Bodybuilder Syarul retains world title in freezing Mongolia

I am body beautiful: Syarul Azman Mike Mahen in action during the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships in Mongolia on Saturday.

PETALING JAYA: Bodybuilder Syarul Azman Mike Mahen was on fire in cold Ulanbaatar.

The former Kuala Lumpur football player retained his world title in the athletic physique up to 170cm at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships in Mongolia on Saturday.

Earlier, Dr Malvern Abdullah brought joy to the Malaysian team when he bagged silver in the men's 60kg category.

Malvern, a lecturer from Sarawak, is also the reigning Asian bodybulding champion in his category.

Syarul was relieved to get his act right in the biggest competition of the year.

“Thank God, everything came out well in the end,” said Syarul.

“Adapting to the cold weather was my biggest challenge and I had to be mentally strong.

“I have never competed in a competition held in cold conditions.

“The weather dropped to below zero Celsius earlier in pre-judging going into the final.

“It was not easy to keep myself warm while waiting for my turn to perform.

“Bagging the world title for the second year in a row is so meaningful and I dedicate this win to my family and supporters," said the 44-year-old.

Before yesterday’s event, Kuala Lumpur-born Syarul claimed his third Asian title in Seoul, South Korea, in August.

Until last year's breakthrough win, the world title had eluded him.

Syarul did not compete the following year after making his debut with a silver in 2010.

However, he went on to pick up three successive bronze medals from 2012 before winning another silver in 2015.

Another Malaysian Buda Anchah finished fifth in the men’s 70kg category.

Sarawakian Buda was the silver medallist at the Asian Championships this year.

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