EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Lancashire strongman Graham Hicks lifts new British record
Lancashire strongman Graham Hicks is celebrating today after writing himself into the history books yet again - this time by lifting a new British Log Lift record.
The recently crowned Britain's Strongest Man raised an impressive 214kg, almost 34st.
It narrowly smashed the previous record which was held by retired former World Strongest Man Eddie Hall.
But Morecambe muscle man Graham was disappointed not to lift a new world record, currently 228kg, held by strongman legend Zydrunas 'Big Z' Savickas.
He also narrowly missed out on pressing 220kg - the second heaviest log lift in history - which saw Burkina Faso's cartwheeling strongman Iron Biby win the log lift event which launched Europe's Strongest Man at Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday.
They lifted logs, flipped giant tyres, dragged chains and gripped hold of the Pillars of Hercules - a spectacular new showpiece, which threatens to pull the strongmen apart, as they are try to hold two giant pillars upright, for as long as possible.
Lancashire strongman veteran Mark Felix, of Rishton, just days from is 53rd birthday, gave inspiration to every middle aged strongman fan when he set a new world record at the event.
Game Of Thrones superstar and World's Strongest Man Hafþór 'Thor' Björnsson hammered the opposition to retain his European strongman crown - winning it a record fifth time.
Hicks, aged 33, by day a British Aerospace systems support worker, who services Eurofighters when he’s not lifting logs or carrying cars, was not fit enough to compete for the European crown.
Of missing out on the log lift world record, or winning the event, he said: "I'm a bit disappointed overall. I attempted 220kg. I had it locked out. I just didn't stabilise it. I didnt have the full build up I wanted for this show. I haven't been training heavy a lot. Just literally six weeks build up for this show.
"I'm more disappointed because I did 220kg in training.
"My goals for the future are to retain the British title then get the world log lift record. They are both realistic goals, especially the log lift now. There's only two people have pressed 220kg logs and I was a fraction away of having it. I had t locked. I just didn't stabilise it. It was great referring. If I had got the down come hand and I watched the video back I wouldn't have been happy that I had got it."
The dad of two, expecting his third child this summer, also revealed he is putting family first so will not planning to take part in any more strongman competitions this year - including the World's Strongest Man finals.
Hicks, a four times World’s Strongest Man competitor, twice runner up at Europe’s Strongest Man and third in 2014, added "My wife is due in 12 weeks so that's the next big step for me and my focus now. I don't think I'll do any more comps this year, just keep myself in relative shape.
"I've spoken to the World's Strongest Man organisers. The unfortunate thing for me is it is two weeks before her due date and unfortunately I'm in the position at the moment that I'm the only person that can care for my kids, if she goes into labour. We don't have any support that way. She wants me to go, she keeps telling me. But I've made my mind up. Family first. It's ot my profession."
Tickets for all Giants Live events including World’s Strongest Man Qualifying Tour at SSE Wembley on Saturday, July 6, Manchester Arena, Saturday, September 7 and Britain’s Strongest Man 2020 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on Saturday, January 18, and Europe’s Strongest Man 2020 at Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday, April 4, are now available via www.giants-live.com.
Four times World’s Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw, USA's near 7ft and 35st colossus from Colorado, was unfit to take part as planned in the log lift first event of the night but made a guest appearance and vowed to go for the world record at the next Giants Live event at the 2019 World’s Strongest Man Qualifying Tour at the SSE Arena Wembley on July 6.
Eddie Hall made a brief competitive comeback when he took on legendary Lithuanian strongman Vytautas Lalas in an arm wrestling competition after the main event - and narrowly lost. It sparked fan calls for arm wrestling to be reintroduced into strongman competitions.
Organiser Colin Bryce said: "What another great night we've had. Thor really was a mountain too big to climb for the rest, retaining his crown and winnng the Europe's Strongest Man title for a record fifth time. Graham Hicks lifted a new British log lift title and Mark Felix showed at almost 53 you can still set a world record. Amazing. Leeds we will be back as long as they will have us. Thanks for the support."
BUY TICKETS: Tickets for Giants Live Europe’s Strongest Man 2020 at Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday, April 4, are now on sale. Call 0844 248 1585 or visit www.firstdirectarena.com.
Tickets for all Giants Live events including World’s Strongest Man Qualifying Tour at SSE Wembley on Saturday, July 6, Manchester Arena, Saturday, September 7 and Britain’s Strongest Man 2020 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on Saturday, January 18, are available via www.giants-live.com.