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Hungary, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Brazil. What does unite them?

The correct answer is mas wrestling. Athletes of these countries have become the triumphers of the international start in mas-wrestling in the United States of America these days.

"Hot. Vernal. Ours.".  This slogan can rightfully be applied to the International Mas-Wrestling tournament which took place in American Columbus within the framework of Arnold Classic 2018 Sports Festival.

We will say about the cons straight away and then only about the good moments. Annual experience shows that the main problem of organizing and conducting competitions overseas is the issue of obtaining an entry visa by participants. Of course, a lot of athletes from around the world wanted to get to the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sports festival. By the way, this year the event celebrates its 30th anniversary. 78 different sport events were held at the same time. The number of visitors this year is a record 22 thousand people. We are very pleased that Mas-Wrestling has strengthened its positions here. Strong links have already been established. This year, right after the competition, an article with photos appeared on the front page of the local newspaper “The Columbus Dispatch”.

So, let's get back to the problem. This year was no exception – some of the athletes representing International Mas-Wrestling Federation member-countries could not get a visa to the United States and were left out. Well, those who were not denied, and who also found sponsor funds for a long trip, were rewarded in full amount.

The atmosphere of the whole festival and of our competition by itself was excellent. It is no secret that the spirit of friendship always reigns on the Mas-Wrestling platform. This is our common achievement, the result of the joint work of all the national federations around the world. There are no borders and political passions. Human qualities, the ability to put a shoulder to everyone who needs it are much valued here.

Despite the fact that our ranks have thinned, organizers of competitions and mas-wrestlers from ten countries of the world arrived in Columbus: Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, USA, Uzbekistan and Finland. Competitions were held in four weight categories: up to 100 kg and more among men and up to 70 kg and more among women.
Mikhail Pakhomov opened the international competitions with his welcome speech in Yakut language, in which he warmly congratulated everyone on behalf of the President of the International Mas-Wrestling Federation Mr. Alexander Akimov and wished a worthy battle. As a token of gratitude and respect to the President of the US Mas-Wrestling Federation Mr. Odd Haugen, he presented the Yakutian choroon, a symbol of the hospitality of the Sakha people.

Further competitions were held according to the preliminary scenario. The first fights took place on the competitive stage, and the rest in the central hall on the Rogue stage. 

There was no equal competition for Fanni Rebeka Varga from Hungary in the weight category up to 70 kg. The girl who looks like a model moved on the board so fast that her competitors did not have any chance to win. Congratulations to the Hungarian Mas-Wrestling Federation and personally to Adam Darasz - the mastermind of all the victories of his mentees!

Nicole Higham trained hard despite the fight against a serious illness. For a short period of time she dropped more than 15 kg and, perhaps, this caused her winning a more modest second place. I think that in our community there is not a single person who would not be touched by the destiny of a young girl who gives an example of resilience to everyone.

Newcomer Janel Vegter from Kentucky who was preparing specifically for this tournament, attended a Mas-Wrestling training camp in Finland with her coach Chad Clark and Adam Tucker. She won the third prize.

In the women's weight category over 70 kg there was a selection of very strong athletes, but the absolute Mas-Wrestling world champion Olesya Gureeva confirmed her high title. She managed to do it with great efforts in the final fight against worthy rivals - American Mollie Hoss and Finnish athlete Saija Kantola, who loudly announced herself at the World Cup final in Moscow. Moreover, the strong spirit of the Uzbek athlete played a decisive role in achieving victory. Her brother and fellow countrymen, Timur Sabirov and Sergei Trubitsin, came to support her. Our congratulations to the Mas-Wrestling Federation of Uzbekistan!

Among men in weight category up to 100 kg, Canadian athlete Quinton Falk managed to get ahead of the experienced Hungarian athlete Tamas Deli. According to Tamas himself, he is satisfied that he became a medalist of a prestigious tournament.

I would especially like to mention Azat Tashtanbekov from Kyrgyzstan, who lost all his baggage when flying from Moscow to New York, but he managed to get together and perform beautifully. His federation should be proud of such an athlete. As a reward, he received a gorgeous champion belt. In addition, he was lucky enough to meet the Iron Arnie himself. I'm sure that he will keep his photo with Schwarzenegger for life. What else does a 21-year-old boy need for happiness?

Ricardo Nort from Brazil was the most powerful Mas-Wrestler among the heavyweights. In December at the World Cup he was not very confident due to the fact that he was new to Mas-Wrestling, but his performance on the American platform was a lot better. He won all the fights in fleeting battles. Our congratulations to the Brazilian Mas-Wrestling Federation led by Vilmar Oliveira!

All the awardees received prizes from the International Mas-Wrestling Federation and gifts from sponsors. Even those who lost this day were satisfied, because everyone realized what a historical scene was happening there, how many people around the world saw their participation in the live broadcast and what a great experience they all got!

Congratulations to the winners of the competitions:


- up to 100 kg

1. Azat Tashtanbekov - Kyrgyzstan

2. Quinton Falk - Canada

3. Tamas Deli - Hungary

- over 100 kg

1. Ricardo Nort - Brazil

2. Logan Emery - USA

3. Nicholas Sanders - USA


- up to 70 kg

1. Fanni Rebeka Varga - Hungary

2. Nicole Higham - USA

3. Janel Vegter - USA

- over 70 kg

1. Olesya Gureeva - Uzbekistan

2. Saija Kantola - Finland

3. Mollie Hoss - USA

Odd Haugen (USA) was the chief judge, Mikhail Pakhomov (Russia) was deputy chief judge and head of the platform, Egor Ermolaev (Russia) was the judge on the platform.

This tournament is the next contribution to the preparatory process for the World Championship in this kind of Yakutian sport which will take place in Yakutsk in November 2018.


Author: Lena Tomskaya
Photo: Лена Томская
Number of shows: 573
Country:  United States of America
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