Published on August 25th, 2016 | by UK Thumb Wrestling0
Thumb Wrestling Storms Hong Kong
Hong Kong is still shaking after a visit from the World Thumb Wrestling Championship.
In partnership with the H.A.N.D.S. Supermall, we set out to find the best thumb wrestlers in Hong Kong, and we are happy to report that our mission was a resounding success, with hundreds turning out to take part in the All Asia Masters. The H.A.N.D.S. Up! Hong Kong Thumb Wrestling Championship saw people compete in both the teen and adult categories, with some incredible demonstrations of thumb-based warfare and some never-before-seen techniques.
This devastating display of mortal thumbat was overseen by Mark Wright, co-founder and Referee of the TWTC, who made sure that the contest adhered to World Championship standards and helped show the people of Hong Kong just how intense and enjoyable thumb wrestling can be.
The competition spanned two days, and saw some of the most intense thumb fighting we’ve ever seen. The chaos kicked off on Saturday 13th August with the teen group finals. 64 11-18 year olds competed for the inaugural H.A.N.D.S. Up! TWTC Hong Kong Teen Champion trophy with 17-Year-Old Wajdi ‘The Tank’ Osman emerging victorious.
The teens competition was packed with excitement and some truly emotional scenes courtesy of Isaac Lam, a community organiser who brought eight boys from a local foundation to promote confidence and sportsmanship for disadvantaged kids. One of Isaac’s kids, known as ‘The Crusher,’ who was only 12 years old, beat opponents of 16 and 17 years to get through to the final where, despite his tenacity, Wajdi The Tank’s strength and focus prevailed.
This final match was one of the most exciting and emotional we’ve ever seen, and really demonstrates how thumb wrestling can create unique, memorable moments between sportsmen of vastly different size and style.
We didn’t think that the energy and excitement of the teens contest could be topped, buy the adults contest which took place on Sunday 14th August, saw some unbelievable opposable action, as scores of deadly serious players brought their best game and battled for the title of Hong Kong Thumb Wrestling Champion.
The adult finals saw some incredible new strategies on show, and featured some intense and often surprising matches. Kung-fu- inspired competitor Peter Lin dazzled the crowd with his fancy footwork, but in the process took an elbow injury which left blood in the ring.
Early favourite George ‘The Shark’ Cheng stormed through the preliminary rounds, destroying all comers with his extreme strength and intimidating physical presence. Despite his early promise, however, The Shark ultimately fell in the final to the cool, composed attitude and utterly deadly thumb of the winner, James Duifan. Nicknamed ‘The Serpent’ for his silky, sinuous moves and ruthless striking power, Duifan turned the tables and turned the Shark into Shark Fin Soup.
As part of TWTC’s global Battle of the Champions, the Serpent then took on former World League Champion Jack ‘The Gripper’ Reynolds in an East vs West exhibition match, but though the serpent did his best to dominate, in the end the sheer power and unshakeable focus of the Gripper proved too much for the Hong Kong champ, who went down in two swift rounds. ‘I may have won today,’ said the Gripper, ‘But the Serpent is a serious player, and with a bit more training he’s got a shot at taking the World Championship.’
The H.A.N.D.S. Up! Hong Kong Thumb Wrestling Championship proved to be a major hit with Hong Kong’s media, with reporters from Apple Video News Daily, B-TV, The South China Morning Post and AM730 Magazine. Even after the competition, thumb fever remains in the air, with film of Jack The Gripper battling local celebrities appearing on video screens in Hong Kong buses for the next month.