WAL event coming to town
Ryan Espey, right, will be one of many armwrestlers competing at the March 4 WAL qualifying event in Portage la Prairie. (Submitted)
The first stop on a journey to Vegas starts right here in Portage.
Armwrestlers from across North America will be coming to town with the hopes of winning a qualifying position and eventually earning a ticket to Las Vegas to compete against some of the best in the world.
“Basically this is your first step if you want to compete in the World Armwrestling League,” explains Ryan Espey, tournament director and veteran arm wrestler. “You're gunna see a lot of intensity and hopefully see some great action at the table. It'll be different than anything you've ever seen.”
Portage's WAL qualifying event is set for March 4 at Stride Place, with weigh-ins taking place the day of and evening prior. Men and women over the age of 18 are able to compete in the local event and can register online or in person the weekend of the competition. The men's event has four weight classes for both the right and left hand while the women's event has three.
“Unless they have some experience they would be wise to enter the amateur class,” advises Espey of potential competitors. “It's going to be the start of a great journey for a lot of us,” he continued. “We'll have a lot of guys that might actually be able to do some damage into the finals of the tournament.
There is a progression amongst the amateurs as well, where they will find themselves in Las Vegas if they do well and qualify through the stages.”
A clinic will be held prior to the start of the event outlining recent changes to play and format. Weigh-ins are Friday, March 3 6-8 p.m., and from 9:30-12:30 the following morning. The clinic is set for 1 p.m., and competition from 2-4 p.m.
“Armwrestlers seem to be a group that likes to make last minute decisions, I do know that there is quite a few people coming and we will have representation from the United States and Saskatchewan coming, so it should be a good event,” added Espey. “I'll be pushing for it to be back next year. I'm hoping to just make it bigger and better and concentrate my efforts on one local event each year.”
To register for the Portage WAL qualifying event, see http://www.walunderground.com/events.