Gavin Bilton is the winner of the 2023 Strongman Champions League (SCL) Serbia contest. The competition took place on May 20, 2023, in Zrenjanin, Serbia. According to his page on Strongman Archives, the victory is the Welsh strongman’s first since his title in the 2021 UK’s Strongest Man (UKSM) competition. Despite his status as a regular fixture in major strongman contests, this SCL Serbia win officially marks almost two years since Bilton last stood on top of a podium. It is also Bilton’s first-ever victory outside of the United Kingdom sphere.
Joining Bilton on the 2023 SCL Serbia podium was Turkey’s Fatih Karaca (second place) and the Netherlands’ Kelvin de Ruiter (third place). Per his Strongman Archives page, this SCL Serbia runner-up result is by far the best of Karaca’s young career at the age of 28. Meanwhile, de Ruiter is a bit more seasoned, having participated in 33 international competitions throughout his professional strongman ventures. This contest was de Ruiter’s first podium result since a victory in the 2022 SCL Romania.
Here are the final standings from the 2023 SCL Serbia:
2023 Strongman Champions League Serbia | Final Standings
- Gavin Bilton — 56 points | 2023 SCL Serbia Champion
- Fatih Karaca — 52.5 points
- Kelvin de Ruiter — 49 points
- Andrea Invernizzi — 46 points
- Peter Juhasz — 44.5 points
- Evans Aryee — 37 points
- Nemanja Tasic — 36 points
- Damir Stroil — 35.5 points
- Jarkko Mehtälä — 34.5 points
- Jonathan Cotton — 23 points
- Hristo Muskov — 20 points
- Andy Black — Five points
- Ervin Toots — One point
In a post on his Instagram, Bilton was appreciative of the spirit of competition and what he was ultimately able to achieve at the 2023 SCL Serbia.
“Had a great weekend competing out in Serbia against an awesome group of athletes,” Bilton wrote. “Very happy with the win, and what better way to finish a tough show by carrying four people on a Yoke. A first time for everything. Belief conquers all.”
To date, the most noteworthy accomplishments of Bilton’s strongman career might be his two back-to-back UKSM titles (2020-2021). Bilton is also a four-time competitor (2020-2023) at the annual World’s Strongest Man (WSM) but has never advanced to the Finals.
Bilton’s win in the 2023 SCL Serbia could be considered a worthy breakthrough moment for a prolific strongman competitor. His streak of near-victories and berths culminates with this triumph, and it almost certainly won’t be the last for the Welshman.
Featured image: @gavin_the_bull_bilton on Instagram