Sam Saffuri Ranks 10th in World Armwrestling Championships
Hervey Bay property developer Sam Saffuri has taken on the world's best and been ranked 10th in the world at the biggest ever World Arm Wrestling Championships held in Rosolina, Italy.
Mr Saffuri was the sole representative from Australia in a competition involving more than 1,600 representatives from 47 countries, and single-handedly beat arm wrestlers from the USA, Canada, South Africa, Poland to name a few. After just four months of training before the event, he has now been ranked 10th in the world for his right arm and 11th for his left arm in the Master Men's 80kg category, a fantastic effort in anyone's books.
"Although this was the first ever arm wrestling competition that I have ever attended let alone compete in, I always thought that I had the ability to do well in the sport," Mr Saffuri says. "After knowing that Australia will not be presented in this event I felt it was my duty to put my hand up to represent Australia. The competitors from the other countries were selected through months of national competitions, with the best athlete qualifying to represent their country on the world stage." I was delighted to compete amongst athletes of such a calibre."
Mr Saffuri first heard about the competition in May this year and commenced training straight away. With thanks to the perfect climate in Hervey Bay, making conditions ideal, he had four months of daily training. In comparison, some of his competitors have been training in the sport for years as professionals. This trip has illustrated to me how much the international world like and welcomes Australians," Mr Saffuri says."
Sam Saffuri heading to the USA for the international arm wrestling championships.
"I have been treated like a celebrity, with people taking photos of me wearing my Australian uniform. I was also interviewed by international media, and to top it off, I found pictures of myself arm wrestling in the Italian news papers."Prior to going to Italy I thought I would be able to sweep first place. My opinion soon changed after arriving at the competition and seeing and talking to these dedicated athletes, with their amazing arms. It became apparent to me that I had quite a job in front of me to win any matches at all. I quickly realised the fact that I would be competing with the best of the best in the world. My amateur approach was hard to hide. I received warnings and fouls from the referees, due to fundamental mistakes that these professionals would laugh at."Not reaching 1st place has been a disappointment in the eyes of my children but, it has amazed the arm wrestling community knowing that this is my first competition with no experience prior to this, I had never before this seen an arm wrestling table. To me the highlight of this trip was when each country had to hold a sign with the name of their country on it and march across the stage like in the Olympic Games. The average team had 35 competitors and here I was, alone holding the Australian sign as high as I could....what an honour!"
Mr Saffuri says that talking to team members and to the President of the World Arm Wrestling Federation, Fred Roy, it was concluded that Hervey Bay would be a great location for future events to take place."This event would fill up all the hotels and restaurants with teams injecting approximately $3 million in into our community in one week. The 2010 World Arm Wrestling Championships will be held in Las Vegas USA, but we can put Hervey Bay on the world stage in 2011 if our community likes the idea." The arm wrestling sport is one of the oldest sports and the most popular sport as every one has tried It some time in their life at school, diner table etc. It is a great explosive sport that requires strength, speed, technique, and spirit. Which Australians could do well at. Video footage and pictures of Mr Saffuri competing at the event is available.