Singapore's Valen Low takes third in Pattaya International Arm Wrestling Championships

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Singapore Sports Stories 0 Comments

PATTAYA, Thailand – Singaporean Valen Low Wai Luen beats the likes of established Russian arm wrestlers to finish third in the under-75kg category of the 11th Pattaya International Arm Wrestling Championships on 6 September 2014.  

Singapore Arm Wrestling's Valen Low and Tee Jun departing for Pattaya International Arm Wrestling Championships

Flying the Flag: Valen Low (left) and Tay Jia Jun (right) performed respectably at the 11th Pattaya International Arm Wrestling Championships which featured arm wrestling powerhouses from Kazakhstan and Russia. Valen took third in the under-75kg category while Jia Jun finished fifth in the under-85kg category.Photo: Courtesy of Valen Low

It was Valen’s first competitive experience against European opponents, seasoned ones at that, but it did not stump the 20-year-old Republic Polytechnic student as he took down Russian Dmitry Motorin to secure third position in his first outing to the competition.

Dmitry Motorin is a mammoth of a man, towering more than a head above the 1.7m tall Valen as the pair faced one another on the arm wrestling table. The pair were due for a strap match after their hands slipped out. The referee proceeded to lock the pair's hands in a strap match and adjusted them according to his specifications. Then, with a sudden and loud “Ready, go”, the match began. What followed was an aggressive shout from Valen as he exerted his might. Within two seconds, the match ended. The Russian patted Valen’s right hand in sporting fashion, before walking away, eyebrows raised in apparent shock. He had just lost to his shorter Singaporean counterpart. 

Valen was dwarfed, not daunted. Dmitry Motorin from mighty Moscow, has been defeated by the arm wrestler from the heartlands of Singapore; the arm wrestler who trains in the hall of his HDB flat; the arm wrestler who chases his athletic ambitions with no support; the arm wrestler that parted with his savings to get to Pattaya and compete with the Singapore flag on his sleeve. He may have lost some money, but he is bringing back to Singapore some glory. 

He was in Pattaya with fellow Singapore arm wrestler and team mate Tay Jia Jun. Jia Jun, 19, finished fifth in the under-85kg category and shared that he picked up learning points from the competition. "This is a little different than the usual competition I go to, more professional I would say. The competition was intense." said Jia Jun. "There are many strong pullers in the competition, some have been training for a long time, some for a short time. Nevertheless, all of them inspire and motivate me to train harder." Valen also competed in the category and despite weighing much lesser than his opponents, he finished sixth.

“I never faced a reputable European competitor in my previous arm wrestling experiences before. I had to try my best against him.” said Valen. “I actually didn't expect to flash (win quickly against) him. When I held his hand, I knew that his fingers were not very strong; I knew that I had to slip because if I held on to him without the straps, he would have taken my hand.” Valen was up against a pool of over 50 arm wrestlers, which includes first-runner up, Sutiwat Kohsamut from Thailand, whom he lost to, and Kazakhstan’s Magzhan Shamiev, who took first spot. 

On the competition, Valen shared that he is “very satisfied” with the result and hopes he can inspire others as he chases his arm wrestling aspirations. “I feel very passionate about the sport and it allows me to prove that actually Singaporeans can do it.”

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