2022 World’s Strongest Man Qualifier Groups Announced

2022 World's Strongest Man Groups Announced Tom Stoltman
Image via Instagram @tomstoltmanofficial

The qualifier groups for 2022 World’s Strongest Man has finally been announced just one day before the event kicks off.

With just one day left before the event starts, the 2022 World’s Strongest Man qualifier groups have been revealed. Typically, the two biggest mysteries going into the World’s Strongest Man are which events will be scheduled and what the qualifier group match ups will be. These two factors have a big affect on how the event will play out. Now we finally have a clear picture before tomorrow’s qualifying round begins. The 2022 World’s Strongest Man is set to run from May 24-29, 2022 in Sacramento, CA.

The qualifying rounds will run from Tuesday May 24 through to Thursday May 26th. Friday will be a rest day before the finals begin on the weekend (May 28-29). The qualifying round will be broken into five groups – with each fighting to earn their place in the finals and a chance to be the 2022 World’s Strongest Man.

The groups were revealed by Liz and Laurence Shahlaei in a video published to their YouTube channel over the weekend. You can watch the full video below:

Let’s break down each of the groups and what we can expect in this exciting week of the best Strongman athletes facing off for the ultimate title.

2022 World’s Strongest Man Qualifier Groups

The 2022 WSM event is broken down into five groups – each group has the athletes listed in alphabetical order. The top two in each group will move on into the finals. So let’s start with group one.

Group 1

  • Manuel Angulo
  • Kevin Faires
  • Pa O’Dwyer
  • Gabriel Rheaume
  • Aivars Smaukstelis
  • Tom Stoltman

The most notable note about group one is that it features last year’s World’s Strongest Man champion – Tom Stoltman. Stoltman doesn’t necessarily have an easy group going into WSM, but his biggest threats will not cross paths with him during the qualifying round. Stoltman faces off against some veterans and some rising stars – making this a great showcase to see who can stand out against the likes of Stoltman.

It’s likely that Stoltman will earn a top spot to qualify for the finals. But this still leaves a second spot wide open for the rest of the competitors. Aivars Smaukstelis and Kevin Faires have some notable experience competing in the 2021 WSM. So we predict they may have an improved chance over the relative newcomers in the rest of the group.

Group 2

  • Mark Felix
  • Mitchell Hooper
  • Konstantine Janashia
  • Gabriel Peña
  • Brian Shaw
  • Bobby Thompson

The standout name here right off the bat is four time World’s Strongest Man champion Brain Shaw. He’ll also be facing off against the likes of Mark Felix – who will be marking his 17th appearance in this competition. Beyond Felix – the remaining names on this list are all rising stars with something to prove.

It won’t necessarily be an easy slam dunk into the finals for Shaw – but he also has a lot to prove after falling to Stoltman last year. So perhaps the fire in his belly will drive him into the finals. Shaw is, after all, the competitor who holds the record for most consecutive finals appearances in WSM. Hopefully this year will be another notch on that belt.

2022 World's Strongest Man
Image courtesy of Joe Martinez / World’s Strongest Man

Group 3

  • Adam Bishop
  • Rob Kearney
  • Trey Mitchell
  • Oleksii Novikov
  • Grzegorz Szymanski
  • Mike Torro

Oleksii Novikov is one of the stronger competitors in this grouping. However, last year Novikov shocked fans by not making it into the finals. So nothing here is guaranteed. This proves that he is beatable – and will likely help bring more motivation to the rest of the competitors in this group.

Group 4

  • Nedzmin Ambekovic
  • Gavin Bilton
  • Maxime Boudreault
  • Shane Flowers
  • Pavlo Kordiyaka
  • Martins Licis

Martins Licis is coming into this competition hot with a win streak via the 2021 Rogue Invitational and the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic. This likely makes him the best bet to come through and qualify into the finals. That kind of confidence and motivation is hard to come by going into the biggest strongman show of the year – so likely he will use this to come in with a fury.

However, that same confidence can be a boon that makes him too confident and comfortable. Nothing is guaranteed during an event like this. Many competitors bring out something they’ve never achieved before when the WSM title is on the line. We’ll see how the rest of this group challenges Licis going into this week.

Group 5

  • Jean-Stephen Coco
  • Kelvin De Ruiter
  • Eythor Melsted
  • Evan Singleton
  • Luke Stoltman
  • Kim Ujarak

Luke Stoltman is the biggest standout from this group due to being the former Europe’s Strongest Man champion. However, this group is the only one that does not feature any previous World’s Strongest Man champions.

Evan Singleton is another standout competitor due to his 2021 Arnold Strongman UK victory and the 2021 Gaints Live Strongman World Open competition. Perhaps the prize at the end of this event will level up Singleton to a higher quality than we’ve ever seen before. It’s the kind of competition that transforms athletes into GOATs. Only time will tell to see how this group plays out.

Image courtesy of Joe Martinez / World’s Strongest Man

How To Watch The 2022 World’s Strongest Man

While the full video coverage play by play of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man won’t debut on CBS until later this summer – you can still gain access to an exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage and results update this entire week as the event progresses. We’ve done a complete preview breakdown on how to watch and where to get results here for deeper details.

2022 WSM will feature a digital live show this year with former strongman Terry Hollands hosting Backstage Live! Presented by The Beard Struggle, which will be aired on WSM’s Facebook and YouTube channel.

This will give fans a chance to tune in and watch a recap of the events of the day. Hollands will also be on scene speaking to competitors and providing behind-the-scene interviews and access. Fans who watch from home can hear firsthand from competitors and event organizers on the comings of the day.

For those who are present, the World’s Strongest Man will feature the first ever Fan Festival. This will be free to the public and feature food trucks, giveaways, and special events.

Wrap Up

With the events schedule and the qualifier groups fully announced – strongman fans are more hyped than ever to witness the biggest strength event of the year. Generation Iron will be providing full coverage updates – including breaking news and results announcements as they become available. So make sure to stay tuned this entire week for complete coverage of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.