David Shead about the Italian National’s
Once again I have great things to say about a national championship, having just come back from Gardone Riviera in Italy. Referred to as the Italian Riviera, because it is so beautiful.
Last year it was held just outside of Pisa where Claudio Rizza was very pleased to achieve, for the first time, just over 200 competitors. This year, despite Italy's considerable economic difficulties we have all been hearing about in the news, Claudio managed to increase the number to 250 competitors. This (as far as I know) puts them in joint third, with Sweden, in the national championship stakes in Europe. This is a major achievement and can only be done with hard work and the clever promotion of our sport.
On Saturday Fulvio Menegazzo (Italy's head referee) had arranged a training seminar for me to take with six new referees just coming into the sport, and on Sunday there was a test session to grade them. They did well with four of them being able to start at senior level in small competitions and the other two at junior level.
Claudio's competitions are always well presented, held in what only can be described as a Palace. With Claudio and his scorers in their uniforms, as well as all the referees in Italy's own designer uniforms looking very smart.
With the amount of competitors taking part the competition was held over two days (left sat and right sun) running on three tables each day. This is the third Italian Nationals I have done, with many of the same referees, and their level gets better and better. They all did their jobs very well with no dramas and very few complaints. The arm wrestlers were well behaved and very sporting, with several clubs hotly contending for the team trophy.
The level gets tougher every year and with so many entries’ it was a very competitive championships indeed.
Congratulations to Fulvio Menegazzo who after 3 years of not competing came back and took 2nd with both his left and his right.
EAF Assistant Director of Referees