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Oct 05, 2018

Stage Set for Enthralling Asian Bodybuilding and Best Physique Contest

T.V. Balasubramanian
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Iraq is the top contender to garner maximum medals in 52nd Bodybuilding and Best Physique contest
The stage is all set for the 28 Asian countries to showcase their perfectly toned and muscular bodies as they compete for top honours in the Asian Body Building and Physique Sports Championship, to be held at the Shri Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge, Balewadi.

Iraq who is making a comeback after 15-year hold edge over the others in this contest as a strong 20-member contingent have made it to Pune.

It has been over a year since the Iraqis have been working or this championship which will help them to make headway into the world contest later this year. “It has been over a decade we are making it to this level of the contest and we are sure of a few medals,” said their coach Wathiq Mohammed Naji, and went onto add, “We are using this as a platform to compete in the world championship.”

However, they are of the opinion that there will face a tough challenge from Thailand, Iran, and Uzbekistan.    
Among the other contenders for a medal is the Malaysian athlete Mohammad Syarul Azman Mahen, the seasoned campaigner at this level of competition. He is of the opinion that the best man on the given day will win. Twenty years in this sport has made him one of the top contenders in this 52nd edition of the championship.

Three-time Asian Champion in Physique Sports, Mahen has been working from the month of July this year for this championship. "It has been three months since I have been training exclusively for this contest, and I will give it my best shot, but it all depends on the given day and the person who delivers the best will be the champion," said Mahen on the eve of the contest. Mahen has been overwhelmed with the hosts in all fields from hospitality to getting things done for this event. "From the time I have landed in Pune things have been the best any athlete can expect," said Mahen.

"I have not heard much about the opponents in his category, but am hopeful of taking home a medal from this contest," he added.

A Police officer by profession, Mahen is one of the senior most athletes (45 years) and it is his government which pays for his expenses. "I am one of the privileged athletes as my government pays for all my expenses, and I do my best to pay back with a medal," said Mahen.

He lost his father when he was just 10 years old and it has been his mother who brought up the four siblings. He started as a footballer and had to give up due to a knee injury after which he took up bodybuilding and since 20 years has been winning medals for his country. 

Host India will rely on the strong shoulders of in-form athletes Sunit Jadhav and Yatinder Singh, while Sarita Devi (Manipur), Mamta Devi (Delhi), SanjanaDalak (Uttar Pradesh) and Ankita Singh (Karnataka) will lead in women’s Physique sports categories. Special participation of Nishrin Parikh (Maharashtra) at the age of 52 years will add weight to the Indian contingent.