Lubomir, let’s start by explaining why you were absent from tournaments for the past couple of years?
I took a break from armwrestling. In 2011 I won my last World Champion title. Until that year I won Worlds, Europeans, Vendettas and other international tournaments. I felt I had enough success and need a little rest. I would have had to climb on a whole new level to face guys like Pushkar, and I had no motivation for that. Now that I have rested I feel I want to come back. My motivation is coming back, too. I hope I can show my form at a tournament soon.
How did you start armwrestling?
It was back at school, when I was about 12. I started training with my uncle, he introduced me to the sport.
Do you remember your first contest?
I went to my first contest after a year of training. It was a Slovak tournament. I weighed 63 kg back then. The lowest starting category was 75 kg. I had to wrestle some heavier guys. I finished 2nd, right after my uncle.
Your uncle trained you all the time?
He trained me for the first three years. He introduced me to the secrets of the sport. When I was 15, I started to train by myself and go to tournaments.
You started at many tournaments over the years. Do you remember your toughest contest?
There were many tough tournaments. But I don’t remember the toughest. I think it was the Worlds, where, as a junior, I also fought in seniors.
Is armwrestling popular in Slovakia?
It used to be more popular. Now the situation’s changed. There used to be an elite, like me, Germanus and other old sportsmen. They quit professional fighting. There used to be over 50 clubs in Slovakia, now there are about 10.
Is there a lot of contests to fight in Slovakia?
There aren’t many regional contests. In reality, there are only three Slovakian Cups, one nationals and one international tournament, Senecka Ruka, which used to be much more popular internationally than it is nowadays.
What’s your biggest sport achievement?
My first World Championship. In was in 2006, in Manchester – England. There were 36 people in my category, up to 75 kg. I fought in seniors then. There were such names in this category as Engin Terzi from Turkey, Cvetan Gashevski of Bulgaria or Jan Amolins of Latvia. I was the best in right arm and won world champion. In left I unfortunately broke my wrist while fighting Terzi.
How long did you train to become world champion?
I won junior world champion after three years of training, and after five years my first seniors worl champ. I was almost constantly on the podium at Worlds and Europeans, since 2002.
When did you start feeling that you were good at it?
Practically from the start. When I started winning local contests, and then winning medals at Europeans and Worlds, I knew I had potential.
Tell us, how do you train nowadays?
When I trained 100%, I trained 3-4 times a week. I did two typical armwrestling trainings, one sparring, two full body strength trainings. I also ran 1-2 times a week, to keep in shape and speed. Now I work out 3-4 times a week, but I do more strength than typical armwrestling.