A Highland hulk has become the first Scot to win the World’s Strongest Man title.
Tom Stoltman promised his mother he would claim the title before she died five years ago, and yesterday, he certainly delivered.
He beat the legendary Brian Shaw in a dramatic Atlas Stones showdown in front of packed crowd in Sacramento, California.
His brother Luke came seventh and they shared an emotional moment in which they remembered their mother, Sheila.
‘Surreal’ to win despite vow
Tom, from Invergordon, promised her he would take the title and admitted it felt “surreal” to have now done that.
The 27-year-old told USA Today Sports: “I told one of the guys a few years ago that in a few years’ time I was going to win World’s Strongest Man for my mum. Three years later, I’ve done that, and it just feels surreal.
“My mum was the reason. When I make a promise, I want to fulfill that promise. I just used the adrenaline, and her and my family back home as well. I just put it all up into one big ball and use that to help me get over the [finish] line.”
Proud wife Sinead posted online that “both their dreams had come true”.
Even before flying out, Tom – known as The Albatross – was determined he was coming home with the title after coming second last year.
Saying that it “meant everything” to be the first Scot to win the title, he added: “Since I started this journey I always wanted to be the world’s strongest man. I get to compete against my heroes. I’ve made my dream a reality.”
Win wouldn’t have happened without brother Luke
He also paid tribute to his brother – known as The Highland Oak and five time Scotland’s Strongest Man – and said he would not have won without him.
“If I didn’t have Luke, I wouldn’t be sitting here as World’s Strongest Man,” Tom said. “He is the one that keeps my head up when I’m performing not the best, and he helps me get through to the finish, which is exactly what he did today.”
A key moment came in the final event the Atlas Stones with Shaw closing the gap.
“I used to think negatively if I lose points then you just go downhill,” said Tom.
“When Brian Shaw came back it was a battle. It was always going to be me versus Brian in the stones. It was written in the stars – to just finish him off at the end it was a really good feeling. I knew Brian Shaw was behind me. I just kept my cool.”