Quebec strongman Jean-François Caron got off to a good start in the World’s Strongest Man competition on Thursday in Bradenton, Florida, by winning both events in his qualifying group.
Ranked fifth in the world for strongmen, Caron dominated the Farmer’s March and Squat events in Group 4.
The farmer’s walk involves carrying 150 kg weights in each hand for the longest distance possible. Caron managed to climb 48.20 meters, almost three meters more than his main rival.
Ukrainian Oleksii Novikov, in Group 3, was the best performer in this event, carrying the weights over 57.54 meters.
The squat event consists of lifting as many times as possible a crossbar of 315 kg, placed on the shoulders, in a period of 60 seconds.
Caron has done it 11 times, finishing tied for the lead in his group with Bobby Thompson.
The qualifying events, which have been moved indoors due to difficult weather conditions, will continue in Florida on Friday.
Nine-time Canadian Strongman Champion, Caron is among the favorites for the finals, which will be played Saturday and Sunday and will include six events.
The athlete from the municipality of Les Hauteurs, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, finished fourth in 2019 and fifth in 2018.
The absence of adversaries such as the Icelandic Hafpor Julius Bjornsson, who personified the Mountain in Game Of Thrones and which ranks second in the world, allows the 38-year-old Quebecer to believe in his chances for the podium.
In total, 25 athletes are vying for the prestigious title. Among them, there is also the Franco-Ontarian Maxime Boudreault who is making his first appearance at World’s Strongest Man.