Morecambe strongman Graham Hicks targets world's top 10 after impressing at Europe's Strongest Man
Graham Hicks is hoping to crack the world's top 10 after finishing fifth in Europe's Strongest Man in Leeds.
The Morecambe man ran some of the best on the planet close at the First Direct Arena on Saturday and having come third in Britain earlier in the year, now heads to the Philippines at the end of the month to again take his place at World’s Strongest Man.
But having previously been knocked out in the qualifiers on four occasions Hicks is now determined to take the next step in Manila.
"My own goal is to make the final,” said the 32-year-old British Aerospace engineer.
“There are five heats and the top two guys in each make the final.
“For me to be in the top 10 in the world would be a great achievement.
"Maybe I can take a step forward from there. It's baby steps for me. So I want to get to the final and come up with a new goal.
"It's time that I started believing I am one of the names.
“Sometimes I pinch myself when I'm in the line up and I see my name against these other names, because I've been a fan for so long.
“I've started to realise I am one of these guys now and I can beat them.”
In Leeds Game Of Thrones strongman superstar HafþoÌr 'Thor' BjoÌˆrnsson took the title as competititors took on the log lift, deadlift, farmer's walk, car walk and the sport's famed Atlas Stones finale.
Konstantine Janashia was second and Matuesz Kieliszkowski third while four-times World's Strongest Man Å½ydrÅ«nas 'Big Z' Savickas had to settle for fourth.
Hicks thinks it's Thor's time to life the World Strongest Man title this year.
"You can never count out USA's Brian Shaw,” he said.
“Brian and Thor are genetically gifted and determined professionals.
“When they wake up in the morning, to the point they go to bed, it's all about strongman. Eat, sleep, repeat.
“Those are the two guys at the pinnacle of our sport.
“Thor appears to have take a bit of a leap forward. He is tough to beat and is due a World's Strongest Man win.
“I do think he will win this year. He' the strongest man never to have won it."
The next Giants Live: World's Strongest Man Tour Finals is at Manchester Arena, September 15, 2018. Tickets Â£2 to Â£250 at www.manchester-arena.com. A new Giants Live clothing range has been launched at store.giants-live.com