Ludhiana hosts South Asian bodybuilding championship
Ludhiana in Punjab played host to the ninth edition of the South Asian Bodybuilding Championship, which witnessed the participation of some of the fittest men from the subcontinent.
The participating countries-India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and others had eight-member teams, except the host India, which has a 16-member team.
The championship was organised by Punjab Amateur Bodybuilding Association, whose chairman is Prem Chand Degra.
The semi-finals were held on November 3, while the final was taking place today.
Amit Swami, President, South Asia Bodybuilding Federation, said the preparations were well done, adding that he was impressed with the organising committee.
"I arrived yesterday and I am very impressed with the organising committee, they have done a wonderful job. The preparations are all underway according to our rules. So, I think Ludhiana will do a very good championship. They are already bidding for the world championship in 2014," he said.
Meanwhile, a participant from Bhutan, Tandin Wangchen, praised the organisational skills and thanked the federation for their hospitality.
"It was a long journey and we had to travel for so many hours, but when we reached here, we liked it so much. The organisation was good, so we want to thank Indian Bodybuilding Federation for giving us food and lodging free of cost," he said.
India refused to allow Pakistan to participate in the championship, with the government refusing to give a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Pakistan.
One of the officials said that he discussed the matter with the Indian and Asian Bodybuilding Federations, who were equally disappointed and said that it was a big loss for the event.
Bodybuilders Mujahid Hussain, Muhammad Imtiaz, Khaliq Ali, Idrees Sajjad, Ashraf Ali, Muhammad Azeem, Khalid Ali Malik Shafqaat and Fida Hussain were scheduled to participate in categories ranging from 55 kilograms to 90 kilograms.