The first PAL event took place on July 22, 2001. In it 8 athletes of a weight category up to 73 kg participated. The athletes pulled on the left and right hand. One of the proposed athletes for this tournament was young Rustam Babayev. After the European Championships in Druskininkai, Lithuania (June 2001), the leadership of the Ukrainian armwrestling federation invited Rustam to take part in the first PAL tournament.
Due to lack of experience, Rustam was credited to the tournament reserve. Two days before the event a force majeure happened.
One of the participants of the tournament, Alex Mundzhishvili, was unable to cross the Polish border because of problems with travel documents. It was too late to call Rustam Babayev from Kharkov, Ukraine to replace him.
So the historical eight, has turned into a historical seven.
Despite the fact that Babayev missed the very first PAL event, in subsequent years, it became clear that Rustam Babayev is an outstanding athlete who will dominate the categories of 78-86 kg, and today in the category 95 kg.