A milestone moment for a young strongman.

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Pavlo Kordiyaka is the 2023 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) champion. The Ukrainian strongman prevailed in the 13-athlete contest featuring the strongest active athletes with European lineage. The prestigious competition took place on Apr. 1, 2023, in Leeds, England, and ultimately saw Kordiyaka crowned as its king.

Former defending ESM champion and fellow Ukrainian countryman Oleksii Novikov finished in second place. Novikov was notably nursing a recent minor lat muscle injury, and that may have played a part in falling short of defending his title. According to Strongman Archives, despite the injury and runner-up result, it is Novikov’s eighth podium placing in his last nine contests dating back to early 2022. Rounding out this year’s ESM podium was Latvia’s Aivars Šmaukstelis, winner of the 2022 World Strongman Championships (WSC), in third place. It is Šmaukstelis’ seventh consecutive podium result dating back to August 2022.

The 2023 ESM featured five events in this order:

To notch his victory, Kordiyaka won the Log Press Ladder (five lifts in 52.55 seconds), the Load and Push Race (a time of 44.14 seconds), and the Conan’s Wheel (with a rotation of 1009-degrees; almost three complete revolutions). That rotation length is a new World Record on the Conan’s Wheel. Kordiyaka recorded three reps of the 350-kilogram (771.6-pound) Deadlift in one minute for sixth place. The athlete ranked second on the Castle Stones (an Atlas Stones variation) when he lifted all five in 21.76 seconds. Only Šmaukstelis fared better (five in 20.47 seconds).

Here are the final standings from the 2023 ESM:

2023 Europe’s Strongest Man Final Standings

  • Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine) — 57.5 points
  • Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) — 53.5 points
  • Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia) — 51.5 points
  • Eythór Ingólfsson Melsted (Iceland) — 45.5 points
  • Adam Bishop (United Kingdom) — 41.5 points
  • Shane Flowers (United Kingdom) — 37 points
  • Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland) — 36.5 points
  • Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) — 30.5 points
  • Dennis Kohlruss (Germany) — 26 points
  • Paul Smith (United Kingdom) — 25.5 points
  • Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom) — 17.5 points
  • Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf (France) — 16.5 points
  • Graham Hicks (United Kingdom) — 8 points

Per Strongman Archives, this ESM triumph could arguably be the best of Kordiyaka’s career to date. The 27-year-old can also boast wins in the 2020 Ukraine’s Strongest Man (USM), the 2021 Official Strongman Games (OSG), and the 2022 Marijampole International. His previous best finish in the ESM was a fourth-place debut in 2022.

Kordiyaka will next compete in the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) on Apr. 19-23, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC. He failed to advance to the Final in his 2022 WSM debut. Momentum from his 2023 ESM win might push Kordiyaka to thrive on this next occasion.

Featured image: @pavlo_kordiyaka on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

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