International Federation of Strength Athletes

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For other uses, see IFSA (disambiguation).
International Federation of Strength Athletes
IFSALogo.jpg
Type Sports federation
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Official language
English
Managing Director
Christian Fennell

The International Federation of Strength Athletes (IFSA or IFSA Strongman) was an international governing body for strongman competition. IFSA operated from 1995-2007 and was based in Glasgow, Scotland.[1]

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

In 1995, David Webster, a Scotsman who later received an OBE for his services to sport and head coordinator of the World's Strongest Man from its inception, and his colleague Dr Douglas Edmunds, seven-times Scottish shot and discus champion and twice world caber champion,[2] along with representatives from the competitors in strength athletics including Jamie Reeves, Ilkka Kinnunen and Marcel Mostert formed a governing body called the International Federation of Strength Athletes ("IFSA"). IFSA ran its own grand prix events from 1995-2001 in cooperation with WSM. IFSA began co-producing the Strongman Super Series events from 2001-2004, still in cooperation with WSM. IFSA entered an agreement with World Class Events (WCE), headed by Ulf Bengtsson, to run the Strongman Super Series. The Strongman Super Series was designed to award the annual Strongman World Championship title, but also acted as a qualifying vehicle for the World's Strongest Man contest.

Split with WSM[edit]

For almost a decade IFSA and WSM worked in full cooperation, but this changed at the end of the 2004 season when IFSA returned to organizing its own grand prix events and World Strongman Championships from 2005-2007. The InvestGroup Ventures' sports rights management arm, InvestGroup Sports Management, invested heavily into IFSA and this led to the creation of IFSA Strongman. The strategy was to acquire most of the international assets and properties relating to the strongman sport. In essence this was a new organization[3] with some, such as Magnus Samuelsson describing it as "a new company...with the same name as our old federation".[4] The attempt at dominance was not well received by TWI/WSM and disagreement ensued leading to a split in the sport. When IFSA and WSM split in 2004, the Strongman Super Series sided with TWI/WSM forming a rival federation to the IFSA.[3] With the WSM being a TWI owned event, IFSA Holdings announced its own World Strongman Championships for 2005, to be held in Quebec, and thus from that point had no involvement in the WSM contest. From this point, IFSA continued to organize the annual IFSA World Strongman Championships and a series of Grand Prix events throughout the year. Between 2005 and 2007 IFSA had their own version of other major events such as a rival IFSA version of Europe's Strongest Man, known as Europe's Strongest Man (IFSA).

Thus, the world of strength athletics became fragmented, with a number of individuals being able to lay claim to be the strongest in the world by virtue of having won mutually exclusive events. Athletes affiliated to IFSA Strongman were not allowed to compete in the World's Strongest Man ("WSM"), which is produced by TWI and thus neither WSM and its associated Strongman Super Series nor the IFSA circuit could claim to have a comprehensive field of the top athletes. Some events did exist that bridged the divide between the major organizations, such as the Arnold Strongman Classic and Fortissimus.

Dissolution of IFSA/birth of SCL[edit]

After the 2007 IFSA World Championships in South Korea, news began to circulate of athletes not being paid, and equipment shipping costs not being honored.[5] IFSA eventually ended up owing $63,000[5] for shipping their equipment from England to South Korea and finally to Philadelphia. When the money was not paid, the equipment was put up for sale and was eventually purchased by other strongman contest promoters.[6] The 2007 IFSA World Championships would be the final contest ran solely by and under the banner of IFSA.

In 2008 IFSA executives Ilkka Kinnunen and Marcel Mostert developed the Strongman Champions League and negotiated with IFSA to use its athletes. However, the dissolution of IFSA meant that since the end of 2007, the Strongman Champions League still operated independent of IFSA. Gradually, the last vestiges of IFSA influence began to diminish which led to the breaking down of barriers between the various concurrent circuits. Strength athletes were able to compete in more than one circuit and did so, with a cross over of athletes between the Giants Live circuit, the Strongman Champions League and the Strongman Super Series being apparent. The 2009 World's Strongest Man was therefore anticipated by the strength athletics world as promising to be "the best one yet"[7] because the organisers could ensure invites were made to "every top athlete in the world" regardless of their affiliation to any particular strength athletics body.

IFSA Strongman World Championships[edit]

IFSA Strongman World Championships
IFSALogo.jpg
Tournament information
Location Various international locations
Established 2005
Final year 2007
Format Multi-event competition
Purse varies
Final champion
Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk

2005: IFSA Strongman World Championships[edit]

Dates: 25 September 2005 Quebec City, Canada Canada

Position Name Country Points
1. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania 103
2. Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine 96
3. Mikhail Koklyaev Russia 93.5
4. Andrus Murumets Estonia 86
5. Raimonds Bergmanis Latvia 84.5
6. Phil Pfister United States 82.5
7. Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 81.5
8. Magnus Samuelsson Sweden 69
9. Robert Szczepanski Poland 67
10. Travis Ortmayer United States 64.5
11. Geoff Dolan Canada 54.5
12. Karl Gillingham United States 43

2006: IFSA Strongman World Championships[edit]

Dates: 24, 25 November 2006 Reykjavik, Iceland Iceland

  • This was the first year that qualifying heats were used. There were 3 heats, with the top 4 from each heat moving on to the finals.

Heat 1[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Mikhail Koklyaev Russia 31.5
2. Benedikt Magnusson Iceland 26.5
3. Saulius Brusokas Lithuania 23
4. Nick Best United States 22
5. Igor Pedan Russia 21
6. Geoff Dolan Canada 19
7. Anders Johansson Sweden 17
8. Tomi Lotta Finland 13

Heat 2[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania 32.5
2. Andrus Murumets Estonia 28.5
3. Oli Thompson United Kingdom 25
4. Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 24.5
5. Steve MacDonald United States 23.5
6. Jarno Hams Netherlands 22.5
7. Georg Ogmundsson Iceland 11.5
8. Ettiene Smit South Africa 11

Heat 3[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Robert Szczepanski Poland 30
2. Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine 30
3. Ervin Katona Serbia 28
4. Travis Ortmayer United States 27.5
5. Stefan Solvi Petursson Iceland 26
6. Agris Kazelniks Latvia 20.5
7. Janne Illikainen Finland 13
8. Bernd Kerschbaumer Austria 3

Finals[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania 80.5
2. Mikhail Koklyaev Russia 78.5
3. Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine 72
4. Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 70
5. Andrus Murumets Estonia 55
6. Robert Szczepanski Poland 46.5
7. Benedikt Magnusson Iceland 44.5
8. Oli Thompson United Kingdom 43
9. Nick Best United States 38
10. Travis Ortmayer United States 35
11. Saulius Brusokas Lithuania 33.5
12. Ervin Katona Serbia 20.5

2007: IFSA Strongman World Championships[edit]

Dates: 12–15 September 2007 Geumsan, South Korea South Korea

  • The 2007 competition included 6 qualifying heats, with the top 2 from each heat moving on to the finals.

Heat 1[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Mikhail Koklyaev Russia 19
2. Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 16
3. Agris Kazelniks Latvia 8
4. Vladomyr Muravlov Ukraine 7

Heat 2[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Derek Poundstone United States 16
2. Jarno Hams Netherlands 13
3. Georg Ogmundsson Iceland 10
4. Mick Holding United Kingdom 10

Heat 3[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Andrus Murumets Estonia 14
2. Van Hatfield United States 14
3. Nick Best United States 13
4. Matt Wanat United States 8

Heat 4[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine 15
2. Tom McClure United States 15
3. Igor Pedan Russia 15
4. Suck Young South Korea 1

Heat 5[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Ervin Katona Serbia 16
2. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania 15
3. Ettiene Smit South Africa 12
4. Hoygeun Min South Korea 4

Heat 6[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Saulius Brusokas Lithuania 16
2. Robert Szczepanski Poland 15
3. Travis Ortmayer United States 14
4. Bumsoo Han South Korea 2

Finals[edit]

Position Name Country Points
1. Vasyl Virastyuk Ukraine 57.5
2. Mikhail Koklyaev Russia 52.5
3. Zydrunas Savickas Lithuania 51.5
4. Derek Poundstone United States 50.5
5. Andrus Murumets Estonia 46.5
6. Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania 41.5
7. Robert Szczepanski Poland 40
8. Van Hatfield United States 32.5
9. Saulius Brusokas Lithuania 29.5
10. Tom McClure United States 26
11. Ervin Katona Serbia 20.5
12. Jarno Hams Netherlands 17.5

Grand Prix events[edit]

1995[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
World's Strongest Viking 1995 Germany Heinz Ollesch Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Iceland Torfi Olaffson Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
Lithuania Grand Prix 1995 Wales Gary Taylor Scotland Forbes Cowan Lithuania Stasys Mecius Lithuania Lithuania
Manfred Hoeberl Classic 1995 Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Wales Gary Taylor Germany Heinz Ollesch Austria Austria
Scandinavia's Strongest Man 1995 Denmark Flemming Rasmussen

1996[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
World's Strongest Viking 1996 Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Iceland Torfi Olaffson Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark Grand Prix 1996 Finland Riku Kiri Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Denmark Denmark
Lithuania Grand Prix 1996 Finland Riku Kiri Germany Heinz Ollesch Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Lithuania Lithuania
Scandinavia's Strongest Man 1996 Denmark Flemming Rasmussen

1997[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
European Open 1997 Finland Riku Kiri South Africa Gerrit Badenhorst Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Netherlands Netherlands
World's Strongest Viking 1997 Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
Lithuania Grand Prix 1997 Lithuania Stasys Mecius Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Lithuania Lithuania
Scandinavia's Strongest Man 1997 Denmark Flemming Rasmussen

1998[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Faroe Grand Prix 1998 Atlantic Giants Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Norway Svend Karlsen Finland Riku Kiri Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
Germany Grand Prix 1998 Finland Riku Kiri Finland Jouko Ahola Germany Heinz Ollesch Germany Germany
Helsinki Grand Prix 1998 Finland Jouko Ahola Iceland Magnus Ver Magnusson Norway Svend Karlsen Finland Helsinki, Finland
Hungary Grand Prix 1998 Finland Riku Kiri Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Hungary László Fekete Hungary Hungary
Lithuania Grand Prix 1998 United Kingdom Jamie Reeves Lithuania Raimunds Kencivikius South Africa Wayne Price Lithuania Lithuania

1999[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Viking of the North 1999 Canada Hugo Girard Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Janne Virtanen Iceland Iceland
Nordic Strongman Championships 1999 Finland Matti Uppa
Faroe Grand Prix 1999 Atlantic Giants Finland Jouko Ahola Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Janne Virtanen Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
Czech Grand Prix 1999 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Jouko Ahola American Samoa Joe Onosai Czech Republic Prague
Helsinki Grand Prix 1999 Finland Jouko Ahola Finland Sami Heinonen Finland Janne Virtanen Finland Helsinki, Finland
Hungary Grand Prix 1999 Netherlands Berend Veneberg South Africa Gerrit Badenhorst Finland Jouko Ahola Hungary Hungary
Holland Grand Prix 1999 South Africa Gerrit Badenhorst Finland Jouko Ahola Netherlands Berend Veneberg Netherlands Holland

2000[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Czech Grand Prix 2000 Czech Republic Jan Bartl Norway Svend Karlsen Germany Martin Muhr Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic
Ireland Grand Prix 2000 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Janne Virtanen Norway Svend Karlsen Republic of Ireland Ireland
Polish Grand Prix 2000 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Janne Virtanen Poland Jarek Dymek Poland Poland
Helsinki Grand Prix 2000 Finland Janne Virtanen Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Norway Svend Karlsen Finland Helsinki, Finland
Romania Grand Prix 2000 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Janne Virtanen Denmark Rene Minkfitz Romania Romania
Faroe Grand Prix 2000 Atlantic Giants Faroe Islands Regin Vagadal Finland Janne Virtanen Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
China Grand Prix 2000 IFSA World Finals Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Canada Hugo Girard Finland Janne Virtanen China China

2001[edit]

IFSA co-produced the Strongman Super Series events from 2001-2004 along with World Class Events (WCE)/Ulf Bengtsson.

The official logo of IFSA World Strongman Super Series from 2001 to 2004
Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Holland Grand Prix 2001 Netherlands Wout Zijlstra Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Norway Svend Karlsen Netherlands Holland
Czech Grand Prix 2001[8] Canada Hugo Girard Norway Svend Karlsen Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic
Sweden Grand Prix 2001 2001 Super Series Finals Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Canada Hugo Girard Norway Svend Karlsen Sweden Älvsjö, Stockholm
Overall placings Sweden Magnus Samuelsson (15pts) Canada Hugo Girard (13pts) Norway Svend Karlsen (13pts)

2002[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Scotland Grand Prix (World Muscle Power 2002) Norway Svend Karlsen Canada Hugo Girard Finland Janne Virtanen Scotland Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Sweden Grand Prix 2002 (Hammer Strength) Canada Hugo Girard Norway Svend Karlsen Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
Hawaii Grand Prix 2002 2002 Super Series Finals Canada Hugo Girard Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski United States Honolulu, Hawaii
Overall placings Canada Hugo Girard Norway Svend Karlsen Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas

2003/04[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Hawaii Grand Prix 2003 Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas United States Honolulu, Hawaii
Holland Grand Prix 2003 Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Netherlands Jarno Hams Netherlands Holland
Canada Grand Prix 2003 Canada Hugo Girard Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Norway Svend Karlsen Canada North Bay, Ontario Canada
Finland Grand Prix 2003 Canada Hugo Girard Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis Finland Finland
2004 Arnold Strongman Classic 2003/04 Super Series Finals Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Norway Svend Karlsen Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis United States Columbus, Ohio
Overall placings Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis

2004[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
Moscow Grand Prix Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk Russia Moscow, Russia
Sweden Grand Prix Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Norway Svend Karlsen Sweden Gothenburg, Sweden
Overall placings Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski/
Sweden Magnus Samuelsson

2005[edit]

Beginning in 2005, IFSA cut all ties with World's Strongest Man and Strongman Super Series and began hosting their own grand prix events and world championships from 2005-2007.

Name and Location Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
Latvia IFSA European Championships Riga, Latvia Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Finland Tomi Lotta Estonia Andrus Murumets
Netherlands Holland Finland Tomi Lotta Netherlands Jarno Hams Denmark Rene Minkwitz
Hungary Hungary Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Denmark Rene Minkwitz South Africa Ettiene Smit
Russia Russia Russia Mikhail Koklyaev
Norway IFSA Nordic Championships Kristiansand, Norway Norway Svend Karlsen Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Finland Juha-Matti Räsänen
Dubai Dubai Finland Tomi Lotta
Denmark Denmark Denmark Rene Minkwitz United States Van Hatfield Finland Juha Aitilla
Brazil IFSA Pan-American Championships Sao Paulo, Brazil United States Phil Pfister United States Travis Ortmayer United States Karl Gillingham
Brazil IFSA World Open Sao Paulo, Brazil Russia Mikhail Koklyaev Norway Svend Karlsen Poland Robert Szczepanski
Sint Maarten IFSA World Team Championships Sint Maarten Team Europe
Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas
Germany Heinz Ollesch
Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis
Estonia Andrus Murumets
Team Pan-America
United States Jon Andersen
United States Travis Ortmayer
United States Van Hatfield
Canada Geoff Dolan
Team World
United Kingdom Eddy Ellwood
United Kingdom Mark Felix
Russia Mikhail Koklyaev
Hungary Adam Darasz

2006[edit]

Name and Location Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
Cyprus Cyprus United States Travis Ortmayer Russia Igor Pedan Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis
Dubai Dubai Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Canada Geoff Dolan Estonia Andrus Murumets
Netherlands Holland Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas United States Jon Andersen Netherlands Jarno Hams
Hungary Hungary Russia Mikhail Koklyaev Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk United States Travis Ortmayer
Latvia Latvia Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis Russia Mikhail Koklyaev
United States Tulsa, Oklahoma World Strongman Challenge[9] Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas United States Derek Poundstone United States Jon Andersen
Lithuania Lithuania Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Lithuania Vidas Blekaitis Russia Igor Pedan
Serbia Serbia Serbia Ervin Katona Canada Geoff Dolan Poland Sebastian Wenta
Ukraine Ukraine Poland Sebastian Wenta Russia Igor Pedan Ukraine Viktor Yurcenko
Finland Finland Estonia Andrus Murumets Poland Robert Szczepanski United States Steve MacDonald

2007[edit]

Name and Location Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
Latvia Latvia Estonia Andrus Murumets Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk Lithuania Vidas Blekaitis
Lithuania Lithuania Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Estonia Andrus Murumets Finland Janne Illikainen
Europe Europe's Strongest Man (IFSA) Ukraine Vasyl Virastyuk Estonia Andrus Murumets Lithuania Vidas Blekaitis
Netherlands Holland Netherlands Jarno Hams South Africa Ettiene Smit Iceland Georg Ogmundsson
Bulgaria Bulgaria Poland Robert Szczepanski Finland Janne Illikainen Serbia Ervin Katona
Lithuania IFSA 2-Man Team World Championships Vilnius, Lithuania Lithuania Team Lithuania
Zydrunas Savickas
Vidas Blekaitis
Russia Team Russia
Mikhail Koklyaev
Igor Pedan
United States Team USA
Derek Poundstone
Tom McClure

Strongman Champions League[edit]

Developed by Ilkka Kinnunen and Marcel Mostert, the Strongman Champions League was launched in 2008 as "a new episode in strongman". It negotiated with IFSA to use its athletes. Since the end of 2008, the Strongman Champions League still operates independently after the dissolution of IFSA:

2008[edit]

The official logo of Strongman Champions League from 2008-present
Name and Location Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Date[10]
Latvia Latvia Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas United States Travis Ortmayer Latvia Agris Kazelniks 22 March
Serbia Serbia Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Serbia Ervin Katona Estonia Andrus Murumets 10 May 2008
Netherlands Holland Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Estonia Andrus Murumets United States Travis Ortmayer 1 June 2008
Bulgaria Bulgaria Estonia Andrus Murumets Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Serbia Ervin Katona 21 June 2008
Lithuania Lithuania Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Lithuania Vidas Blekaitis Lithuania Saulius Brusokas 2 August 2008
Romania Romania Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Serbia Ervin Katona Ukraine Oleksandr Lashyn 16 August 2008
Finland Finland Russia Mikhail Koklyaev Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Serbia Ervin Katona 29 August 2008
Overall placings[11] Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas Serbia Ervin Katona Latvia Agris Kazelniks

Events were planned in the following locations but cancelled: Dubai, Germany and Hungary

UK Regional Competitions[edit]

British Championships (IFSA)[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
2005 England Mark Felix England Oli Thompson England Andrew "Stumpy" Raynes

UK Championship (IFSA)[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
1997 Scotland Stuart Murray England Steve Brooks England Russ Bradley
1999 Northern Ireland Glenn Ross TBC TBC

IFSA England's Strongest Man[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place
2005 England Eddy Ellwood England Mark Felix England Oli Thompson

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official site - history
  2. ^ The Herald Scotland Bring on the war games DOUG GILLON, Athletics Correspondent, 19 May 2007
  3. ^ a b IFSA, WCE, TWI, WSM, ESPN: Who's On First and How Do I Get To World's Strongest Man?, by Randall J. Strossen, IronMind, Thursday, February 10, 2005
  4. ^ Magnus Samelsson Official website
  5. ^ a b http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2008/Mar/IFSA_Going_Going___.html
  6. ^ http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2008/Feb/For_Sale__IFSA_Strongman_Equipment____Strongman_Worlds_in_a_Box.html
  7. ^ World’s Strongest Man 2009: More on the Competitors, Ironmind, Thursday, August 6, 2009 , by Randall J. Strossen
  8. ^ Girard Wins IFSA Prague Super Series by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2008 IronMind
  9. ^ http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2006/May/Savickas_Wins_IFSA_USA_Grand_Prix.html
  10. ^ IFSA Strongman Champions League
  11. ^ Official site of Strongman Champions League

External links[edit]