BRADENTON, Fla. — The creators of “Game of Thrones” might have approved of the finish of the 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition as “The Mountain” was taken down by “The Dragon.”
US representative Martins Licis, known as The Dragon, won his first WSM title on Sunday by defeating defending champion Hafthor Julius Bjornsson of Iceland, best known as The Mountain from “Game of Thrones.”
Just like his “GoT” character, Bjornsson, 30, didn’t go down without a fight, but Licis, 28, managed to take down the 6-foot-9, 425-pound Icelandic giant without a knife to the head or a long fall into fire.
Bjornsson was not at 100% for most of the competition. He was limping during the first day of qualifying rounds, and it was later confirmed that he tore his plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes.
At 6-foot-2 and 331 pounds, the smaller Licis tells The Post that he prepared for the competition “by lifting weights and eating food and sleeping a lot. And watching cartoons.” He says his favorite cartoon is “One-Punch Man,” a Japanese manga series.
Unlike his “GoT” character, Bjornsson, who finished third, immediately embraced Licis after his victory. Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski finished second.
In March, Licis finished 4 ½ points behind Bjornsson in the Arnold Strongman Classic in Ohio.
“Placing second in the Arnold was like a wake-up call and especially being that close to Thor. I knew I could win [World’s Strongest Man],” says Licis.
This is the 12th victory for the US in the World’s Strongest Man in the 42-year history of the event. Licis, who lives in California, was born in Latvia, so he considers his victory the first for Latvia as well.
The 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition will be televised with the first episode on Sunday, June 30, on CBS. The next nine episodes will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network with the finals to be shown on CBS.
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