SAZALI Abdul Samad struck a golden pose for Malaysia in the bodybuilding contest at the Ben Thanh Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.
The 36-year-old Sazali, who was suspended for six months last year for appearing in an advertisement for a dietary supplement, capped a triumphant return this year with the gold in the bantamweight (65kg) category.
After serving out his suspension in November last year, Sazali went on to win the national title in August followed by a silver in the Asian Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in September and a bronze in the World Championships in Mumbai last month.
The gold won by Sazali was the first for Malaysia in sports contested in Ho Chi Minh City.
“I am more than delighted to win the gold and I believe it will spur the other Malaysian athletes competing for medals in Ho Chi Minh City,” said Sazali.
Yesterday, the former Mr Universe and four-time Mr Asia did enough to impress the judges and beat Filipino Cortuna Roman Jr into second place. Singapore's Amir Zainal won the bronze.
Malaysia also won a bronze through Othman Yahya in the light-middleweight (85kg).
The other three Malaysian contestants failed to get among the medallists.
They were Ibrahim Shahdan (welterweight, 75kg), Mohayan Rosmani (light-middleweight, 80kg) and Terry Gallyot (light-heavyweight, 85kg).