rounds. The gutsy performance keeps Bjornsson’s streak of podium appearances alive, as he’s finished in the top 3 of each contest since 2012. The now-former champ is expected to be back in the running for at least one more year, if what he told Sports Illustrated holds true, so there’s already a strong narrative for the 2020 contest.

For now, the former champ took to Instagram to congratulate the new WSM and celebrate his eighth straight podium appearance.

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What a battle! Brilliant performance by my friend @martinslicis congratulations brother on a huge WIN! And congrats to @kieliszkowskimateusz for strong 2nd! You guys are the real BEASTS! I’m very happy with my 8th consecutive podium finish at the @theworldsstrongestman

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Licis, for his part, commemorated his title by revealing a new, upgraded nickname: King Dragon.

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Upgrade to King Dragon! #wsm @lindseybowenn @romarkweiss @oddhaugen @thetraininghall @sbd.usa @sbdapparel @probodycoach @kindafitkindafat_apparel #NathanPayton #SBDUSA #sbdapparel #strongman #WorldsStrongestMan

A post shared by Martins Licis (@martinslicis) on

Disappointed that you missed out on the action? Unless you were planning on taking on the events in person, you didn’t. Due to the complicated logistics of the competition, the TV production won’t be broadcast until the end of the month. Check out the details for when and where here.

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