Roman Mantyka, a young Ukrainian armwrestler, multiple champion of Ukraine and prize-winner of European and world championships, recently fully qualified as a professional and has already achieved very good results, having won tournaments in categories up to 78kg in Malaysia and China, and won first place in the URPA general division. ()
Roman, please tell us about the beginning of your sports career.
- I began to learn armwrestling in 2008. But I began to seriously train after Igor Mazurenko’s visit our gym in February 2009, after that meeting I received a boost of motivation for the future. The first five years I trained without a trainer, learning only from my mistakes, and since 2014, I switched to playing for the team of the Poltava region and met with the famous trainer Artem Pysmak. Over the next 5 years (until 2018), he made adjustments to my preparation for the European and World Championships. At the moment I'm training on my own.
Tell us a little about your training, how often do you train, do you somehow divide training into general and specialized?
- I train four times a week and that’s enough for me. I have 90% of the training built on specialized exercises, general exercises take a lot of energy because I do them at the end of the training.
What do you think, is it possible to train successfully in the gym without equipment for armwrestling, while having the opportunity to pull with somebody?
- From January 2014 to May 2015, I trained in a regular gym without special equipment, a table and handles. This year I pulled at the European Championships in Baku, where I became second on my left hand and first on my right in category 70 kg, and also at the World Championships in Vilnius, where I became second on my right hand. Therefore, I can say that with great desire in a regular gym, you can successfully prepare for international championships.
What medal and duel in your career is the most memorable for you?
- For me, the most outstanding achievement is the silver medal of the 2013 Worlds in Poland. At that championship I pulled in the 75 kg category. And the most interesting victory for me was the victory at the European Championship in 2017 over Vladislav Krasovskis on the right hand.
Who do you consider the most technical arm wrestler in the history of armwrestling?
- In my opinion, the most technical is John Brzenk. At the same time, I like the combination of power and technique of Evgeniy Prudnik.
Why did you decide to completely switch to professionals?
- Because in the professional league, the attitude towards athletes is much better.