Singapore’s Valen Low is Asia Arm Wrestling Youth Champion

Saturday, June 28, 2014 Singapore Sports Stories 0 Comments

Sendai, Japan - Valen Low Wai Luen, 20, powered his way to gold and silver in the XIII Asian Open Arm Wrestling Championships for the youth under-70kg categories today, 28 June 2014. He notched gold for his right hand and silver for left, summing up his successful debut on the Asia stage.

Singapore Arm Wrestling, Asian Arm wrestling, Tajikistan Arm Wrestling, Japan Arm Wrestling
Singapore is the Strongest: Valen Low (middle) took the title of Asian's strongest youth in the under-70kg, right hand category after he defeated arm wrestlers from Tajikistan and Japan. Photo: Courtesy of Valen Low

En route to his victory, Valen, a Republic Polytechnic Health Management and Promotion student, defeated arm wrestlers from Tajikistan and host country, Japan, He identified Tajikistan’s arm wrestler, Sariev Asatillo, as his main competitor, after he lost two out of three matches against him on Friday in the left hand category. However, he was confident on winning the Tajikistani when it came to his right hand.

“I knew that my right hand was stronger than my left. So I actually knew that I could win the Tajikistan guy,” said Valen. “I had to focus and put 100% in what I do and I have to be smart about my moves.”

Valen won Asatillo in the finals, and also went undefeated in customised knockout rounds, in which competitors were eliminated if they lost two rounds. He was one of three competitors for his category. “I feel proud to represent my country and to compete in the Asia Arm Wrestling Championship is no small feat,” said Valen. “I know that I still have much to improve on…I have to improve a lot to be of world-class standard.”

Usually bulkier, Valen was initially 77kg before he registered for the competition, but after careful caloric counting, he successfully made weight for the under-70kg event, weighing in at 68kg. “Five days out from the competition, I reduced my carbohydrates intake to around 100grams a day and my sodium intake to as minimum as possible because carbohydrates and sodium hold water weight in my body,” explained Valen.

He also reduced his water intake and took to hot tubs to rid his body of water. “I was actually feeling quite dehydrated and feeling a bit ‘floaty’. On the day of my weigh in I was in my worst condition of my arm wrestling career ever,” he said. 

Valen credits his win to his team and Malaysia’s Arm Wrestling Association. “The Singapore Arm Wrestling team helped me in terms of training and preparation for this competition,” he said. “The Selangor Arm Wrestling Association created many competitions to prepare me for this Asian Championships.”

His fellow countrymen and team mate, Desmond Lau Chee Loong, 25, finished fifth in the Senior’s Men under 70kg, for both left and right hands.

Both Singapore arm wrestlers travelled to Japan by themselves and funded the trip out of their own pockets. Besides competing, they took the championship as an opportunity to gauge Singapore Arm Wrestling standards. Valen said: “This competition is also a gauge for Singapore’s Arm Wrestling team to know where we stand in the arm wrestling world so we will know our weaknesses and strengths and where we can improve on.

“We are improving and I believe in a few years, we will get good results in international competitions such as the Asia Championships and World Championships.”

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