A brief conversation with the organizer just a few minutes after the competition in Gdynia.
On Saturday, when the competition was over and the stage was already dismantled, Igor found a few minutes to talk with me. For the last week he slept two hours a day, I could see he was tired, but it was not the end of the competition for the organizer. Half jokingly, the most frequent question Mazurenko was asked during the competition was: “Igor, what’s the wi-fi password?”. The second question was: “I’ve lost my badge. What am I supposed to do?”. Igor, on the other hand, as the FAP President would ask: “How are our representatives doing?”. It’s normal, because he had to be “everywhere.”
I asked him what he thought about the competition.
It’s too early for an accurate analysis, but there are a few things worth mentioning. First of all, Andrey Pushkar’s absence from the competition. As you know, he decided to take part in this unsuccessful competition in Las Vegas and “gave up” his place in the national team of Ukraine. He predicted correctly that he wouldn’t be able to recover before the championship in Gdynia. And it’s not his fault the World Bar didn’t work out. I looked at him watching the matches with sadness.
The second issue is that many favourites, armwrestling stars were absent from the competition because of having been disqualified for drug use after the European Championships in Lithuania. Due to their absence, those who could fight for second and third place before, this time had a chance to earn a win. On the other hand - even in the absence of several stars – it was an extremely tough competition for the contestants. Never before did so many athletes compete in the senior class!
I suppose that the possibility of promotion for athletes other than those who have “occupied” the first place will contribute to the popularization of armwrestling. New fans will join us. The gold medal has its importance, and with new clubs getting gold armwrestling will gain the support of a lot of new people, potential sponsors, institutions and offices.
It’s a shame the disqualified athletes didn’t join us, but the law is the law and we as the WAF have to follow its rules. Will they return? We are not sure. Will they manage to get on top again once they return? We’ll see ...
Did you notice the final standings in the younger and older juniors divisions?
Yes, I did. Only few teams won medals. Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan – that’s where a lot of weight is attached to the training of young people and there is money devoted to armwrestling. In Ukraine not that much money is spent on armwrestling, but athletes are really eager to train. There were very few representatives of western Europe among top juniors and none from the USA or Canada. If the USA and Canada don’t do anything about that, they will lack pullers in future for John will give up armwrestling one day…
What can you say about the Poles’ performance?
I have to analyze that. I’m grateful to them, because I know they did their best. Those who won medals can be proud of themselves as the competition was really though.
Igor had to end the conversation at this point, because duties called.