Icelander Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, a.k.a. the Mountain from TV series Game of Thrones, is Europe’s Strongest Man, RÚV reports. He earned the title Saturday night in Leeds, England, after a close battle with Eddie Hall from the UK, who came in second. The difference between them was only two points.
This is the third time that Hafþór earns the title Europe’s Strongest Man. He did so in 2014 and 2015, but placed second behind Laurence Shahlaei from the UK last year.
Hafþór’s title means that along with Poles, Icelanders now hold most Europe’s Strongest Man titles. Hafþór is the only Icelander to earn it three times. Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Magnús Ver Magnússon earned it twice.
On his Facebook page, Hafþór posted the following:
“I'm very excited and proud to inform you that I reclaimed my title of Europe's Strongest Man earlier tonight!
Huge respect to The Beast @eddie_hall_strong who has improved immensely from last year and really pushed me hard this evening. @terryhollands79 also did a great job securing a 3rd place finish. Shame @biglozwsm had to pull out as he's been ill the last few days.
Great event put together by Giant's Live!
I would like to thank my sponsors, friends, family and fans for their support!”
On Friday, Hafþór announced on his Facebook page that he had woken up numb on the right side of his face on Tuesday morning. He saw a doctor and was subsequently diagnosed with the virus Bell’s palsy, which causes temporary paralysis in his face. He reported it could last from a week to a few months. “So please keep that in mind if you come to Europe's Strongest Man tomorrow and get pictures with me that I'm not in a bad mood I just can't really smile for pictures haha!” he wrote.
You can watch highlights from the competition here: