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.


David Shead


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.


David Shead

EAF Assistant Director of Referees


Croatian International Cup




Croatian International Cup “Sokol Maric”

2nd March 2014, Zagreb - CROATIA

by David Shead


Croatian International Cup is held in Zagreb a modern city but with a long and interesting history that we all had a nice incite to on a city tour with a guide to help us find out about some of its history.

The competition was on a specially constructed stage designed so spectators could see from all 4 sides, and for good reason as it attracted about 700 spectators.

Their where 15 countries taking part so we ran the competition on 3 tables, the competitors where of all levels, some very novice others world champions,

In the heats some of the newer wrestlers did surprise the more experienced but at the top it was more predictable, it was a pleasure to watch Franco Comperli win his class with some exhalent displays’ of wrestling.

One other point to note were the wrestlers from Kazakhstan who not only took several of the top places but it was agreed by the referees that they did not make many mistakes, almost never making fouls, I believe they may be the best trained team in the world, working like machines with their precision. Watch out for them at the world championships.


Overall it was a friendly but competitive competition that all seemed to enjoy.  


David Shead  

EAF Assistant Director of Referees