Real-Life Story by Clayton Faulconer
The Competition & The Competitors
The 2021 WAF world arm wrestling championships were in Dec of 2021 in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. There were over 1,600 competitors and this was the biggest and most competitive arm wrestling tournament in the world. There were competitors from over 51 countries. I was the only competitor from Canada which was the first time ever due to covid complications. I travelled with Canadian Master Referee, Dave Hicks.
What Stood Out
The venue was large and had a great layout, seating, lighting, video coverage on large screens and audio. There were 6 tables on stage running at one time. The competition was fierce, very professional and every competitor was serious about winning. My weight class was the 80 -90kg maximum in the master’s division. This was the first time I have ever competed in this heavier weight class and I was nervous about how I would perform. I have competed at the WAF Worlds on 3 other occasions in the 70-80 kg class. Many of my competitors were several-time national champions and were very competitive and lean which made the competition very challenging.
My Travel And Experiences
Competing in the 2021 WAF World Arm Wrestling Championships was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The tournament was the biggest and best I have ever attended. Clayton is ½ Romanian which made the experience better. My results can be seen on the WAF website. I placed 7th left arm and 11 right arm. Beating the Russian was classic!
Romania is a very beautiful country and the pictures do not compare to the beauty of seeing it in person..
What Lessons Did I Learn And What would I do differently?
I was able to use all the techniques and experience that I know and show on AC, but my reaction time may have been slightly delayed. I will attempt to use all techniques in the future and react as quickly as possible. This will improve with practice.
A lesson that I learned: Do not lose due to fouls. I lost both matches with my right arm due to elbow fouls. In the future, I will start with my elbow closer to the center of the pad so I don’t get pushed off the elbow pad and lose by fouling out. When a competitor starts to lose the advantage, they will try to push your elbow off the pad to cause a foul. This is a good technique to use and unless you obviously push your opponent's elbow off the pad, the referees cannot see or call this.
Another lesson I learned was not to lose too much weight prior to a competition. I lost a total of 18lbs / 8 kg in 3 weeks prior to the competition. To break this down, I lost 12lbs of fat in 3 weeks prior and 6 lbs of water using the hot bath-tub method 3 hrs before the weigh-ins. This may have weakened me slightly.
My Favourite Memories.
Armwrestling is a very strategic sport where every match is different and challenging. I am still learning and tomorrow will be a new, better day. I have new challenges, but will overcome them. The best memory of mine is placing in the top 10 after an amazing comeback story.
I officially had the following finishes at the 42nd annual World Arm wrestling championships in Bucharest Romania Nov 24-Dec 3, 2021:
- Master men 90kg left – 7th place
- Master men 90 kg right – 11th place