02.06 was the first day of the championship fights. Wrestled boys under 18, juniors under 21 and veterans. For the title of European champion fought 379 sportsmen from 27 countries. In total 805 participants signed in. As it turned out this was a historic venue. Back in 2005 at the same Universiada sports complex held the European Championship and for the first time athletes of our sport discipline passed doping control on the international arena here. But this was not the first thing that surprised the athletes and the fans who cheer the athletes at their homes. Live broadcast was carried and everyone could watch the championship for free. Armwrestling is moving forward. In 2012 Poland had 678 participants from 30 countries, and now the number of participants is growing. The level of athletes is increasing as well. The Russian team dominated this time. Turkey's national team broke into the top three. During award ceremony national anthems of Turkey and Russia followed each other. Over the past year the level of Georgian juniors increased significantly - if earlier their national anthem played rarely, now it sounds much more often. I can’t help mentioning the Ukrainian team which, regardless of the political situation in the country, came to the European Championship in full number of athletes - 96. And the first gold of the European Championship was won by Ukrainian athlete Anastasiya Nesterenko in the lightest category of 45 kg juniors under 18.
Entering the room, breathing in the atmosphere of the Championship, I realized that it would be spectacular.
And I was not wrong! In each category we gathered the best of the best. Each athlete fought hard. Furor in the category of girls under 18 years! Thirteen year-old Elina Janeheim wins over Russian athlete Milana Baeva in weight class under 60. At Juniors men in the category under 55 met in a duel Moussa Bayramkulov, Russia and Claudio Diokonesku, Romania. The fight was long, but Moussa wins collecting all his power. Not giving a slightest chance to competitors Sasho Andreev from Bulgaria wins category to 75 with ease and confidence.
Juniors under 21 weight class of 70 Super final is worth mentioning also. The athlete from Russia Madina Kairova lost consciousness right during the fight.
Well, what surprises and unexpected, exciting and entertaining fights will be on the right hand of the young men, juniors and veterans, I will tell you a bit later.