Syarul lifts fifth straight Asian title despite heavy personal issues

Undeterred: Mohd Syarul Azman Mahen will now focus on the World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships in South Korea next month.

PETALING JAYA: In a year filled with trials and tribulations, Mohd Syarul Azman Mahen Abdullah thought he would not be able to hoist his fifth consecutive Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Championship title.

Having gone through a divorce recently and not able to visit his children often, the bodybuilder went to Palembang, Indonesia, under a lot of pressure.

However, on the stage, he was in his element as he flexed his sinewy figure to upstage his younger rivals.

“I was under tremendous pressure. For almost a year, my life was saddled with so many issues but I never forsake bodybuilding.

“I used my love for the sport to overcome the personal problems that I faced,” said Syarul.

“I did my homework and focused hard on this event. Before the competition, I was a nervous wreck as this year’s contestants look good.

“But teammate Buda Anchah and coach Othman Yahya told me that I look better than last year.

“They said none of the competitors can even come close to me and that I was untouchable. That gave me a lot of confidence.”

Syarul said that with what he has gone through, it was his most meaningful victory since he took up the sport in 2000.

“I didn’t get to see my children often due to training commitments, he said”. “It was tough, but as a father, I’m doing this for them. I just hope they understand.

“At the beginning of the year, money was tight. I didn’t even have enough to buy my supplements. But I did not give up and persevered, and I’m so glad it paid off.

“Now, I’ve to focus on the World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships in South Korea (Nov 5-11) as I’m aiming for my fourth straight title.”

Syarul also thanked his sponsors AmBank Group’s Azman Hashim Foundation and also Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad for believing in him.

“Thanks to him, I now own a house and this is my way of repaying him. This win is also for my sponsors and supporters.”

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