Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 10:12 AM MSK
|Some competitors up in arms|
Purse for arm wrestling event less than advertised
Dan Dakin, Niagara Falls Review
Local competitor Mike Cecchini reacts after winning a match at the All Niagara Arm Wrestling Championships, held Saturday at the Victoria Inn in Niagara Falls.
NIAGARA FALLS - Professional and amateur arm wrestlers were left shaking their fists after a controversial change in plans at a competition in Niagara Falls Saturday.
Seven hours after the first-ever All Niagara Arm Wrestling Championships started Saturday, and as the final rounds were about to begin, it was announced that the advertised prize money of $25,600 -- which was touted as the richest purse in Canadian arm wrestling history -- was suddenly reduced to around $10,000, leaving some people scratching their heads, and others fuming.
Despite the cut in prize money, Caldwell said many of the 160 arm wrestlers in attendance were happy to still take home considerable cheques -- a rarity in the sport.
"These guys travel all the way around the world for trophies. The payout was still $10,000, which is $10,000 more than they normally get," Caldwell said.
But some wrestlers, like Engin Terzi, weren't so pleased. The Turkish arm wrestler went to the World Arm Wrestling Finals in Chicago last month and decided to stay in North America after hearing about the Niagara Falls show.
He won two left arm divisions and one right arm division Saturday, which should have earned him $2,700. Instead, he was awarded $1,350.
"I don't even have enough money to buy a ticket to go back to Turkey," an emotional Terzi said in broken English.
Zalepa wound up giving Terzi an undisclosed amount of extra money.