On this occasion, I return to the archive, specifically from June 2018, and recall the article and an anecdote. Title:
RUSTAM BABAYEV - A DEBUT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN ...
Rustam Babayev is undeniably the "Legend" of the world armwrestling, written with a capital "L". His professional career is a model and example of persistent pursuit of the highest goals.
The beginning of his professional path to the top began for Rustam in 2001. There is a detail related to this that you surely don't know. Rustam "missed" his first PAL start ... The first PAL tournament was held on July 22, 2001. Eight athlets took part, they fought for left and right in the 73 kg category. One of the athlet considered was Rustam Babayev, who was very young at the time. The authorities of the Federation of Ukraine selected him after his successes in Europe (Lithuania, June 2001). PAL put Rustam on the reserve list.
Well, "just in case".
And it happened!
One of the main athlets, Alex Mundzhishvili, could not go to Poland for formal reasons. There are two days left until the tournament. Rustam lived in Kharkiv. There was not enough time to invite him to Poland. The planned "eight" turned into "seven".
If Babayev lived somewhere closer, they could already make their debut on the professional stage.
Some time has passed and we already know how much he dominated the stage in the 78-86 kg category, first and now in 95 kg.