2014 Norwegian Nationals
The Norwegian Nationals 2014
by David Shead,
I Arrived to a very sunny Norway and a long drive through their beautiful countryside before arriving at the purpose built sports venue and hotel complex all in one landscaped tree lined location it was more like a park than a sports hall and a very good start to the championships.
I had arrived in the afternoon the day before the competition so the wrestlers where still setting out the stage and building their own winners podium, their where a grate deal of youngsters around the complex as their was a large hand ball competition going on in another part of the complex, this added to the sporting atmosphere that was here.
The competition had been organized by the Skien Armwrestling Club, most clubs in Norway have a lot of experience in organizing competitions, if they didn’t they would not be awarded the license to organize their Nationals, it was also overseen by David Eilertsen so as I have come to expect in Norway it was run to perfection.
As this was already the 2nd Nationals they had run to the new rules their where no surprises and all competitors are kept up to date by being sent a copy of the rules and any changes that are made each year, so the competitors are well informed and the Referees had already done both seminars and the previous Nationals to the new rules, so their where no problems, at all competitions much depends on the referees doing a good job, this can make or break a competition, but heir where no worries here, the referees all did a good job and derisive my congratulations on their work.
They had made their own very nice Armwrestling video with inspirational music that got everyone excited and ready for the wrestling, they where not disappointed, The wrestling was exciting as you would expect at a nationals with some new faces and very strong battles, the women’s classes where hotly contested, some of this is down to experienced competitors like Erika Nygaard originally from Sweden who brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with her from her experience of competing and training in Sweden, who have one of the best women’s teams in the world, she can often be found coaching at the practice tables when she is not competing herself, or helping run the competition as she is also one of the referees.
It all went perfectly, finished on time, then of to get ready for the banquet they had arranged with some exceptionally good food.
Well done to David Eilertsen, the Skien Armwrestling Club and all the referees.
EAF Assistant Director of Referees
2014 Bulgarian Nationals
Bulgarian National Championship 2014
21-23 March 2014, Sozopol, Bulgaria
by David Shead
As Bulgaria is my favorite place to ski I went a week early and had a great week skiing in Bansko, then stayed on to do the Bulgarian nationals. I was travelling to the nationals with the Blagoevgrad team named after their town just outside Sofia.
There was a little confusion as to which town I was meeting them in but very soon we were on our way on a six hour road trip across Bulgaria in a large bus, as the team had 25 competitors with quite a lot of youngsters that were being trained by their team captain, Kiril, as well as some other very good world class competitors, so I was looking forward to seeing how well they did.
As we arrived in the city of Sozopol. We had some magnificent views across the black sea, it was so calm it looked like you could walk on it. The venue was on a thin strip of land running about 1/2 a kilometre into the sea, so you could see the sea from both the front and back of the venue it was all very beautiful, it would be a very nice place to visit for a summer holiday. The venue was a theatre style design with tiered seating making it good for spectators to see. We ran the competition on three tables starting with one for the disabled. They have a large number of seeing impaired in Bulgaria so it was a busy class.
In the senior classes the level is very high as they have more than one world champion, and their skills feed right through to the inter club championships that they are all keen to win, making it a very competitive championship indeed with all the competitors helping each other trying to win more points for their club.
Their head referee is Hristo Delidzhakov, who is also a WAF master referee as well as a world champion arm wrestler, we also had two referee’s come over from Romania their head referee Victor Barbu, and senior referee Eduard Dimiean, so along with the Bulgarian referee’s we were well equipped to handle the refereeing with the new rules, we also had WAF and EAF general secretary Mircea Simionescu-Simicel who came over from Romania to help with the technical side of things, so with WAF and EAF chairman Assen Hadjitodorov over seeing it, it all it went very smoothly.
This is a very good example of what can be achieved with people from different countries coming together and passing on their skills while running an excellent championships.
EAF Assistant Director of Referee's
2014 Russian Nationals
Russian Nationals 2014
6-9 March 2014, Ramenskoye (Moscow)
by David Shead
As I didn’t land until 21:00 it was after 23:00 by the time I got to the hotel and everyone was going to bed as we all had to be up a 7am but 23:00 was only 19:00 for me (as the UK is 4 hours behind) so although I went to bed I didn’t sleep well.
The next day I observed some of the weigh in, it was well organized by their head Referee Andre Mosolov, one of the advantages of having such a large nationals every year is you get lots of experience running large competitions and it showed in this organization.
They ran 7 tables the first day that included masters left and right, and even this was very competitive. 6 tables on the 2nd day for the right hand and lots of faces I recognized from previous worlds, but some didn’t qualify despite their experience; this shows just how competitive the Russian nationals are.
Although the numbers where down this year, 315 competitors but that’s just the seniors and masters the juniors and disabled have their own championships.
In one bout a senior woman competitor collapsed, she was completely unconscious for a few seconds, but the medic was their immediately looking after her before she came round and took her away for an examination that showed she had very high blood pressure, so head referee Andre Mosolov (very wisely) decided it was not safe for her to continue.
As you would expect the Armwrestling was of the highest level with many exciting bouts, and some surprise new faces on the team that will make their mark at the Europeans and Worlds.
The question I am sure many of you will be asking, is the Russian team going to be as strong as ever this year? Yes every bit as strong as ever.
All in all a good championships, I was well looked after and made to feel vary welcome by the officials and competitors, with special thanks to Alexander Filimonov, Nikolia Mishta, Andre Mosolov and Maria Lotsik.
EAF Assistant Director of Referees
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