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Shahlaei in 2009
25 December 1982
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
|Residence||Swindon, Wiltshire, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||353 lb (160 kg)|
Laurence "Loz" Shahlaei (born 25 December 1982) is an English strongman competitor, winner of England's Strongest Man and Britain's Strongest Man, and regular competitor at the World's Strongest Man. He was the 2016 Europe's Strongest Man champion.
Shahlaei was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the son of an Iranian father from Kermanshah and an English mother from Newcastle upon Tyne. He attended Balcarras School, and later moved to Stroud, Gloucestershire.
Shahlaei started strongman training in 2005 and entered his first novice competition that year, where he finished 8th. Within two years, he entered his first Britain's Strongest Man ("BSM"), having won the Midlands qualifier. In that competition, he made a huge impact, making it to the final, only to tear his biceps in the tyre flip, which forced him to withdraw. He won the Midlands qualifier again in 2008, and once again made the final, this time finishing 4th behind Jimmy Marku, Terry Hollands, and Mark Felix. This placing landed him an invite to the World's Strongest Man in 2008. Despite his impressive win in the squat, he did not make the final.
In 2009, just four years after beginning strongman, he became the UKSC Midlands Strongest Man and also won the UKSC England's Strongest Man, citing this, alongside his WSM 2008 squat win, as the greatest moment of his career (the WSM qualifier titled "England's Strongest Man", which replaced the Britain's Strongest Man contest in 2009, was won by Terry Hollands and Shahlaei did not compete in that). His favourite strongman event is the farmer's walk because it is a good test of natural strength, whereas his least favourite strongman event is the Atlas stones. Shahlaei has said that he admires Bill Kazmaier and Vasyl Virastyuk for their intensity and belief in themselves, qualities he seeks to emulate, and that he believes the greatest strength athlete of all time is Zydrunas Savickas.
Laurence competed in World's Ultimate Strongman in Dubai at the Bab al-Shams Arena in October 2018. It is said that the prize money was 'more than ever before'. He competed against other top Strongmen such as Brian Shaw, Thor, Terry Hollands, Martins Liscis etc. Going in to the competition, Laurence was still recovering from a few minor injuries, and said he was going to do himself proud and not focus on the other athletes. After 5 gruelling events including a truck pull, silver dollar deadlift and overhead pressing medley, Laurence finished 5th, ahead of many other top athletes, proving he is still among the World's elite.
Laurence Shahlaei's next competition is Britain's Strongest Man which will take place at the Fly DSA Arena in Sheffield in January 2019. With Eddie Hall having withdrawn from competing in Strongman after dominating the British scene for the last few years to go in to acting and presenting, Laurence has said publicly that he is aiming to claim back his title of the strongest man in Britain, but standing in his way will be other top British Athletes, including Terry Hollands , Adam Bishop , and Graham Hicks .
Shahlaei has said that he would like to set up a sports related business in the future, but his dream is to become an actor. He had a role in The Golden Compass (2007).
In August 2012, Shahlaei opened a personal training business in Swindon, Wiltshire.. Laurence has since written various training programmes which he sells via his website, as well as various other merchandise labelled 'Team Loz'.
- Bench press max: 220 kg
- Squat max: 400 kg
- Deadlift max: 435 kg (accurate as of 2014 World Deadlift Championship event)
Jimmy Marku (in 2008)
| Britain's Strongest Man
| England's Strongest Man (Elite/UKSC)
Eddie Hall (Elite)
Dean Slater (UKSC)