PeSzy: You can say that you have passed into the history of world armwrestling... Is there a distinction between WAF and IFA in Hungary? What does the athlets situation look like in all this?
Mergl Balazs: Hungary was originally a WAF member, leading to most of its competitors participating in this federation, this was the reasoning behind my own personal ban last year (see more in previous article). There has recently been a change within the Hungarian arm-wrestling world, with more competitors beginning to open their eyes and agree with me on this situation, as well as the establishment of the IFA. The idea of making a new association and joining the new world federation was flirted with, but something or someone was missing.
Today we know, that the missing thing was in fact Szász György, a legend and the best arm-wrestler of all time in Hungary! It was an honour when he offered to be part of the building of the association, and in that moment, I already knew that we had found the perfect president for our new team. After a few weeks, with the help of some brave and motivated arm-wrestlers the Hungarian Association of Arm-wrestling was born. The members are really motivated about the development of the association and would like to be recognised as a good team internationally, therefore we have decided to participate in as many international competitions as possible. Right now, in Hungary everybody has the opportunity to choose between both federations, obviously we would prefer people to choose the international championships and hope that the event organisers will follow suit.
Personally, I am really proud of all the team members, starting with the competitors right the way through to their family members. We have a lot to thank them for, not least because of their great support.
PeSzy: How you combine sport and studies so far? What field of study?
In my point of view, university studies and training are an efficient combination. Both activities are of course tiring, but they also complement eachother well. Typically I would start my day with an early morning training session before heading out to university, this sets me up for the day ahead, increasing my energy levels, enabling me to be vigilant and alert. I am a proud student at the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, so during the day I must focus on my studies, this time allows for good muscle regeneration, focusing my energy mentally. After university I follow up with a night gym session training, this is refreshing after the mental workout during the day. It is not always possible to achieve this layout, but I strive to maintain at least three to four days a week with this routine. My studies are the most important thing to me, and this is reflected during my exam period where my learning becomes a priority and unfortunately my training takes more of a back seat but this is a small price to pay.
PeSzy: Did you earn any money doing armwrestling Did you rather add to it?
Yes, I have managed to earn some money doing arm-wrestling and my goal is to earn as much as possible. At the 2019 China Open competition I received my first prize money, this has formed a lasting memory for me. As well as the prize itself, I got to spend a week in China which was an awesome adventure for me. I Definitely wish this kind of experience could be had by all my friends and fellow competitors. Hopefully I will be able to get onto the podium for my next upcoming event. Money is not the main driver for me, and in my opinion a good fight, as well as good performances in prestigious competitions are more important than the value of the prize money offered. Of course, I still must invest my own personal money into arm wrestling like most of my fellow competitors around the world so this aspect cannot be totally overlooked.
We are currently optimistic about finding more supporters and sponsorship for our team, this is not so easy, but we have already received some interesting offers in the pipeline. The Hungarian Association of Arm-wrestling is working hard to continuously develop ourselves and hopefully with the future help of our supporters and addition of much needed sponsorship this will all be made possible.
PeSzy: Thank you very much for the interview and see you at the competition.
Mergl Balazs: Greetings to all armwrestling competitors in the world!