Tassie Armwrestling Results
In the world of strength sports, how does one compete for attention in a room filled with crazed men in revealing suits lifting the equivalent weight of a class of primary schools students (often well fed and numerous classes) either across their shoulders, off their chests, or ripped off the floor?
The answer is: you don’t. When a man squats several times his own bodyweight with less strain than it takes for most of our slothful population to haul their soft bodies out of bed in the morning, you simply stand to the side and allow the attention to be drawn away from you.
The AAF Tasmanian State Championships were held in conjunction with the CAPO 2013 Powerlifting titles at the Tasmanian Health & Fitness expo, and although our presence may have been slightly dwarfed by men who are so big they require their own postcodes, our competitors approached this event once again as though it was the equivalent of the recently held Russian A1 Open Armwrestling Championships. Our staple competitors no longer enter with the thought that they may not walk away as a winner. Everyone is there to fight their way up the ladder of Australian Armwrestling.
Our presence may have been slightly dwarfed by men who are so big they require their own postcodes.
Whilst ammonia capsules were snorted on stage to induce temporary, tunnelled fury towards an inanimate object, AAF competitors channelled their own brand of temporary insanity towards each other from opposite ends of the table. As seems to be the case more often than not with each competition, nothing could be predicted…
80 – 95kg Left & Right
For most of us, competing in one weight division on the day is more than enough to send us home grasping our forearms in waves of searing pain and inhaling unhealthy doses of Volatren in a futile bid to calm flaming tendons and joints (and develop serious stomach ulcers). Unfortunately, for those in this class at least, Jesse Johnson seems to be able to endure a little more physical punishment than most, and decided he’d “warm up” for his weight category by tearing through a heavier weight class without a loss and ensuring that some (myself included) would go home wondering whether Voltaren would be enough to soothe and mask what really hurt.
Jesse competed with a fury that bordered on the manic, setting up for each match as though he was gripping up with a world champion each time, and although some of the best competitors in this class, such as Andrew Lea and his almost hydraulic level shoulder press, managed to hold off Jesse’s explosive top roll for a few seconds, Jesse would walk away with his first two 1st place trophies for the day.
As always this was an aggressively hard fought division and the largest of the day, and although some of the dominant names in this division were not present, those who were competed as though there was much more on the line than a state title. As we draw ever closer to the nationals every match, be it the first in a class or a final, builds anticipation, expectation, and more than its fair share of speculation towards November. And as speculation starts to build, all that really counts is being on the table and proving that one has the ability to walk away as a winner.
Under 80kg Left & Right
You probably won’t be shocked to hear that Jesse also walked away with another two 1st place trophies in the class he weighed in for, without dropping a single match on either hand yet again. No mean feat in any respect. There were those who intended to stand in his way however, and Joe Hudec certainly gave everything to see that this division would be just as hard fought, pulling through some tough matches to take 3rd place, along with Alfred Caulker (resident Tasmanian and future national threat), both showing a huge growth in sport specific strength and technical ability, and genuine promise as solid competitors in their weight division.
95kg+ Right & Left
At an event filled with those who lift extremely big, those who want to lift just as big, those who are without question big but probably only really talk about lifting more than their growth supplement container out their bags with sausage like fingers, and those who have started to develop their own gravitational pull…you’d think there would surely be more testosterone oozing hulks out there looking to walk away with a sense of power over their fellow man.
Although there were only four entrants on both hands in the heavyweight class, some of the most grinding, tough matches were to eventuate from this division.
Ryan Phillips, national and state champion, may be dropping weight leading up to November, but is sacrificing nothing in terms of strength. Ryan demonstrated clearly that a precise application of strength in this sport and being able decoding your opponent’s abilities in those almost imperceptible moments is what will determine the winner many times over, rather than pure (and very impressive) strength…which is something Darren Cantwell and Adam Pinkard (competing only on his right) both had in spades. Referring during any match these men were involved in became an ordeal given that clear sight of the pads seemed to eclipse when blocked out by the presence of their enormous, almost leg like arms.
Lighter competitors fleshed out this class, and special mention has to be given to Andrew Manfrae who managed to hold his own in a class (like Jesse Johnson) that outweighed him considerably, after many tough matches throughout the day. Armwrestling is nothing if not addictive.