November 8, 2011 Posted by Brendan Downes in Australian / Local

New Champions Crowned!

It was a day where a Race is said to have stopped the nation, but for several hours of combat sport not a mention of a horse, a hoof or a bad tip was spoken. This was how the scene was set for the inaugural Australian Arm Wrestling Championships, held at Definition Gym, Doncaster, Melbourne.

Having been invited to promote a competition by Melbourne’s strongest man head co-ordinator George marialis, organisers Phil Rasmussen and Brendan Downes were pleased with the public response and the international turnout. Competitors travelled from as far as France/England to battle arms with several New Zealand athletes competing as well. Australia was well represented with Sydney and Hervey bay having quality entrants, besides the numerous Victorian swarm!

With Neil Bell (AAF President) on the Mic, the competition kicked off with the up to 85kg class running right and left hands concurrently. This weight class had two fierce battles on both hands from the same seasoned professionals. Martins Lorencis, 4 time Latvian champion and Sam saffuri from Hervey bay, Queensland, 2X world Champion competitor. These bouts were amazing examples of strength and top roll technique with Martins winning the left arm battle and Sam taking out the right!

Right Hand Results

Under 85kg 85kg - 95kg 95kg + OVERALLS
1. Sam Saffuri 1. Slavko 1. Nicholas Tiliacos 1. Sam Saffuri
2. Martins Lorencis 2.Caleb O'Brien 2. John Talo 2. Nicholas Tiliacos
3. Serkan Bigay 3. Brett Coutts 3. Peks Nanai 3. Slavko

Left Hand Results

Under 85kg 85kg - 95kg 95kg + OVERALLS
1. Martins Lorencis 1. Brett Coutts 1. John Talo 1. Brett Coutts
2. Sam Saffuri 2. Phil Rasmussen 2. Peks Nanai 2. Martins Lorencis
3. Serkan Bigay 3. Sultan Saffoury 3. Nicholas Tiliacos 3. John Talo

Next weight class (86-95kg) had Caleb O’Brian from new Zealand, Chris Saffuri (Sams younger brother), Phil Rasmussen, Brett Coutts (winner of several Asian comps) and Slavko from Sydney. By far the most entertaining matches were the ones Brett were in because they lasted the longest and had a variety of techniques used against him. Caleb beat him twice with beautiful top rolls and Brett beat Chris twice with raw strength. Slavko won the right handed category and Brett won the left hand category.

Up next were the heavies (95kg+), having all consumed a decent breakfast most likely, the big boys rumbled up to the stage, all wanting the glory to be crowned the first heavyweight Australian champion! In this class we had Nich Tilacos from Sydney, ‘’Pecs’’ Nanai (world disabled power lifting podium winner) and John Talo from the Victorian Arm benders club in Melbourne. Pecs placed in both the left and right arms, and John took out the left hand and Nick did a great job winning the right!

So we have our winners in the three weight classes….Now the Open category where we find out irrespective of weight, whose the best Arm Wrestler in Australia! Thunder and lightening ensued and even the heavens looked impressed as the pregnant rain clouds held their nerve until the final referee call was given. After the dust settled the winners stepped forward with the newly crowned best right handed Arm Wrestler in Australia, Sam Saffuri and the newly crowned best left handed Arm Wrestler in Australia, Brett Coutts!

All in all, it was a very successful day and enjoyable competition and we can certainly expect the calibre of entrants and the calibre of the Nationals Championships to be higher next year. With several key Australians looking to enter their first world champs next year in Brazil (Nov 19-26) the dates of next years Nationals may be pulled back slightly to allow for recovery.

Lastly we would all like to wish Mr Sam Saffuri the very best in his efforts at this years Worlds champs in Kazakhstan!

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