When it is said about a well-known wrestling family the name which occurs is Babayev. Those Ukrainian sportsmen from Kharkov have been the competitors of the highest world armwrestling class for a few years. Brothers and a sister: Rustam, Ruslan and Sniezana have on their accounts multiple titles of World and European Champions. The first one who started do wrestle was Rustam. Then Ruslan joined him. Then at the end Snieżana closed the armwrestling peloton of the Babayevs family. And as she says “I began training not because my brothers forced my but cause I really got to like it”.
Name: Sniezana Babayev
Date of birth: the 27th of March 1988
Weight: 52 kg
Height: 160 cm
Place of residence: Kharkov, Ukraine / Rabca, Slovakia
Education: Higher / Academy of Physical Education
Hobby: belly dancing
The greatest achievements:
Four times Junior European Champion
Two times senior European Champion
Junior World Champion
Two times Senior World Champion
Multiple Ukraine Champion
Armpower: When did you really started training Armwrestling?
Sniezana Babayev: At the end of 2000.
Armpower: Did your older brothers force you to train?
SB: Then I took piano lessons. For me…
Armpower: Piano lessons?
SB: Yes, yes – piano lessons. I practised that for about 2,5year. For me those lessons were a bit boring and static. I went with my brother Rustam once or twice to the gym and there I started to ease energy. Rustam was of course against it, he said my shoulders would expand. But I started to train with small weights cause I really got to like it. At the beginning it was fitness. Then time for Armwrestling came. At the beginning Rustam and Gela Khubiashvili (beside photo) trained me. Then days when Gela had his trainings were more suitable for me. In this way Gela, not my brother became my main trainer. Of course my brother advised me from time to time.
Armpower: And do you remember a moment when you wrestled for the first time?
SB: There was such a day, when I came to Rustam and Gela to the gym to practice fitness for the following time. There I saw how boys wrestle at the table. I wanted to try and Gela Said that I have good forearms and I AM suitable for this sport.
Armpower: Is Armwrestling a well known sport in Ukraine?
SB: I think it is quite popular. And especially in my region, where I was born. In Kharkov there are many armwrestlers, and our club has been on the first place for a few years.
Armpower: Is that hard to get to the National Team?
SB: First of all you need to win the Championships of Ukraine or rank at least second. Then you have a chance to get to a National Team. And a competition is high. About 350 seniors and 200 juniors starts at the national championships. For the well known sportsmen who achieved good results at world arenas, Ukrainian federation will find money for the departure to the World and European Championships. For the ones who achieved less, of course not.
Armpower: How does your training look like?
SB: I train 3-4 times a week. Once a week I have a sparring partner. Unfortunately I do not have an opponent suitable for me in Rabca. I have some learners with whom I train with a gum and their hand. Depending on my mood, once or twice a week I practice at 100%, on the other training days I give myself a break.
Armpower: Do you have any strength records?
SB: Records? I lift most on a wrist (with an elbow based on my knee) – even up to 65 kg.
Armpower: Where do you train now and who is your trainer?
SB: Now I train in FitMax Gym in Slovakia. I train alone. Sometimes sportsmen from Poland come and when a girl comes with them I can wrestle. So every day I train alone. Sometimes Lubomir and my brother advise me.
Armpower: Do women who practice Armwrestling expand their muscles much?
SB: Women practising Armwrestling do not expand their muscles so much unless they want to. Biceps, forearms, shoulders and back are exercised. Muscles become harder and safer and they do not necessarily expand.
Armpower: What would you tell women to encourage them to train?
SB: At the beginning of their adventure with armwrestling all the girls say that they do not want to look like rammer in front of the mirror. Then I say that there is no such possibility, cause look at me – I have trained over 10 years, and how do I look like? I’m not expanded!
Armpower: How many people do you have under charge?
SB: I train four competitors and two juniors. All people who are under my charge have already successes on national arena. Now the international arena is waiting for them. They exercise hard and dutifully, so for sure sooner or later they will appear on the podium of European or World Championships.
Armpower: And how does the supplementation for women look like?
SB: When you train a lot, you need to help yourself using supplementation. Especially when you trained at 100%. I mainly use supplementation while preparations for World and European Championships.
Armpower: Do you remember your first take off?
SB: My first start took place in Kharkow. It was Junior Open tournament. It was in March 2001. Weighting 48kg I won with competitors weighting even 80kg. Then I took part in Junior World Championships. Weighting 43kg I ranked 3rd then for left and right hand.
Armpower: You have taken part in many competitions. Where do you think you achieved the most?
SB: I think it was the European Championship 2005, where I had still been a junior. I won among juniors then and among seniors I was third.
Armpower: Do you wrestle with men? Do you win?
SB: Sometimes I do wrestle. Last time I fought with body-builders weighting over 110kg and I beat them. They were really surprised.
Armpower: Have you had any other interesting situations connected to armwrestling?
SB: When I was at school, being about 15-16 year old I beat my peers on arm as well boys as girls. It was a funny and interesting experience for all.
Armpower: How do you like living in Slovakia and what is the difference between living in Ukraine?
SB: At the beginning it was really hard, I had no one form my family. I spoke Russian only with Lubomir. Nowi t is much better. I try to visit Ukraine and my family town quite often. From time to time me family comes to visit me.
Armpower: What is the difference between Slovakian and Ukrainian Armwrestling in your opinion?
SB: There are less experienced competitors in Slovakian Armwrestling than in Ukraine. Ukrainian school is mostly based on abilities of experienced competitors and in my opinion it is slightly better.
Armpower: Are you on a diet?
SB: I am on a diet before competitions. I eat fruits which contain little sugar, protein, rise, meat. In addition I like eating as anyone.
Armpower: Have you trained any other sport?
SB: I train belly dancing and fitness. I also train a bit artistic fitness dancing.
Armpower: Belly dancing? How did it happen?
SB: I practised belly dancing in Ukraine in Kharkow for about 3 years. Now I train in others in Slovakia. Such dance makes you more flexible which is absent in armwrestling and fitness.
Armpower: So you train three disciplines. Which one is you priority?
SB: The first is Armwrestling, then belly dancing and fitness.
Armpower: What are your plans for 2011?
SB: Win World and European Championships.
Armpower: And what about the Professionals’ World Cup? Why don’t you start?
SB: It is not my weight unfortunately. Other competitors are much heavier. But who knows. Maybe someday you will see me at the tournament.
Interviewd: Paweł Podlewski.