Tell us how a little blonde has become a Head Referee of Italian Macho?
– I’ve loved armwrestling for the first moment and I could not simply be a spectator, I wanted to be a referee, I wanted to work at world class events. I recall spending endless days and nights watching European Championships, World Championships and the Zloty Tur. I remember looking up the referees and I said to myself: “One day you will be one of them!”. I was looking at two women, they were my idols and I dreamed to work with them and now these women are my colleagues: Camilla Kattstrom and Venera Urazgildeeva. I have to thank my president Claudio Rizza for believing in me. I have spent my free time traveling around the world, referring at all sorts of events and it all finally paid off in 2016 when I won the Harry Naskali award and shortly after reached the Master qualification. Straight after that I obtained the Head Referee title in November 2017. The time spent to get to this was the time I spent best because I invested in myself; I owed it to myself and my dream.
What was the most difficult match you worked at?
– When I started off, I thought all events were hard but the hardest match that I remember it's a match between Viktoria Iliushyna from Ukraine and Oksanа Gorbach from Russia during EAC 2015 in Bulgaria; I am not sure it has been the hardest but the longest for sure....7 minutes.
What problems do referees face in their work?
– Being a referee is a hard task that carries a lot of responsibility. We too fight stress, anxiousness and can find it tiring. Perhaps the biggest challenge is learning to maintain the level of concentration needed to control our own emotions as our decisions can often influence and mark someone's hard work and occasionally their career.
How could we improve refereeing so that it does not cause so much dispute among the competitors?
– I believe the current regulations are balanced, however, we often face athletes who are not fully aware of the actual rules. A referee can make a mistake as we're all human but an athlete should know the rules too as this would make both parties at ease with one another, therefore able to do their jobs at the best, clearest mental state of mind necessary to follow the sports' rules and regulations. Just like athletes, referees also need to train to keep driving the standards of a constantly highly challenging job.
The Supermatch is coming soon. What surprises are you preparing with Claudio Rizza for the competitors?
– On the 3rd of March, Italy will host the XIII SuperMatch for which our president has planned a wonderful surprise for winner in open class right hand. I would love to say more but you're going to have to wait, because, as I said, it's a wonderful surprise!