Maltese arm wrestler Kersten Mercieca is bracing himself for the game of his life.
Next year, the arm wrestler, who goes by the name Kersten Prodigy, will take on none other than Bozhidar Simeonov, the reigning world champion of the under 80kgs category, in a match-up in Malta next February.
And for Kersten, the stakes really couldn’t be higher as he tries to prove himself on the biggest stage possible.
It all started when Kersten met Simeonov at an arm-wrestling match in Turkey last June.
“I spoke to him, he was super nice, and I decided to challenge him,” Kersten told Lovin Malta.
So challenge him he did, in a public YouTube video that very soon reached Simeonov’s ears.
The Bulgarian world champion didn’t beat around the bush, accepting Kersten’s challenge and making it clear to him that he wasn’t afraid.
“You should better be prepared because this arm conquered many others and yours is next,” he said, with his World Champion belt right in front of him.
Kersten Prodigy then travelled to Bulgaria to meet Simeonov again, confirming that the match will be held on 26th February in a venue that will be announced shortly.
He told Lovin Malta that although he is experienced in pro-level arm-wrestling and has won a number of competitions, this will be his first world-level experience.
“If I beat him, my name will climb up and other arm-wrestlers will want to start challenging me,” he said. “My motto is ‘go big or go home’. If I’m worthy I’ll win, if I’m not I won’t.”
Kersten also hopes that his super-match against Simeonov will help raise awareness about arm-wrestling in Malta. As it stands, Maltese arm-wrestlers compete for fun but cannot compete in world competitions because there isn’t an arm-wrestling federation in the country.
At least four clubs are necessary to set up a federation, and as it stands there are no such clubs on the island, but Kersten said that local interest in the sport is clearly on the rise.
“I hope that be challenging the world champion, I can raise awareness of arm-wrestling in Malta,” he said.
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