As we enter into the New Year, it is worth taking the time to stop and reflect on the year that has passed.
In 2014 there were 11 official Australian Armwrestling Federation tournaments and 68 supermatches. A total of 186 competitors took part in 1065 matches for 58 titles!
We saw some fantastic newcomers to the sport, such as Tom Ugljsea (who took second in the 100kg left class at Nationals), Max Gibbins, Tim Gadsby, Tim Graham, Cole Pepperell, Daniel Stirrat, to name just a few; as well as the Victorian young guns Andy Boznich and Furkan Uzun. Boznich and Uzun have both been selected to represent Australia in the Junior Under 21 division at the World Armwrestling Championships in 2015.
We also enjoyed watching old hands wrestling for the top positions. While the number one positions for the right hand remain the same as in 2013, there was a bit more movement in the left hand. Brett Coutts ended 2014 the number one left heavyweight (taking the position from Matt Bacon); and Grant Tolentino took on heavier opponents with considerable success, ended the year the number one puller for the left 100kg and 90kg classes, in addition to the 80kg class which he previously held in 2013.
Indeed Tolentino maintained a strong presence throughout 2014, but his 100% win ratio for the right hand in 2014 was broken by Sam Saffuri in a nailbiting final at the Nationals on the Gold Coast, where Saffuri defeated Tolentino to take back the title for the right hand in the 80kg class. Saffuri ends the year ranked third in the right 80kg class.
Ryan “Blue” Bowen had the most matches for the right hand (39) as well as the most match wins for the right hand (30) in 2014. Bowen also walked away from 2014 with three titles.
However, Doug Fatafehi is by far and away the star puller in 2014. He has dominated the heavyweight class, and finishes the year with 5 titles for the right hand and 4 for the left. He won his titles at the NSW Championships, the Queensland Championships, the Melbourne Cup, the Nationals, and the WA Championships. We’re hoping that next year Fatafehi can win titles in SA, NT and Tasmania and collect the set! He ended 2014 ranked first overall for the right hand, and third overall for the left hand.
2014 was the year for supermatches, with 68 supermatches (compared to 8 in 2013). Victoria has led the way, with 47 of those supermatches being held in Melbourne. Much of this can be attributed to the enthusiasm and dedication of Andrew “the Pink Puller” Lea in organising these events. We think Lea should pursue an alternative career as an armwrestling matchmaker, as the supermatch draws he has put together have led to some very exciting bouts.
2014 was also an exciting year for Armwrestling Rankings. We created the Live Feed so that people could follow matches live online, and the system has been constantly improved so that it can be used to assist in the running of tournaments. Remember that the site will get better with your feedback, so don’t hesitate to contact us through Facebook or email with any suggestions.
For those who haven’t yet adopted the Armwrestling Rankings model, we encourage you to contact us to discuss how your armwrestling federation can increase competition and encourage participation in the sport by using this site.
We are certainly very excited to see what 2015 will bring in the armwrestling world!