Victor Bratchenya is a multiple World and European Champion among disabled and healthy athletes. This athlete from Belarus is a living embodiment of will, strength and optimism! What motivates him in his passionate desire to share his skills and emotions of the winner with the maximum number of people - in an interview with Anna Mazurenko. ()
When did you start arm wrestling? How did you get into this sport?
I did not plan to go in for armwrestling, but "so the stars came together". Being an eighth-year-old, I came to the gym, located next to the school, in order to become "pumped up." In this gym my brother was engaged in kettlebell lifting and it was also interesting for me to try my hand at it. I think the decisive factor was the armwrestling table there. In a short period of time I started winning with the high school students. My first international tournament was the World Championship in 2001, which was held in the Polish city of Gdynia. There I won a bronze medal among the disabled. To me, a 16-year-old back then, it seemed like it was a total disaster! I came there to get gold - my ambitions were huge!)) Now I understand how lucky I was to win a medal there.
Later on I won the World Championship twice. In 2005 I won “Nemiroff World Cup" in the weight category up to 63 kg. In 2008 in Canada I became the World Champion among the disabled (up to 75 kg), and among healthy athletes (up to 70 kg). During 4 days I had more than 30 matches. I have injured my left elbow back then, and it still bothers me now. I was very tired, physically and morally. After that I could not force myself to go to gym for more then 3 months. Even at the next World Championship in Italy, I took part in a 4-day "super marathon" and finally decided to compete only among the disabled. Now I am absolutely sure that this was the right decision. I want to remain an active athlete for as long as possible.
What has changed in your life since the advent of armwrestling?
In general, my life revolves around the word "sport" - including my education and work. Of course, after every competition the media write about me. And I do my best to get the maximum number of people to know about armwrestling. They invite me to the meetings with kids and young people and of course it always ends with sparring with me). I want to be an example and bring as many young people as possible into sports or simply a healthy lifestyle,.
I want them to understand that everything is possible, the main thing is to have a strong desire!
Do you have a favorite pulling style?
Only hook, only hardcore!!!)) I love the power struggle, so it’s the hook and side pressure. But sometimes you have to improvise and pull top-roll. But the majority of the most spectacular "battles" go in a hook style. Toprollers, nothing personal!!!)
How do you train? Who is your coach?
I train independently, on average - three 2.5 hour trainings a week. I work a lot at the table, but I also pay due attention to free weights. I use handles: on straps and conic of different diameters, eccentric handles.
Which match was especially difficult for you?
Probably it’s not just one match. The mentioned earlier World Championship in Canada… I have remembered this championship by a huge number of heavy fights.
What do you do in your life?
In early September in Brest opens a fitness center "Delta", where I will conduct armwrestling classes. For a long time I wanted to create a team in a place where I can professionally train and prepare for competitions. There will be free training for disabled athletes. I will try to bring my students to the World Championship next year in Poland. So if you will be in Brest, come to the training!
What are your plans for this year? Where will you perform?
This year I will be able to take part in World Championships in Turkey only. A week after the Worlds I will have a surgery on my left elbow. I suddenly understood that it is no longer possible to endure the pain. And to pull constantly under anesthetics is not an option at all. Perhaps I will have to miss the European Championships next year, but I do not care for that at all, because the main event is the World Championship.
For the reference: I am 33 years old. At the world and European championships and the World Cups, I have won in total 53 medals - 14 gold medals from the world championships, 13 gold medals - from Europe.
In 2013, I was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports in Belarus. This is a state award, which is presented by the President of the country in person.
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