Hometown arm wrestler puts up tough fight in Brazil
Although she put up a tough fight, Bracebridge arm wrestling champion Ashley Maher ended up placing 12th out of 15 rivals in an international tournament last month.
Maher had travelled to Brazil to take part in the 34th annual World Armwrestling Championships in Sao Vincente, Brazil. The event, which ran from Sept. 10 to 18, pitted Maher against some of the strongest competitors in the world.
Maher, who just recently recovered from a devastating arm injury suffered in a tournament last year, had been training primarily to win matches by technique, but was bested by competitors who relied more on brute strength in the end.
“We’ve trained Ashley hard for the one primary style that I teach, and it’s a safety style so that she doesn’t get hurt,” said Joey Costello, Maher’s coach.
While Costello said Maher will begin focusing a bit more on strength training in the future, he insists that Maher isn’t “necessarily going back to the drawing board” with her existing style. In her faceoffs in Brazil, he said her technique had pulled her through most of the way.
“At the table, she controlled all of her matches, and then when she lost her two matches that finally put her out, she lost because of strength,” he said.
In the days before returning to Canada, Maher also came down with a case of dengue fever — a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes.
The results in Brazil and the sudden onset of illness, however, haven’t slowed Maher down. Costello said she’s already busy preparing for another tournament in Toronto on Oct. 20.