Notes from Team World Championships '98 (Holland 8-9.8) 
9.9.98 Sami 
Notes from 1. event, truck pull together, two ropes 
Wout Ziljstra and Berend Veneberg, team Holland-1, got the winning time in this very close contest. Although they had to pull three trucks, the speed was so high in the end, that conventional techniques based on leg power didn't work well anymore. Ziljstra, who has obviously got much talent in motor coordination, was practically the only one who could switch to more effective style after the first acceleration. In the end he used only short, partial pulls. 

Finland came fifth in this event although I would have never imagined that Jouko can do full range pulls, using mostly legs, that fast. 

Sami Heinonen, the other finn (Kiri was injured so Heinonen got his chance to show) did fine also. Just that there were five or more teams inside one second (took about 19-21 secs). 

2. event: Loading 
Finland won this one, but again very much just speed and running. Only few guys ran out of strength. Holland-2 came second and Holland-1 third.

Final Results from Holland 

1.  Holland-1   71 
2.  Finland       70,5 
3.  Sweden      56 
4.  South Af     50 
5.  Norway      40 
6.  Holland-2   38,5 
7.  Faroer Is    34 
8.  Hungary     32 
9.  Germany    24 
10. England     19


3. event: Weight for height, one arm, 25kg, also used in Scottish competitions 
World record holder Ziljstra won comfortably and also lifted WR now to 5.60m. He competes mostly in Scottish style strongman competitions (why's that, I can't understand) so he is very familiar with this event. 

Again team Finland comes fifth. I rerun Jouko's performance on video times and times again and finally decide to call him. He didn't use legs at all. He answered that it was the first time ever he tried that event, and even though he got just 4.8m he was quite satisfied with it :-) Most competitors failed at 5m or before. And he did it with right shoulder only, while Z used something close to snatch in weightlifting: legs first, then lower back and shoulder gives only the last momentum. Jouko might still try it sometimes for one never knows what will be the qualifying events in Morocco... 

4. event: Stones of Strength 
This was a good check of condition when you think about WSM 1998. Both competitors in teams lifted all five McGlashen stones, then helped their teammate if he was not finished yet. 

Laszlo Fekete, Hungary, 40y, showed that he is still one of the very best and lifted all his stones in 19.5 secs, then went and lifted also the two heaviest for Tibor Meszanos. Considering that not nearly all of the guys there could lift even the last 160kg stone Fekete's performance was really really something else. 

Badenhorst, 35y, who seems to be in a good shape, though not close to his best yet, made his stones also under 20 secs. 

Svend Karlsen from Norway used 23 secs and then lifted one extra 160kg stone for Sturla Davidsen, who is better known from powerlifting. But there was still one stone left and they had much trouble with it. Much of the trouble was lack of good teamwork, but Karlsen was also looking more tired at this point than Fekete was a while before. This year Svend has improved a lot in many events, but his stone lifting technique still taxes too much strength - and endurance? 

However, Svend will do fine in maximum strength tests if we see those in Marocco (WSM-98). But I think he has something to prove also in those, before we really know what he is able to do. 

Ollesch, who is recovering all the time, used 25 secs as did Magnus Samuelsson. Also the other Samuelsson, Torbjörn did fine and Swedes came out fine. 

Jouko lifts his stones in 18 secs and Finns win (all ten stones in 21). Week before this competition Jouko lifted a WR 215kg stone so no wonder actually. I remember that even great legends from history of strongmen have had trouble with 160-class. 

5. event: Wheel flip  
Finland wins, that's about what happened. 

6. event: Hercules Hold, both between two cars and they hold a chain between them 
Samuelsson&Samuelsson win with 42s. Magnus clearly feels that they win at 40 secs and shows it. He is on the rise and you can see it! 

Finns did 35s and Holland came close with 32. Many teams let go under 20 secs. 

7. event: Farmer's Walk  
Finns dominate, six-or-so beautiful girls get carried 45.5m. Holland gets second place with only 34.5m. But still, they come second and get only one point less. 

Sturla (Norway) wasn't used to walking with loads. Karlsen could have gone much further. Badenhorst also seems like he can carry anything. 

8. and last event: Power stairs, just three weights and two men (one at a time) to carry them  (175,225,275kg)  
Fekete is in shape, I must say it again. Just that he couldn't lift the very last step with 275kg. 

But neither did Svend Karlsen lift the last two steps and that surprised me at the time (knowing his deadlifts). Jouko commented of cource that he was so exhausted, Karlsen himself told me later that he did just what he needed to do to pass Holland-2. When he heard "enough" from Samuelsson he stopped. 

Badenhorst is surely ready for deadlift competitions. When he got the 275kg up he did even one extra lift to "air stairs". 

Badenhorst has always been an exceptional showman and in this competition he surely got the crowd like what they saw. He said in an interview that people don't come just to watch competitors lift heavy weights, but also to have fun and enjoy and he wants to give them that something extra. 

You can also contact him for strength shows, look at links! 

Jouko did bring up both 225 and 275 so he didn't need much help from Sami Heinonen. Some paper said that it was a new record by 7 secs but I can't quite understand it. 

Problem in this last event was (if you look at this through "blue-white glasses") that Holland came second and so they won the whole competition by 0.5 point. 

Ziljstra showed that he is able to compete in any strength event - he excels also in stones and power stairs and has quite a grip too. Speed and skill are his best weapons. I don't know about true max strength but he has got everything else. 

Jouko also gave much credit to his performance there. 

Ok now, if you look at the event results, you see that Finns won 5 and Holland only 2 events! Swedes win Hercules Hold. So how come Finns lose? It's this simple: there was actually no other (good) team to come between these two in most events - so Holland got always just one point less when Finns won. In truck pull and (tailored) overhead trow Finns placed fifth. 

Holland deserved to win, they got it all right and were the best team! But it doesn't usually happen that there 
are two teams this much better than the others. If this happens, one should really get more points from winning events. In one-man competitions this is hardly a problem - for example if the winner does 45m in Farmer's walk, it's not likely that you get 2nd place with only 35m. But when you have teams... well. 

There aren't many countries right now who have more than one world-class strongman. Some famous guys are also out of shape, like England's Jamie Reeved and Bill Pittock, who came last. 

Nervertheless, congratualations to the dutchmen, they had a perfect competition!