This year, the most prestigious event in the world of professional arm-wrestling is awaiting a serious transformation. And as it usually happens on the eve of revolutionary changes, diametrically opposite opinions about the future of the main event of the year are floating inside the armwrestling community. Pessimists say that with the departure of "stars" to the armfights, the image of the Professional World Cup lose the significance it had before. Optimists and ambitious pullers are already packing their bags and rubbing their hands, looking forward to taking advantage of the opening opportunities. Now, looking from the outside, one thing is clear: serious changes in the organization of the Professional World Cup are on their way and only Igor Mazurenko knows about the surprises awaiting professional arm wrestling this year. So we addressed this question to the main promoter and owner of the Professional Armwrestling League. ()
"To start, I would say the main thing: those who hope that the “Zloty Tur” will slide down to the level of an ordinary tournament will already be very disappointed in the beginning of autumn. Yes, PAL has a completely new strategy, but I will not disclose all the cards - everything has its time. All I can say: in the beginning of autumn, professional arm wrestling will reach a new level. If we talk about the prospects of the Zloty Tur, it is very important to understand the essence, nature of this tournament or rather - event, to know its history. The Professional World Cup is not just something just invented by me. This is an event that took off organically, I emphasize, organically from a small Tournament in 2000, with participants from 2 countries (5 Ukrainians and 25 Polish guys), to the real convention of champions, a sports festival with two competition formats and participants from more than 23 countries.
Zloty Tur was born on February 20, 2000. As I said, only 30 people took part in it. In 3 years, this event already had 2 names - "Zloty Tur” International Tournament - "Casinos Poland” Professional World Cup. The first brand we saved for the history, the second was after the brand of the main sponsor of the tournament at that time. Later the tournament became known as the “Nemiroff" Professional World Cup, but inside the organization, we always designated this event with two names, for example, "Zloty Tur" №4 - World Cup №1. Back then we already knew that professional armwrestling will move its own way and therefore it’s very important to remember our roots.
In 2004, at the 5th "Zloty Tur” and at the first “Nemiroff” World Cup, it became clear to us that the World Cup format was doomed to popularity and a long life. That time the Cup was attended by: John Brzenk, Travis Bagent, Michael Solaris, Alexei Voevoda, Alexei Semerenko, Taras Ivakin and many others. It was thanks to that tournament that the cult "Pulling John" movie produced and directed by Sevan Matosyan was made. Many scenes of the film were shot at that event and during the armfights at the same time.
If we talk about armfight, the first armfight took place in June 2003. I came up with this format of the match and we decided to hold it on the main square of Gdansk, Poland during the Dominican Fair. The first Armfight gathered about 4000 spectators and its participants were an athlete from Poland Martin Kreft and Vasily Kuznetsov, known to many today, who was then the chairman of the arm wrestling federation of St. Petersburg, Russia. I repeat - the event attracted about 4,000 spectators, and the winner of the Armfight Martin Kreft was taken off the stage in the audience’s arms. As the organizer of the tournament, I realized that the "Armfight" format of fights will live and have a great popularity.
All of the above, in my opinion, proves that the “Zloty Tur” and the “Armfight” have very strong roots, mainly in the hearts of our athletes, coaches and fans of arm wrestling.
Therefore, these events have only a brilliant future. My main task, the task of my team is to help this body grow and help everyone who is in love with our sport to benefit from it.
In the process of growth, we went through different stages. There were new ideas that were crushed by reality. For example, in 2013, when the PAL team decided to organize the “Top-16” Armfight tournament, many also met this idea with enthusiasm. But, after a year, we had to stop this project, as we could not get enough "stars", able to compete at one level for 1-16 places. Too big was the gap between the 1st place level and 16th.
But, as I said before, the World Cup and Armfight, thanks to their organic nature, managed to acquire their own vital impulse and we, as organizers, already getting feedback on perspective development directions. So, in 2017, when, at first glance, for almost random organizational reasons, it was decided to combine the “Vendetta All Stars” armfights and the World Cup, we unexpectedly got a new algorithm of the arm-wrestling event, which immediately won the hearts of arm-wrestling community around the world.