VIDEO PREVIEW: Scotland's strongest brothers to battle Game Of Thrones star Thor for European crown
FIFTY stones of brotherly love will take on the might of Games Of Thrones superstar 'Thor' and all-comers this weekend in a bid to be crowned Europe's Strongest Man.
That's the combined weight of Tom and Luke Stoltman - Scotland's strongest men.
Tom, aged 24 and 6ft 8ins, and older brother Luke, 34, standing 6ft 2ins, will weigh in at around 25 stones each to battle with the world’s best strongmen at the Giants Live event at Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday, April 6.
They are all looking to claim the scalp of giant Icelander Hafthor 'Thor' Björnsson, the 6ft 9ins and 30 stones World’s Strongest Man, who plays warrior 'The Mountain' in the hit TV series Game Of Thrones.
Thor, the greatest Atlas Stones lifter in the world, is odds-on favourite lift the Europe's Strongest Man title, for a record fifth time.
BUY TICKETS: Tickets for Giants Live Europe’s Strongest Man at Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday, April 6, are £23.70 to £131. Call 0844 248 1585 or visit www.firstdirectarena.com.
But having both placed well at Britain’s Strongest Man back in January – Tom took the bronze medal – the Invergorden brothers are full of confidence, as well as a sense of what might have been.
Even higher placing would have been achievable if it weren’t for a disastrous showing for both men in the 1,000 lbs frame carry, due to a misjudgement of where to grip the handles rather than a lack of strength.
Tom, went on to win both the loading race and the Atlas Stones, where he heaved all five giant granite spheres on to their plinths, the last of which weighs 32 stone, in only 18 seconds – a truly world class feat.
Older brother Luke, an offshore rig surveyor, is the more experienced of the two having amassed five Scottish titles and competed in several ESM and World’s Strongest Man contests.
Despite losing his Scottish title to Tom last year, he is confident he can continue to improve and pose a real threat at the European showdown.
Travelling globally with his work and spending weeks offshore, training is problematic to say the least, but Luke knows that the prospect of 10,000 fans cheering him on will help him to produce “something a wee bit more.” His 'little' brother, Tom has quit work to train full time in an attempt to fulfil a potential that was evident to all at Sheffield’s Britain’s Strongest Man in January.
“He is the future of British strongman,” says a proud Luke. “He’s got the frame, the speed, the strength is coming, when his shirt comes off he’s ripped to shreds.”However it might be Luke that makes the better start in Event One – The World Log Lift Championships. Big Zydrunas Savickas’ 228kg World Log Lift record s up for grabs.
Retired former World's Strongest Man and now show host Eddie Hall’s 213kg British record is also under threat.
But the log event is not ideally suited to tall men and Morecambe muscle man Graham Hicks, at 5ft 10ins the smallest man in the competition, has his sights set on winning.
The newly- crowned Britain’s Strongest Man is also favourite to grab the British log lift record, of 213kg.
A world class field of guest competitors are flying in for the World Log Lift, including four times World’s Strongest Man winner, USA's Brian Shaw, the near 7ft, 35 stone colossus from Colorado. Brit-hating braggart Robert Oberst’s and last year's log lift joint winner, new fan favourite, cartwheeling Iron Biby, of Burkina Faso.
Thor heads the Euro-invasion with contenders such as Konstantine Janashia and Mateusz Kieliskowski.
Former European champ Laurence Shahlaei will also be competing as will stalwart, Terry Hollands, who placed third in 2017.
Ultimately, it’s overall success that the Stoltman brothers are aiming at and podium finishes are a real possibility despite the mouth watering line-up coming to Leeds.
“Giants Live are the ultimate shows,” says Luke,
“It’s the best competitive experience out there for any strength athlete – spine tingling.”
The Scottish brothers are definitely on an upward trajectory. Could they even be the world’s strongest? Luke certainly thinks so: “I’ll go up against any brothers that want to have a go.”
* Tickets are also on sale for Britain’s Strongest Man 2020 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on Saturday, January 18, priced £28 to £196, call the box office on 0114 256 5656 or visit www.flydsaarena.co.uk