Report on WAF 2004 Championship in South Africa


Dear Friends,

   The XXVI WAF World’s hosted by Armand du Toit and the South African Arm Wrestling Federation was a huge success with 638 entries representing 32 countries. The actual event was on the beach of the Indian Ocean where we could watch the surfers, cargo ships and many birds. A lot of “air-armwrestling” also took place on the beach! A local young man had built a “sandcastle” of sorts with the “big 5” of Africa , elephant, lion, crocodile, water buffalo and cheetah, adding World Arm Wrestling to this wonderful creation! What an experience. I know all of us want to extend a thank you to Armand and all those that helped him with this huge undertaking. The Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World and other sponsors went all-out to insure we had a great time.

   The WAF Congress meeting went extremely well with 32 countries represented and 2 new countries that will be official next year. Mitsuo Endo confirmed the time and location of the WAF World’s next year which will be in Tokyo , Japan the first week in December 2005. (The US qualifier is in Little Rock in August 2005). I really missed having Dave Devoto present, but he was unable to travel at this particular time. In Dave’s absence I had the responsibility to represent the North American Armwrestling Federation and Simon Berriochoa represented the United States . Many issues were discussed with most being tabled until the Unified WAF Championship being held in Tokyo next year with United States ArmSports being the only organization in the U.S. recognized by the WAF. The WAF Congress also gave Simon Berriochoa their approval to pursue information concerning getting armwrestling admitted into the Olympics.

  I am so proud of the team from the United States ! It was an expensive venture but well worth it to those that went. Even though we had a small team we still were able to place fourth in the team standings! Russia won the team competition in a landslide with Ukraine , Canada and the U.S. finishing out the top 4. Gene Dunn went home with TWO World titles in the Masters divisions and Saul Rakauskas earned his title in the Masters Left hand 90kg class! Alexi Voevoda from Russia confirmed that he is the top Heavyweight in the World by going undefeated both right & left-handed. The media went crazy whenever he was at the table. The refereeing was flawless under the direction of WAF Head Referee Leonard Harkless and the competition was done early enough each day for us to enjoy the other things that Durban had to offer.

    I am already looking forward to the WAF World Championship in Tokyo ! Mitsuo Endo hosted a superb Championship in 1999 and I can only imagine what he has in store for us next year!

   Once again I want to thank all our team members and their friends and families. Those that could attend, and those that were not able to. The sacrifices you made are greatly appreciated. The sport is better because of people like you. Without your support and encouragement Armwrestling would not be growing as fast as it is.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone soon!



Denise Wattles

President, United States ArmSports



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