Inside the life of the Russian arm wrestler, Pavlo "Tank" Derbedyenyev. By: Sean Boom Hancock, The first time I met Pavlo was at the 2019 Zloty Tur in Rumia, Poland. I knew instantly that he had a solid foundation and a very good and humble character. Over the past year I have gotten the pleasure of really getting to know this man. I have seen him pull close to a hundred rounds this year. ()
I haven't seen him lose one single round. He is a pure block of power which is the reason I give him this nickname, "The Russian Tank". This name is very fitting as Pavlo literally plows over everything that gets in his way. I believe the only reason Pavlo is not ranked number #1 in his weight class in America is because he has not had the opportunity to pull those that are ranked ahead of him. Just recently, Pavlo told me in his humble manner, that he actually wishes someone would beat him. This way he could train harder.
Lets get to know a little about Pavlo "Tank" Derbedyenyev.
Hi Armwrestling Community. My name is Pavlo Derbedyenyev. I was born in Rovno, Ukraine, July 18th,1980. My family moved to US in 2003 and currently I live, work and train in Chicago.
How did you get involved in the sport of arm wrestling?
I always showed interest in sports and athletics. Initially I was more interested in shot put but I always love to armwrestle. My AW career started by accident, when I was in college. In the gym I noticed a handwritten ad for university armwrestling championships. In1997 in Rovno, I participated in my first tournament hosted by University of Water Management. I won my class – 83kg.
Tell us some history about your arm wrestling career.
When I moved to the states, I spoke no English, and I had to learn a new profession. At that time I had neither time, nor money to pursue my armwrestling career. During this time of my life I wasn’t the most disciplined athlete, but I participated in local tournaments and trained a little. In 2006 I won with Lithuanian champion in Russian tournament in Chicago, organized by Saulius Rakauskas, who became my friend, and encouraged me to go back to regular trainings. I decided to follow my passion and talent.
In 2017 I qualified and started preparation for WAL, world championship in Vegas. Because of my injury I pulled only left hand and placed 8th in my class- 195lb. It was great accomplishment considering the caliber of the tournament. After this event I decided to retire, but life had its own plans. Soon after I met a few great athletes, including my training partner who asked me to reconsider my decision and keep training armwrestling. I changed my life around and decided to focus more on armwrestling .
In August 2019 I started intense trainings to prepare for Zloty Tur – best professional tournament in the world. It was great opportunity to experience the excitement of armwrestling and pull with the best. I did not have much experience in armwrestling on this level, but still achieved impressive results at the championship - 6th left and 8th right.