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Highlands athlete Tom Stoltman says he kept a promise to his mum by winning World's Strongest Man

By Will Clark

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TOM Stoltman says he has turned his dream into a reality of becoming the world’s strongest man.

The Invergordon athlete became the first man from Scotland to become world champion after claiming the title in Sacramento, California last night.

The 6ft 8 giant was pushed all the way by American four-time world champion Brian Shaw in the final which became a two-horse race.

But the 27-year-old powered his way to the title in the final event of the Atlas Stones which Stoltman is a specialist.

Stoltman said he made a promise to his mum, who passed away in 2016, that he would win the World’s Strongest Man in an interview with former champion now commentator Eddie Hall.

He says he was proud that he has realised his ambition and kept that promise.

“It means everything, since I started this journey I have always wanted to win World’s Strongest Man and I get to compete against my heroes,” he said.

“In 2019, I said to Eddie Hall live on camera in three years time I would win the world’s strongest man and I’m standing here and I made my dream a reality.

“I said I was going to make a promise to my Mum.”

Stoltman took a nine-point lead after the first two events when he won the giant’s medley and titan’s turntable.

Shaw won the third event in the keg toss which Stoltman had to share second place with Canadian Maxime Boudreault.

Stoltman had a disastrous fourth event in the max log lift when he came eighth with Shaw only managing fifth. The fourth event was won by Tom’s older brother Luke, who finished seventh overall in the final.

Stoltman’s big lead evaporated to just one point after the fifth event when he finished ninth in the deadlif,t with Shaw finishing fourth going into the final event.

But in the Atlas Stones, Stoltman powered his way to victory by taking maximum points lifting five stones in 20.21 seconds to become world champion by three points.

Shaw claimed silver while Boudreault won bronze.

Despite losing momentum after winning the first two events, Stoltman was always confident he could win the title while still in the lead going into his favourite event in the final round.

“I used to think negatively and lose points and would go downhill,” he said.

“When Brian Shaw came back it was a battle and it was written that it was going to be me against Brian on the stones.

“To finish him off at the end it was a really good feeling. My hamstring was playing up a wee bit, but I kept my cool. I knew Brian was behind me so I just had to keep focussed.

“I was one point in front but I was going into my event which is the Atlas Stones. I never second guessed my tactics in my stone run.

“I vision it before I go and every time I do it is the same, I go over and over it. But what a battle.”

Tom’s brother Luke missed out on the podium on the final event when he could only lift four atlas stones which saw him drop from third to seventh place.

However, the 36-year-old said he was hugely proud of what his younger brother achieved.

“I don’t think there is a prouder person on planet Earth right now," said Luke.

“Tom had a plan, he stuck to it and he fulfilled his promise to my mum.

“I am really proud of him and I can’t wait to party.”

Final results

1 Tom Stoltman (Scotland) 45.5pts

2 Brian Shaw (United States) 42.5pts

3 Maxime Boudreault (Canada) 36.5pts

4 Trey Mithell (United States) 35 pts

5 JF Caron (Canada) 34 pts

6 Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) 32.5pts

7 Luke Stoltman (Scotland) 32 pts

8 Adam Bishop (England) 27 pts

9 Bobby Thompson (United States) 23.5 pts

10 Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted (Iceland) 20.5pts

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