When WAF accepted U21 category I was not so sure if it was necessary but today I see that it helped young pullers who just got out of U18 category to be motivated to become the best in the world. I believe that U21 category has helped a lot young pullers to catching up senior category pullers. Many of the U21 category pullers are no longer considered as youth pullers who are trying to become senior level pullers because they are already at the level of senior category pullers. That is something that I started to realize more and more after every EAC and WAC. U21 final of 75kg left hand and senior final of 75kg left hand to be the same guys is a proof for all these. 19 years old Emre Albas to win 60kg senior men class with left arm is another sign of coming danger of U21 class pullers. These guys to pull & win both U21 and senior categories are amazing because they had only 3 days to rest with same arm before pulling seniors.
This Europeans was very tough, it is the Georgians that makes the things tougher in general. Vaghtang Museliani is a Legendary coach of the Georgians have made the team Georgia Great in the past. I remember how Georgians dominated 1994 WAF in men’s classes. Those years were the years of Russia vs Georgia wars till early 2000s. Then Museliani disappeared for some years and Georgian team was no longer the top team until Museliani comes back after near 10 years of absence. About 5 years ago Georgians again started to rise up and finaly they became the best senior men team once again. There is no doubt that team Georgia scares their opponents with their skilled & powerful athletes.
Senior women categories were very interesting as except 50kg all the categories won by the same person with right & left arms. Brigitta Ivanfi from Hungary was very impressive to win EAC while being a master category puller. She won her category right & left. To me the most interesting final of the women category was 55kg right hand final. Alina Volkova from Russia vs Dmitrina Dimitrova from Bulgaria was the name of the final. Dmitrina had to beat Volkova to win the gold. They slipped and Dmitrina won easily with a hook move in the strap. Then they pulled again to determine the winner. Dmitrina wanted to pull in strap while Alina knew that she had no chance in strap. Once the match started Dmitrina slipped under Alina’s hand and ref called it intentional slip and gave Dmitrina a foul. So Dmitrina either had to try to slip or enter the match without strap. She did not take the risque of fouling out and entered the match but her hand was not strong enough to hook Alina without the strap and lost the title.
Mindaugas Tarasaitis from Lithuania has been taking my attention already for sometime.
This technical master won the Zloty Tur last year with left arm and this year he finally won the EAC in 70kg left arm as well. His unique pulling style is very effective and his coordination was too much for his opponents. He reminds me Janis Amolins with the technical domination.
Artur Makarov from Russia just dominated 70kg right hand category with his unstoppable looking side pressure. Since Dzitiev went up to 75kg class category not sure if anyone can beat Makarov anytime soon in this category.
75kg right hand category was one of the most exciting final of the EAC 2017. Davit Samushia from Georgia and Khetag Dzitiev from Russia had wars. Davit is known with his powerful hand & wrist control but he was toprolled by Khetag. But even toprolling Davit was not enough for Khetag to win the class. Davit fought with dead wrist and won by the help of his powerful joints.
Betkili Oniani from Georgia seemed to be too much for his opponents in 75kg left hand class. He does not look so powerful from outside view but he sure is very powerful and also very confident puller.
Sasho Andreev is a freak without any doubt. Not sure about his height but I am guessing it to be around 165cm. He has pulled 90kg category and won against Prudnyk from Ukraine with left & right hand. Both days Sasho was sent to B side by Prudnyk but he came back to beat Prudnyk twice in the final. I believe that in strap with right hand no one can beat Sasho under 90kg with right hand. I would bet on Sasho even against Zoloev. His inner side pressure is inhuman and it is impossible to match his pressure with the classic known training methods for armwrestling. Even if someone would train the side pressure as Sasho does, he needs to have the same genetic solidness that Sasho has, to match his strength.
Georgii Tautiev from Russia was expected by me to win the right hand of 80kg class. He must be around 2 m tall and looks skinny but his amazing hand strength and leverage advantage made him untouchable in his category. Cvetan Gashevski from Bulgaria a Legend of our sport showed once again why he is called Prefessor by taking the silver at the age of 47. I have nothing but utmost respect for him!
Zoloev Khadzimurat who is another Legend of our sport once again won the Gold in his category. He did not have any problems with anyone except 21 years old Turkish puller Oguzhan Kocak. He and Oguzhan had near 15 seconds long hook match which ruined rest of the day for Oguzhan who took 5. place after a bad decision by the ref in Slovakian match. In my opinion fresh for fresh Oguzhan was the second best guy in this category as he sent the silver medalist Plamen Dmitrov to the B side on 1st round after 2-3 seconds long match.
After such a tough Europeans I have no doubt that even a tougher Worlds will be waiting the armwrestling World and I just can not wait to watch it live!