The 2019 Zloty Tur is a wrap and from my perspective I walk away from the tournament now truly excited about the future.
Funnily enough, I have read many comments since the tournament concluded that guessed this would be the end of my journey, that I'd run away with my tail between my legs and give up. But you know what, that couldn't be further from the truth of it for me. I am ridiculously excited to now go and evolve my training further and become another step closer to my overall goals. I feel like it's easy for people to assume that my heart is set on a trophy, or a particular goal, or a rank, but it really isn't. The prize for me is the journey, the growth that comes steadily from the grind. Win lose or draw I love this process and it is the reward. Absolutely zero chance I'm stopping. The ball definitely hasn't stopped rolling, and in fact it is picking up speed.
Zloty demonstrated a few key factors for me. Firstly the style of Rigid Rules Armwrestling is very different to what I have experienced in the USA and Australia in the last 12 months and the allocations of strength I require to succeed under these conditions is different from what I'd need under American and Australian conditions. In the USA style of starting, my hand has been good enough and my arm has been where the best opportunity for progress lies. Under Rigid Rules my hand needs more work and my arm less so.
Secondly, Zloty is awesome. The level of professionalism in this tournament from all aspects is amazing. Without doubt the premiere tournament globally, the Mazurenko team is in my mind the clear leader when it comes to delivering a quality tournament experience. For supermatch Armwrestling although the top 8 was intense, I feel WAL has the most entertaining format and I would love to see those two worlds meet in the middle.
As for the standard of Armwrestling and which is better? The Armwrestlers who dominate the Zloty are brilliant at their craft. I believe they have become masters of Rigid Rules Armwrestling and have the right physicality in this domain to be firmly regarded as the world's best. This isn't to say I believe they would also win under WAL conditions, but it is to say that Rigid Rules and WAL rules feels almost like two entirely different sports. The training requirements to become the best in each league are different, and although there is naturally a cross over, I don't believe either leagues athletes can easily cross to the other league and obtain certain success.
Further, Dan Mosiers success at Zloty was a great demonstration of the physicality required to succeed under Rigid Rules. Iron hand in the neutral position and trap like reactions with speed to kill.
As for Rob Vigeant? I have been asked how I think he'd have gone in the 95s if he were here, and honestly under Rigid Rules I suspect he would have gone 2-2 with the top guys here simply being too much off the go. Petrenko and Alienkov were in a league of their own I feel Robs hand would have set him above the bottom half of the pack but his lack of initiation speed would have seen him defeated by the upper mid pack of guys such as Makeev, Dadikyan, Pasieka etc. That said....in a supermatch, in WAL I'd back Rob to beat all of these guys, as they didn't feel utterly impossible, but just too good under Rigid Rules.
Overall, I loved this trip. It has highlighted to me exactly what I need to do in my training to evolve yet again. After lengthy chats with people like Krasimir Kostadinov, Mindaugas Tarasitus, and consulting with Todd Hutchings and John Brzenk the next chapter of my story is about to begin.