Game of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson lost the title of Europe’s strongest man to Laurence Shahlaei from Swindon. The two-time title holder from Iceland failed to score a hat trick after failing to win the title at this year’s competition.
“He’s a great strongman,” BBC quoted Shahlaei as saying about of Björnsson after securing the title for himself. “But it was my day and it felt really good to win.”
Shahlaei, also called the “Big Loz,” is the first English to bag the title in 27 years. The 32-year-old is 6ft 2in (1.9m) tall and weighs 145 kg. The athlete suffered and overcame an injury last week to win the crown.
“I’ve had a rough few years with injuries and to come back and win Europe’s strongest man has just meant the world to me,” he said. “There’s five different events that you have to do. I did a 420 kilo dead lift, which was good enough for joint second and then we did a frame carry – it’s a race and you’re running a 20-metre course while carrying 450 kilos, which is close to 90 stone, and I won that event.”
At the competition, the participants had to lift a 177 kg block above their head, as many times as they can and undertake the Atlas Stone event. But running with Volkswagen Beatle on his shoulders for 20m (65ft) in about 11 seconds won the title for him.
“My favourite of the competition was the car walk. Imagine Fred Flintstone running in his car – that was basically me,” he said. “I actually broke the world record on that event. They made the car even heavier this year and I managed over a second off my world record – which was really, really good.”
The Game of Thrones star played the role of Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane on the highly popular series since season four. The Digital Spy reported that although he has lost out on the title, he is focussing on the world’s strongest man championship, which is to be held later this year.