On Saturday, Apr. 2, 2022, Ukrainian strongman Oleksii Novikov again showed why he’s one of the sport’s top active competitors when he captured the title of 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM). Giants Live — one of the more notable institutions in competitive strongman — organized this year’s ESM, which took place in Leeds, England.
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Here are the overall results for this year’s ESM, with Novikov coming out on top.
2022 Europe’s Strongest Man — Overall Results
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) — 52 points
- Luke Stoltman (Scotland) — 48 points
- Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) — 38.5 points
- Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine) — 37 points
- Shane Flowers (United Kingdom) — 36.5 points
- Aivars Smaukstelis (Latvia) — 33 points
- Eythór Ingólfsson Melsted (Iceland) — 29 points
- Marius Lalas (Lithuania) — 28.5 points
- Kelvin de Ruiter (Netherlands) — 23 points
- Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland) — 20 points
- Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom) — 19.5 points
- Rauno Heinla (Estonia) — 13 points (Withdrew following third event)
The win in this year’s ESM gives Novikov his first-ever Europe’s Strongest Man title. He’s also the first-ever Ukraine-born athlete to win the competition. He can add this title to a stellar resume that includes a victory in the annual World’s Strongest Man (WSM) and multiple Ukraine’s Strongest Man (USM) championships.
It’s a commendable mark for Novikov, who became a professional strongman in 2016. Notably, Novikov won this year’s ESM after temporarily pausing his military commitments to Ukraine.
Amidst the turmoil caused by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, 2022, a couple of the sport’s noteworthy names took time to show their respect to Novikov over their Instagram profiles after his win.
“Well done [Oleksii Novikov] for an incredible performance last night. Europe’s Strongest Man 2022. He’s heading home and heading straight back to the front line to defend his country of Ukraine. Sending prayers and best wishes back with you.”
“All from different countries but all showing respect. Supporting our brother [Oleksii Novikov] in his victory and in his fight to have peace in his country. I love this sport, and I love the respect we all show.”
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Meanwhile, Novikov had this to say after the win on his Instagram page.
“Good evening, we are from Ukraine. Without fatigue and incessantly, I prove that Ukrainians are a glorious Cossack family and are one of the strongest nations on the planet,” said Novikov. “Very happy to win, yes, another title in his list ‘The Strongest Man in Europe.’”
Novikov continued his remarks during what he seemed to view as a motivating moment for his nation.
“Thank you for your support all over the world, and in Ukraine, you are just the top,” he said. “I hope for many Ukrainians this victory has become symbolic and will give our defenders the mood and raise the fighting spirit. We will win, there is no doubt. Everything will be Ukraine. We deserve to live better.”
Including this ESM victory, here are some of the more notable finishes of Novikov’s young career:
Oleksii Novikov — Career Results
- WSM Champion — 2020
- USM Champion — 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Giants Live Strongman Classic (GLSC) Champion — 2021
- Arnold Classic (ASC) — 2nd overall (2022)
Given Novikov’s nation’s current status and his patriotic commitments, it’s unclear when he will compete next. He has not yet ruled out this year’s WSM, which is on May 24-29, 2022, in Sacramento, CA.
Whatever follows, Novikov can always revel in the official title of Europe’s Strongest Man.
Featured image: @officialstrongman_ on Instagram.