Contact:  Gene Camp [718] 544-4592

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Arm Wrestling’s Reigning King and Queen Flatten Mightiest Arm Warriors to Clinch NYC Big Apple Grapple Crowns

Event held aboard the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum



Manhattan, March 19, 2005 - Arm wrestling pros across the US and worldwide assembled Saturday March 19th aboard the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum to battle for the gold crown in this ascendant, crowd-pleasing sport. Tenacious champions exhibited a package of muscle, technique, wits and stamina in rapid-fire matches lasting from one second to a half minute.   Mamuka Pajishvili from the Republic of Georgia won the 225-pound class and the NYC King of Arms Title for the second time in three years, beating Super Heavyweight champion Tim Bresnan from Lisbon, CT. in the final match. Also entered for the ‘King’ title were Class Champions Bobby Buttafuoco and Christopher Myers. Behind Pajishvilli in the 225-pound class was Kevin Nelson from Holbrook, NY, taking second place, and Jack Pardo from Monroe, NY, was third. Defending champion Marcio Barboza did not compete.


Cynthia Yerby a Seminole State college counselor from Wolf, OK, captured the NYC Queen of Arms crown for the sixth straight year.  She pounded the competition in the Women’s Open Weight Class, beating Cindy Looney from Milford, CT, and Camille Burford from Manhattan who came in second and third.  Women’s Lightweight Champion Lauren Colantropo from Babylon, NY, challenged Yerby but, fell short for the ‘Queen’ title with a disappointing flash pin from Yerby.


Super Heavyweight Champ Tim Bresnan from Lisbon, CT, defeated the 300-pound Peter Milano from Stratford who came in second, and 350-pound Reggie Ward from Middletown placed third, as Connecticut’s cluster of stars swept the category. 


The day’s tensest battles were fought in the 200 lb. Light Heavyweight Class. 200 pound Christopher Myers from Whitestone, NY, slipped into the losers’ bracket early on, when teammate Steve Black also from Whitestone, NY, beat him in the second round.  With no losses, Alper Cosar from Woodbridge, Va. was clearly on his way to winning the title, when Chris Myers came back to tie it up with Cosar. Myers and Cosar battled with one last chance to remain supreme. Myers wins it! Cosar settled for second place and 2003 NYC Arm Wrestler of the Year Dan Sorrese from Deer Park, NY, was third.


In the 175 lb. Right-Hand Middleweight Class, the recent Empire State Champion Richard Calero from The Bronx beat the defending 2004 Big Apple Grapple champion Carlos Ferreira from Brazil in a tenacious battle to the finish, and multi-champion Pat Baffa from Whitestone, NY, was third.



In the 150 lb. Lightweight Class, Umit Kiyak from Brooklyn, competing for Team Turkey, took first place; second went to George Yashinski from Olyphant, PA; Mustafa Mursawgus from Virginia Beach, VA, competing for Turkey, was third.


Two left-handed men’s contests held surprises.  In the lighter weight class (175 lb.), Ron Kelemba from Portland, CT, beat last year’s defending champion Richard Calero from the Bronx; third place went to Jon Vinikoor from Richboro, PA.  In the Left-Hand Open Weight class, seven-time borough champion and former Empire State Champion Kevin Nelson from Holbrook, NY, beat the former Kingsboro Champion Dan Fortuna from Wading River, NY, who came in second, and Joseph Milano from Stratford, CT, was third.


There were two Masters categories for men over age 45+ and a Senior class for men over age 60. In the Masters, Kelemba, who had won the earlier left-handed contest, outdid himself by beating Milt Christmas from Baltimore who took second, and Harry Wilson from Brooklyn, NY, placing third, both of whom have been multi-category champions in past years.  The Masters Open Class went to last year’s defending champion and one-time NYC King of Arms Bobby Buttafuoco from Rockville Centre, NY; second place went to Russian star Alexander Pozdnyakov, and Jean Daigle from Bristol, CT. was third.  In the Senior Class, Jean Daigle beat defending champion Bob Columbe from Albany, NY.


In the other women’s contest, the Lightweight Class, two-time Borough champion Lauren Colantropo from Babylon, NY, beat Mirline Berrouet from South Ozone Park NY, a surprising strong beginner who placed second and Pennsylvania’s multi-champion Susan Fischer was third.


Team points was awarded for NYC Boroughs, States and Countrys which added to a top prize for Connecticut, with 37 points, second place went to Long Island, with 28 points, and there was a tie for third between Turkey and the Borough of Queens each with 11 points.


Gene Camp, founder and president of the 28-year old New York Arm Wrestling Association (NYAWA) said,  “ We were pleased and excited that the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum hosted the 2005 NYC Big Apple Grapple XXVIII Championships for the forth straight year and organizers were very happy with the participant and spectator turnout.”


 The NYAWA is planning The New York Golden Arm Series for the Spring to Fall 2005 season, This multi-event series culminates in the Empire State Championship Final at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in November.  The NYAWA will also host the NYC Junior, College and Sit-Down Championships and more. For information on upcoming events, pictures, results and membership, visit the NYAWA website at or call (718) 544-4592.



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