He fell in love with armwrestling on first sight. But for feelings to thrive, one needs to feel reciprocation. When it’s lacking, one needs to fight for one’s success.
At first Jegor did weightlifting, until an armwrestler challenged him to an armfight. Jegor agreed, although he was no enthusiast of the sport at the time. He won this first bout, and that motivated him to continue.
After that fight I fell in love with armwrestling – says Jegor. My start coincided with the beginning of my university education. It was 2006, I was a first-year student, my social life was blooming, I had lots of trainings and competitions.
His first trainings were in order to better his form. Then Jegor contacted well-known Belarussian armwrestlers – Ivan Portyanko, Ivan Antonenko, Alexander Syaredzich and Oleg Buzo. Together they learned the basics of this unique sport, studied other fighters and exchanged knowledge. Back then the Internet didn’t offer too much knowledge. Jegor gained almost everything from his colleagues.
My trainings were very fruitful – says Jegor. – But if I could turn back time, I’d change my plan a little – I’d work more on my fastenings and tendons. Now my exercise is limited by many factors – if I’m regenerating, then I work out two times a week, if I’m preparing for a competition – I train four times a week. Mostly a go to the gym three times a week. I start with basic exercises, then I do pulley work in different angles, and then I spar. If that’s not enough – I increase the volume of pulley work or dumbbell work.
Jegor diets only before competitions, when he needs to “make mass” to fit into his category. Aside from that his diet is limited only by circumstances. As for supplements, Jegor thinks that this is an individual matter.
The most pleasant event in Jegor’s career was in 2007, when he qualified for the Master of Sport title, placing 5th in the Belarussian Championships. He thinks the verdict was unfair, but doesn’t like to speak about it.
When preparing for the Belarussian Cup, Jegor beat Oleg Potapko in his category hands-down. But the night before the Cup Jegor got sick, he had to be taken to a hospital. He could not compete, after all.
Oleg Potapko took 1st place then, which means I was on a great level – says Jegor. – What’s happened, happened, although some things are hard to forget.
“Practice makes perfect” – this is Igor’s motto. And indeed, he’s already shown his worth in the Belarussian Championships. Now it’s time for him to reach higher, because even though he’s been armwrestling for eight years now, he still hasn’t fought at international levels yet. In the near future I plan to start abroad – says Jegor. I follow armwrestling news, so I know where I need to go. It’s a real shame that Lion Cuo is cancelled this year, but I’m waiting for A1 and TOP16.
In Belarus, fights are scored based on both arms. Jegor disagrees with this system, he thinks it might put many people off this sport, especially the beginners. Belarussian armwrestling has other downsides too.
Belarus lacks people with fanatical flare for the sport, people with the sense of responsibility – says Jegor. There’s still no place to launch a real event, and prizes are very small. Sometimes people go to other cities to compete for just a meagre diploma and a very small medal. And costs of travel, accommodation and food are very steep, and so are entry fees.
From an eight years perspective Jegor sees some future potential for Belarussian armwrestling. And no matter how hard it is now, he won’t quit. Working hard, setting goals and evolving, he proves that “he who seeks – shall find”. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!