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LET’S THINK ABOUT IT # Armwrestling #

I would like all of us to consider and discuss two questions before the WAF congress. I hope that you will voice your opinions and we will together find solutions to the questions. ()

I would like all of us to consider and discuss two questions before the WAF congress. I hope that you will voice your opinions and we will together find solutions to the questions.

The first matter is Igor Mazurenko’s idea to extend the duration of championships (in Europe [and on other continents] as well as world championships) from four fight days (as it is now) to six days. Igor has come up with this idea and wants to propose it at the congress as it is quite likely that there might be introduced an additional class for the youngest female and male juniors. It’s just a project, but a good one as “young people are our future”.

The increasing number of people taking part in armwrestling competitions and the growing number of age categories, the division into the disabled and “the able-bodied” can in fact bring about a need to extend the duration of the competitions. But there is one small reservation. Perhaps I’m not the only one who can see it.

The strength of our sport is that we are a close community. We aim at integrating adult athletes with the young ones, the disabled with the able-bodied. Excuse me the pathos, but I think it’s great to see “mature pullers” and youngsters competing at the same tournament, or athletes walking on crutches, or those in a wheelchair next to competitors who are a real picture of health. I feel it’s very educational. This is our strength, the strength of our community.

The chance to root for the elder competitors, to meet disabled athletes, to help them with putting wheelchairs on the stage is educational for young athletes. I have no doubt about that!

Although there are excellent  professionals in armwrestling, let’s face it - our sport is mostly amateur. The majority of those who train and compete are either students or full-time workers. The chance for them to meet together at tournaments is an intrinsic value that cannot be underestimated.

I am well aware of the fact that a four-day championship (plus two initial days for registering, weighing-ins, etc.) is a complex undertaking, even for our Polish organizational team. I know it, because I’ve been observing their work for many years. And it is getting more and more difficult as we, I mean organizers, tend to demand a lot from ourselves.

I would really like to hear your opinions about that. Is it worth losing the opportunity to integrate “the old” with “the young”, “the able-bodied” with “the disabled”?

Shouldn’t we appreciate more the chance to spend some time together on and off the stage? Let’s think about together. Maybe we’ll manage to find a new solution. For instance, two stages in the same hall?

What do you think about it?

The second matter is connected with the disabled competition. At the last championships I noticed that competitors fought in different positions at a low table. One was on a wheelchair, whereas his opponent was leaning over the table. Or one competitor was sitting on a chair and the other was leaning over the table.

I don’t think it’s a good solution. After all (at least I get such an impression) a disabled competitor whose able to stand at the table has a higher chance to win than his opponent who is sitting.

Maybe it is not always the case, maybe it depends on the level of disability…

Yet, I’ve tried to look at the issue through the eyes of an ordinary viewer. It does not look like a fair fight.

Wouldn’t it be better if both competitors fought at a low table in a sitting position?

Please, share with me your opinions about that.

Having written this article I sent it to several people to learn their opinions. And I already know that there were supposed to be two chairs for each competitor on the stage at the European Championships 2013, but there were some problems with putting two chairs on the platform. It should not be like that.

I would be most grateful for your feedback. Best regards!


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