World's Strongest Man Competition 1999
Daily News
Thursday, first day of qualifying
Virtanen won both events in his heat today, Ahola started with a win and a 2nd place. Both are headed strong for the finals scheduled for next week. 

Ahola had Carry & Drag as his first event - a 100kg stone, iron cross equally heavy and a sack had to be carried to a sled, then the sled pulled to the finish line. Rene Minkfitz from Denmark (who is this guy?) won! 

170kg Husafel stone (carrying a triangular stone in your lap as far as possible) was the next challenge. Ahola carried it nearly 70 meters which was enough to win. Minkfitz came second. 

Virtanen had to carry two 100kg sacks to a Maltese boat, then pull the boat 25 meters as fast as possible. Jalo won again, though nobody even finished it, which happened also in Ahola's first event. 

Virtanen carried his Husafel stone nearly as far as Ahola and got his second event win. Svend Karlsen and Jorma Paananen (SWE) followed. Good to hear Svend is back! Hopefully he'll make to the finals. 

Tomorrow the heats will continue with one event. Ahola has loading stones. Virtanen will load a sack, anchor, log, chain and a barrell. 

- Four events remain and everything is possible. It seems clear though that Janne and I get to the finals. 
- I won't stress myself too much with the qualifying. I didn't use everything today either. Best energy must be saved for next week. 

(Two best from each group advance to the finals) 

Extra notes: 

It's raining there, that's why the Finns are doing so strong! 

Also Whit Baskin won both event in his heat! Especially impressive was his performance in the truck pull, where a bigger belly and taller figure would help. 

Results as reported on Ironmind news: 

Top places in the carry and  
drag were as follows  
Group One: 1) Minkfitz 2) Ahola 3) Veroga 
Group Two: 1) Girard 2)  Vagadal 3) Brown 
Group Three: 1) Baskin 2) Veneberg 
Group Four: 1) Barr 2) Samuelsson 3) Onosai 
Group Five: 1) Virtanen 2) Ross 3) Badenhorst (This is indeed a tough heat!!) 

Top results from the truck pull were as follows  
Group Two: 1) Olafsson 2) Girard 3) Vagadal (not too surprising?) 
Group Three: 1) Baskin 2)Veneberg 3)  Hoffman 
Group Four: 1) Onosai 2) Samuelsson 3) Barr  

Husafel stone  
Group One: 1) Ahola 2) Minkfitz 3) Veroga 
Group Five: 1) Virtanen 2) Karlsen 3) Paananen 

Friday, second day of qualifying
It starts to seem that either Badenhorst or Karlsen will get dropped from the finals, as Virtanen just won third event in row! This is actually bad news (about Badenhorst), because the other heats have less favorites. Last two years the organizers handpicked the events and athletes, what did they do this year - draw lots?! Haha. 

Ahola and Virtanen both won their events and both lead their heats. Ahola loaded stones - the event was a bit different than usually; the stones had to be carried from further away and they had to be lifted a bit higher. The largest stone still weighed 167kg! Ahola used 41 seconds and was happy. 

All heats counted, Fekete (HUN) was the only other to get all stones on their places. Ahola was faster. 

Virtanen won his loading (described yesterday) and Samuelsson was the only other to get all objects, although the defending champion was slower this time. 

- The favorites have been in terrific shape here 

Tomorrow Ahola will have Crucifix, which measures shoulder strength. Virtanen has Hercules Hold, which is about grip strength. Surprisingly neither of these events aren't seen in the finals. The reason to that is Ahola has long been unbeatable in both? 

From Ironmind news:  

Atlas Stones 
Group 2: Ahola, Minkfitz, Vaoga 
Group 5: Fekete, Veneberg, Bergmanis 

Group 1: Samuelsson, Barr, Philippi 
Group 3: Virtanen, Karlsen, Paananen 
Group 4: Girard, Olafsson, Brown 

WSM Day 2: Cumulative Scores  
Group 1: Samuelsson, 16; Barr, 15; Onosai, 13; Philippi, 10 
Group 2: Ahola, 17; Minkfitz, 16; Veoga, 12 
Group 3: Virtanen, 18; Karlsen, 12; Badenhorst, 10; Pannanen, 10 
Group 4: Girard, 17; Olafsson, 14; Vagadal, 12; Brown, 10 
Group 5: Veneberg, 15; Baskin, 13; Fekete, 12; Bergmanis, 10 

Saturday, third day of qualifying (of four)
Virtanen still going strong. Having now won all four events in his heat by far, only an injury or Charlotte Brigel can prevent him from reaching the finals. Charlotte dropped him last year, for she thought others would have a better chance that way? Janne, giver her your best smile and apologize rising such a noise from her decision last year... 

Even though Ahola competes with guys never heard of (Minkfitz, Minkqvist, Minkwist?), he lost again - in Crucifix! He claims to have been concentrating on only beating Mr M's time and after that he supposedly let those weights drop. I haven't heard who won then, but Veoga and Mr M placed after Jouko. 

Ahola mentioned Mr M, Girard and Samuelsson as other probable finalists (besides him and Virtanen). 

Qualifying will continue on Sunday with: 
Ahola: "deadlift" hold from the back of a car, medley (wheel flip and loading) 
Virtanen: "troublesome" log press, same medley 

Cumulative totals by Ironmind 
Group 1: Samuelsson, 21; Barr, 19; Onosai, 15; Philippi, 13.  
Group 2: Ahola, 22; Minkfitz, 19; Veoga, 16; de Bruyn, 12.  
Group 3: Virtanen, 24; Karlsen, 14; Ross, 13; Paananen, 13.  
Group 4: Girard, 23; Vagadal, 16; Olafsson, 16; Brown, 15.  
Group 5: Veneberg, 21; Fekete, 17; Baskin, 15; Bergmanis, 13.  

Results deducted from previous totals: 
Hercules hold 
Group1: 1-?, 2-Samuelsson, 3-Barr, 4-Philippi, 5-Onosai 
Group3: 1-Virtanen, 2-Hoffman?, 3-Ross, 4-Paananen, 5-Karlsen 
Group5: 1-Veneberg, 2-Fekete, 3-?, 4-Bergmanis, 5-Baskin 
Group2: 1-?, 2-Ahola, 3-Veoga, 4-Minkfitz, 5-de Bruyn? 
Group4: 1-Girard, 2-Brown, 3-Vagadal, 4-?, 5-Olafsson  

I haven't heard how other competitors are doing. 

Sunday, fourth day of rain?
sami-i'm whit baskin's mom and just wanted to tell you how much i enjoy your web 
page.  we've talked to whit during the qualifying rounds.....but i've gotten more of an 'inside scoop' from reading your page.  way to go!!........patty 

Thanks Patty,  

I try to keep my ears open but because I don't intend to call Jouko during the competition, I must rely only on local newspapers and some web pages.  

If you have heard something more, maybe I could put that on my "news" too?  

Hopefully Whit gets to the finals (that would indeed be a surprise for many as he's a newcomer), but it seems very very close. Just a matter of an hour or two and then we'll know.  

sami-thanks for writing back.  brady(whit's bro) called this morning and said that whit finished first in his heat in the car hold.  said he really blew everyone away.  this put whit in second..ahead of fekete.  we just got a call and whit said he finished last in the medley , which moved him down to guess we won't be going to malta!!  rats!!!! 
well....maybe next year........patty 

Qualifying Heats: Final Scores 
Group 1: Group 2: Group 3: Group 4: Group 5:
Barr, 27 
Onosai, 21 ½ 
Philippi, 21 ½ 
Edwards, 13 
Sanguinetto, 10
Ahola, 32 
Minkfitz, 27 
Veoga, 25 
de Bruyn, 18 
Brooks, 15 
Neese, 7
Virtanen, 31 ½ 
Karlsen, 22 ½ 
Ross, 21 
Paananen, 18 ½ 
Noga, 17 
Badenhorst, 15½
Girard, 34 
Olafsson, 27 
Brown, 22 
Vagadal, 22 
Doerer, 12 
Bowers, 9
Veneberg, 31 
Fekete, 23 
Bergmanis, 23 
Baskin, 22 
Hoffman, 16 
Pittuck, 11
30 athletes from 23 countries!

Glenn Ross returning home with his food
(dunno who really) 
The locals did indeed notice there's a competition going on: (after I mailed them... or?) Thanks for the pics! 

I hear Janne Virtanen came only 5th in log press, but medley was again his show. Janne won 5 of total 6 qualifying events in his heat. 

Which makes me even happier is that SVEND also made it to the finals from same heat! 

Ahola was third in deadlift hold, but won the medley as Janne did (380kg tire 2 flips... 100kg stone 10 meters... 100kg iron cross 10 meters... 100kg anchor 10 meters... 240kg anchor chain 10 meters - feeling tired already??). 

Samuelsson won both events in his heat today! 

Now there's a two day break. There will be photo shoots, interviews and doping tests. I hear they also have some free time program arranged, at least a boat trip on sea. 

The guys aren't going to do any workouts before Wednesday, at least not Ahola: "It's no worth, 6 qualifying events in four days is enough." 

On Wednesday the ten finalists will measure their strength with super yoke and deadlift. 

... I received a mail today from Johan Hansson, Sweden. He whined about me being a whiner sometimes. Like when Ahola loses, I seem to think everything was "fixed" against him beforehand or at least he had a cold. 

Haha, don't take everything I write so seriously, maybe I just can't stand to lose. At least the guys won't make excuses as you well point out later (but I will dig the reasons out, also to avoid making the same mistakes again... and there are always those who want to speculate and know WHY): 

"Whatever happens during this years WSM, Ahola and Samuelsson must both be regarded as two of the absolutely strongest men in the world for the moment. 

I don't think either Ahola or Samuelsson make (or will make) excuses if 
they for some reason perform badly, the excuses are made by the fans... 

You have a great web-page. Keep up the good work!" 

Readers competition: Who can recognize all three? Who's the guy in white? 
(pics above are from the first day of qualifying)
This one during Turenki open
Actually I do have another excuse ready, haha. Ahola said in today's paper that he doesn't like the Maltese food really. His stomach has been upset for two days now and he has been a bit worried. It hasn't affected strength though. "I must say the food is bad and I miss Finnish food. I'm glad there is some coming on Tuesday. My friends will bring a cool box full of snack with them when they come to see the finals" 

Ok, no excuses from now on... (was rather a 'strict maybe') See you all after a couple of days!!

Sep 15.  
Super Yoke - Valletta, 10.00 
Deadlift for maximum weight (probably from the end of a car) - Hagar Qim, 15.00 

Sep 16.  
Boat Pull - Blue Grotto, 14.00 

Sep 17.  
Atlas Stones, - Golden Bay, 10.00 
Plane Pull with harness - Airport, TBC-pm. 

Sep 18.  
Giant Log Lift for reps, 
Medley - Valletta Freedon Square, 10.00 - 12.00