YANGON: Wong Hong has been involved in bodybuilding for over two decades, but never represented Malaysia in the SEA Games – until this time.
The 43-year-old from Kuala Lumpur is happy that he will finally get to fulfil a long-standing dream of representing Malaysia in the biennial Games in the 90kg category here on Sunday.
The former Mr Universe heavyweight category champion missed the chance to compete in previous editions of the Games as he was based in New York for eight years from 2001.
“After all these years, I will finally get to compete in a SEA Games. I am aiming for a gold medal ... and cannot wait for the competition to begin,” said Wong Hong, who owns a gym in Kuala Lumpur.
“I also missed the 2006 Asian Games in Doha because I was competing in the professional bodybuilding circuit in the United States at that time.
“Now, I’m back in Malaysia and aim to make up for lost time by bringing glory for my country.
“I usually compete in the 100kg category, but it is not being contested in Myanmar. I had to shed 10kg to qualify for the 90kg category, which is the heaviest class in the SEA Games competition here.”
Wong Hong is best known for winning the Mr Universe heavyweight title in Malacca in 2011 – in the same tournament where Sazali Nasir famously won the lightweight title.
Judging in the bodybuilding competition has always been controversial, but Wong Hong refutes the popular belief that the SEA Games host nation will have an unfair advantage.
“The panel is made up of judges from various countries, and not just from Myanmar. I have always believed in giving my best performance, and then being 100% prepared to accept any outcome. I am a staunch believer of sportsmanship,” he said.
The SEA Games bodybuilding competition will be held tomorrow and Sunday at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon.