World's Strongest Man Update

With two days to go until the qualifying rounds begin for the World's Strongest Man contest, strongman fans and competitors are getting excited, picking their favorites and getting ready to cheer them on.

All the competitors completed their draws, so everyone knows who he is paired with in each event for the qualifiers. Here is a recap how this year's scoring will work:

1) Each event will yield a maximum of six points.
2) Five of those points can be earned based on your absolute performance level (how many stones you lift, for example) and the final point goes to the winner of that duel.
3) Of course, if a competitor has an easy match in a particular event, it makes getting the bonus point for the win easier, but he would still have to produce a strong performance to gain the other five points.
4) This scoring system will eliminate the possibility of runaway victories that produce a boring contest.

Our understanding is that the drug testing is limited to the two competitors who won that drawing (Mariusz Pudzianowksi and Svend Karlsen), but this might not be the case as there is significant concern about protecting the health and safety of the competitors and IFSA has said that it sees its drug-testing program as part of the larger health and safety issue.

Bill Kazmaier is on hand, working for ESPN; Zydrunas Savickas is said to be huge (maybe weighing about 170 kg); and today the competitors are inspecting the equipment they will be using when the contest begins.

Mark your calendars now - the TV shows will begin right around Christmas and it sounds like they will be outstanding.

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