David Shead - Europeans 2013
European championships 2013 Lithuania
26 Countries, 26 Referee’s, 6 tables, 640 competitors, 1196 entries, sounds impressive, and it was. It ran with the smoothness of a well oiled machine. Despite the numbers we finished the heats between 12:30pm to 1:20pm every day, with the scorers, referees and competitors all playing their part to achieve this.
Of course when things are running this smoothly the wrestlers can focus on what they do best armwrestling and they certainly did, giving us many fantastic and memorable matches. Like the 85kg senior men’s right hand final, between Ievgenii Prudnyk and Rustam Babaiev both from Ukraine . Rustam came to the table on the A side, but incredibly he seemed to be struggling and lost on fouls so it went to rematch and this time Rustam went on the attack and took Ievgenii to within an inch of the pad, amazingly Ievgenii managed to fight back and finish with a pin to make him European champion. I can’t remember that last time I saw Rustam get beaten by somebody of his own body weight, it maybe 10 or 12 years now so full credit to Ievgenii Prudnyk on becoming European champion.
This was a really good championship in a beautiful modern town, the referees were the best they’ve ever been, with extra help from hideki ohmura and Mauro Pascoa (Please see my referees report on the EAF website). But were there faults? Yes, we still had some transportation problems getting people to and from the airport, and the competition did start 50 minutes late on the first day, because of the accursed badge problem, but I know Anna Mazurenko has a plan that we maybe able to build into the championship contract that should stop this happening in the future. And when I have finished consulting with our technical directors I will make a proposal to the EAF Congress that should stop the late starts caused by the badge problems.
Overall I have to say what a fantastic championship this was, with all the officials doing a great job under the guidance of the new WAF chairman Assen Hadjitodrov. I do hope we can achieve something close to this under his leadership at this years world championship in Poland .
EAF Assistant director of referees