Gers: arm wrestling champion in Fleurance for an explosive first tournament

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It was in the Eloi Castaing room in Fleurance that this Saturday, June 25, for the first time, amateurs, professionals and champions of this sport met like no other: arm wrestling.

“It’s true that it’s not easy. Usually we arm wrestle for fun with friends, over an aperitif!”, jokes Richard, a 50-year-old who came to stand by the champions on Saturday 25 June. It was in the Eloi Castaing room in Fleurance that the first arm wrestling tournament took place. A sport that was not as widespread, but was eventually exported to the Gers. The competition is initiated by Arnaud Lasportes. A few years ago, this young Gersois, who works in real estate, fell in love with sporting arm wrestling.

“It’s an individual sport that allows you to train a lot of muscles, from jaw to stomach. The idea of ​​this tournament was to introduce as many people as possible to this ‘confidential’ sport,” explains the organizer. But the event attracted many curious like Richard, twenty participants were present in the morning. First step of the tournament: sign a disclaimer. Because if arm wrestling remains a fun sport, it is not without risk. Rescue workers were on site to oversee the match.

Coaching champions

Among the behemoths with arms inflated with muscles and ready to do battle on the table, Guillaume Barbara, member of the Toulouse Armwrestling Club. The latter has about twenty members, but on the national territory there are only 300 at the level of the federation. The 25-year-old from Gers has the particularity of sponsoring the event.

And understand why on the poster of his price list. Champion of France 2022 left arm wrestling in category 70 kg, 8e at the European Championship that took place in Romania last year, he is currently preparing for the World Championship that will take place in Turkey in October.

The champions of France, Thor and Guillaume, also competed during this tournament under the watchful eye of organizer Arnaud Lasportes.

It is with special humility that he describes his passion for this unusual sport. “I’ve been practicing arm wrestling for four years now, but there was a break during the Covid period,” he says. Thor Boutet was also there. Double champion of France and vice champion this year, his size is impressive. Multiple workouts a week, a healthy diet and a foolproof mind: those are his “secrets” to winning a competition.

An initiation into the rules of art for the mayor of Fleurance

Before hostilities begin, safety instructions are required for a small demonstration. “For the Fleurintine competition there are two categories, men and women and weight classes. It is on the principle of group competitions and there will only be one winner,” explains Thor. The event was not only a competition, but also provided an opportunity to experience the practice on official equipment. The mayor of Fleurance joined his sports assistant, Aimée Pararols, to try his hand-to-arm wrestling against Guillaume.

The mayor of the city willingly lent himself to an initiation of arm wrestling.

The mayor of the city willingly lent himself to an initiation of arm wrestling.

A funny scene but one that amused the hesitant mayor before he finally got to work. “We are completely open to the different disciplines, arm wrestling may seem physical, but you also need a steely mind. Why not future editions?”, Supports the mayor of Fleurance, Ronny Guardia-Mazzoleni.