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Queens strong arms contest

Arm wrestlers from all over the world converged for the 33rd Annual Empire State Golden Arm Tournament of Champions to compete for the title as New York’s strongest arm.
The intensity of the competitors attracted a crowd at the city’s Port Authority Bus Terminal where the competition was held on Saturday, November 18.
This year, Queens came to the competition ready for action. In the amateur event, Daniel DeSoto of Fresh Meadows won first place in the super heavyweight right arm division, followed by David Milburn of Jamaica in second place. Devin Worrell, from Corona won the 176 pound left hand class and third place in the right hand class. Michael Bissman from Flushing also won first place left super heavyweight class.
The women’s league was the largest turnout in the history of the Empire State Arm Wrestling Tournament. Whitestone native Ilya Dall was the only woman from Queens to earn a medal. She won third place in the 143 pound pro division.
The most popular match of the women’s bracket was Joyce Boone of Brooklyn versus Josee Morneau of Winnipeg, Canada. Both women are veteran arm wrestlers with accolades backing up their reputations. Morneau is known as NYC Queen of Arms and a five-time world champion, but Boone is Brooklyn’s strongest arm and one of the best arm wrestlers in the city.
“I was kind of nervous because she beat me last year, but I’m glad I won,” said Boone who defeated Morneau to capture the women’s right hand open finals.
“This match is one of the most highly anticipated matches of the competition,” said Gene Camp president of the New York Arm Wrestling Association. “Joyce practiced every single day. She’s truly the most dedicated female arm wrestler in the association. She deserves this.”
For many in attendance, the greatest spectacle of the night was Roman Tsindeliani from Russia, as he dominated all challengers in every weight class. Despite weighing just 150 pounds, the 10-time world champion easily defeated his opponents in seven weight classes early in the competition.
“He is just too fast, his arm strength is just too much it makes no sense to struggle against him,” said Harry Wilson, former arm star award winner from Brooklyn. “I am not what I used to be anymore.”
Tsindeliani suffered his only loss of the day to Travis Bagent of West Virginia, who outweighed the Russian arm wrestler by about 150 pounds. But according to Camp, the loss did not diminish Tsindeliani’s nearly perfect performance.
“Roman is the best weight for weight arm wrestler I have ever seen,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 33 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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