St. Petersburg, Russia repeated as the host city for the Armlifting World Championships and the APL, under the leadership of Sergey Badyuk and Dimitriy Suhovarov, took last year’s success and raised the bar. With approximately 150 competitors, representing about a dozen countries, the scale was substantial and this was the case even though there had been a qualification round to keep the pool of competitors manageable.
Set in the Red Tower CrossFit, everyone had a chance to get an initial warm up by climbing several flights of stairs in this historic building to reach the facility, which was dedicated to the 2016 APL Armlifting World Championships for the weekend.
In addition to the character of the building, the scale of the setting was perfect: comfortably containing the competition, along with an ample warmup room, seating for spectators and booths for exhibitors.
As an indication of how the APL has advanced the presentation of armlifting, this year’s world championships included a monitor displaying the lifter’s name, the number of the attempt, and the weight, just as in weightlifting, and also as in weightlifting, another monitor also displayed the same information in the warmup room. Three referees, once again as in weightlifting, adjudicated the lifts.
Armlifting began with a single event—the Rolling Thunder—which remains the foundation of the sport, and it has expanded to also include the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet and the Apollon’s Axle Double overhand deadlift, which are staples of the grip strength world, and this year’s competition also included the IronMind Hub, as well as Excalibur (a vertical bar lift), the Saxon bar deadlift (a two-handed pinch grip), and some bending.
Contest highlights included:
• big performances on the CoC Silver Bullet by Dmitriy Suhovarov, Jouni Mahonen, Nikolay Pleshalov and Alexander Kirillov (Russia)
• an easy 125-kg success on the Rolling Thunder by Kirill Sarashev that was reminiscent of Mike Burke in terms of how casually he approached the lift and how undeniably strong he was on ii
• Kirill Sarashev blowing though 200, 215 and 225 kg on the Apollon’s Axle double overhand deadlift, followed by a shot at 240 kg, which he cracked off the floor, but did not complete
• Andrey Malanishev pulling a 200-kg Apollon’s Axle double overhand deadlift on what might have been the first time he tried the lift
• a field that included such grip strength stalwarts as Eric Roussin, Vyacheslav Gorbunov, Nikolay Pleshakov, Alexander Asinovskiy, Sergey Bogotopov, Roman Penkovskiy, Alexander Kirillov and Andrey Sharkov, for starters
The picture of concentration, Dmitriy Suhovarov produced a big time on the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
Jouni Mahonen is a name top remember: he’s aiming to break the world record on the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
APL president and Russian media star Sergey Badyuk with his son Akim, whom Sergey describes as “future world champion.” IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen
Here’s what the attempt board looked like and, incidentally, the pride of North America, Canada’s Eric Roussin, went on to make 103 kg on his third attempt, winning the Rolling Thunder in the men’s 90-kg class. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen
Roman Penkovskiy pulled an easy 110 kg on the Rolling Thunder. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
Strength sensation Kirill Sarashev hit an easy 125 kg on the Rolling Thunder. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
Jouni Mahonen had the winning lift on the IronMind Hub with 35 kg. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
480-kg squatter Andrey Malanishev dusted a 200-kg Apollon’s Axle double overhand deadlift with no training on it. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
Andrey Sharkov celebrates his 215-kg success on the Apollon’s Axle. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo
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