The sport of Arm wrestling has gained tremendous popularity all over the world since its recognition in the 1950s. A test of forearm strength between two competitors, arm wrestling in its early days was mostly a male dominated sport. However, it soon saw participation from women athletes, and till date, there have been many legendary female arm wrestlers who have graced the sport.
The first official female arm wrestling tournament was in the 1964 World Wristwrestling Championship women’s division. Since then, the rise of women in the sport has given its audience some of the greatest female arm wrestlers, who have inspired many women to take up the sport.
5 female arm wrestling matches that are unforgettable
Throughout the history of the sport, the women of arm wrestling have given many memorable matches for the audience. From hot blooded, high intensity battles to the clash of endurance and technique, these matches have left a mark in the global arm wrestling fandom for their distinctiveness. Below here are five of the best female arm wrestling bouts of all time.
1. Irina Makeeva vs Egle Vaitkute, A1 Russian Open World Armwrestling Grand Prix 2012
The final of the 2012 A1 Russian Open World Armwrestling Grand Prix saw the clash between two of the most iconic female arm wrestlers of all time. Irina Makeeva, the winner of the inaugural World Challenge in the 70kg class in 2009, took on the 80kg World Champion Egle Vaitkute from Lithuania. Facing an opponent from the heavier class was no walk in the park for Makeeva, but the Russian ultimately came out on top to win the prestigious tournament.
2. Fia Reisek v Joyce King, World Armwrestling League 2016 Womens Final
Former world no. 1 and veteran Canadian arm wrestler Joyce King was the final opponent of Swedish superstar Fia Reisek at the 2016 WAL Women’s Right Hand Final. One of the most successful Swedish arm wreslters of all time, Reisek had a best of three bout against the former WAF super-heavyweight world champion King. After a test of endurance in the first round, Reisek took the lead, followed by a second round which saw a quick 2-0 finish for the Swede.
3. Gabriela Vasconcelos vs Sarah Bäckman, World Armwrestling League 506 Championships 2019
Two superstar female arm wrestlers of all time, Gabriela Vasconcelos and Sarah Bäckman took each other on at the World Armwrestling League 506 Championships last year in September. The debut of two iconic arm wrestlers in the ‘best of five’ championship match was an eye candy for the fans. Eight times World Champion Bäckman was a formidable opponent for Vasconcelos,but the Brazilian powerhouse battled through the match with sheer dominance, winning the bout 3-0.
4. Joanne Poole vs Sarah Bäckman, Arm Wars Super Series Liverpool, 2008
One of the most intense matches of Sarah Backman’s career was in 2008 against the legendary UK arm wrestling champion Joanne Poole at the Arm Wars Super Series in Liverpool, UK. Going up in weight to take on the daughter of former champion arm wrestler Richard Poole, Bäckman had to give all of her efforts against the ‘Hit Woman’ Jo Poole. Even though Poole took the lead in the first round, the Swedish legend powered through the rest of the rounds, ending the match with a superb 5-1 victory.
5. Heidi Andersson vs. Irina Makeeva, World Armwrestling Federation World Championships 2011
Beating the legendary Irina Makeeva was a stupendous feat for the Swedish arm wrestling champion Heidi Andersson. At the final of the 2011 World Armwrestling Federation World Championships in Kazhakstan, Andersson overpowered her Russian opponent reached the pinnacle of the arm wrestling world, and defeated the right arm dominant Makeeva in her prime, and was the only arm wrestler to do so.