Wales’ Strongest Man 2022: Amazon worker and ex-rugby player among 12 men vying for title

Twelve men will compete to be named Wales’ strongest man in July in Cardiff.

The bulkiest and best will convene at Cardiff International Sports Stadium on Sunday, July 17, in a bid to be crowned Wales’ strongest man. Matt Dimond will be looking to defend his 2021 title, but he will face competition in the form of two-time UK strongest man Gavin Bilton.

Last year’s runner-up David Ramplee will also be looking to go one better, while the likes of Garret Cann, who finished third, and Luke Sperduti, who finished fourth and lifted the Warriors’ Sword for his impressive performance, will both be intent on improving on their last showings.

The men’s disciplines will run from 1pm to 5pm on July 17. Here’s the running order of the events:

D1. Truck pull arm over arm x2, D2. Block press 90kg-130kg x2, D3. 130kg sack bouldering, D4. Stones of strength 100-160kg, D5. Tire flip x2.

Here are the 12 athletes set to compete for the title:

Luke Sperduti (Gwent)

Having previously served for nearly five years in the British Army, Sperduti now works as an operational specialist at Amazon. He finished fourth last year in the competition despite not having been involved in the sport for very long.

Ben Pascoe (Caerphilly)

The Caerphilly man impressed at the recent qualifiers, finishing in third place on countback. He narrowly missed out on the top 10 in last year’s competition, finishing 11th.

Josh Edwards (Tradegar)

Edwards finished fifth in the competition last year. He has also won the South Wales Cup and Nottingham Strong Summer Open in recent years.

Dave Williams (Powys)

Williams, who hails from Newbridge-on-Wye, placed sixth at the recent qualifiers. Better known as ‘Ducky’, the former Builth Wells High School pupil has already expressed his excitement on social media at the prospect of bringing “something big for July”.

Simon Hammett (Caerphilly)

Hammett snuck into the competition as the last qualifier, having finished seventh in the qualifying event. He also runs Area 51 Strongman gym in Caerphilly, which is where Gavin Bilton trains.

Aaron Moon (Caerphilly)

Another to come through the qualifiers, Moon has previously competed in Caerphilly’s Strongest Man.

Matt Dimond (Llanelli)

He won last year’s event by a single point and is the reigning champion. However, in June’s UK’s Strongest Man, he finished sixth with two other Welshmen, Gavin Bilton and David Ramplee, placing above him.

David Ramplee (Powys)

Last year’s runner-up, Llandrindod Wells native Ramplee had a good showing at the UK’s Strongest Man at the start of June when he finished fifth overall, coming top in the arm-over-arm pull and flag hoist events.

Garret Cann (Rhondda Cynon Taf)

The ‘Cannon’ finished third in Wales’ Strongest Man last year.

Mark Jeanes (Glamorgan)

A four-time Wales’ Strongest Man winner, Jeanes also finished third in UK’s Strongest Man in 2020.

Gavin Bilton (Caerphilly)

The ex-soldier and former Caerphilly RFC second-row is a two-time UK Strongest Man champion and has competed in World’s Strongest Man in recent years. He missed out on a third consecutive UK title this year, finishing third at the start of June behind Paul Smith and Louis Jack.

Gavin Bilton has gone from playing at the Principality Stadium to competing at World’s Strongest Man

Desmond Gahan (Ebbw Vale)

Gahan hasn’t been in the Strongman circuit for long. He placed 10th in 2021 Britain’s strongest man contest and 11th in this year’s event. His career highlight so far is placing second at the Wales Strongest Man competition. Last year, he finished eighth in the event.

You can buy tickets for the event here.


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