‘Allan Classic’ Mr. Chennai 2009
Every attempt to conduct a physique competition needs encouragement as our sport of bodybuilding demands good promoters and persons who care for hard working champions.
R. Murali of Allan Fitness Centre, Chennai, did a fine job by organising ‘Allan Classic’ Mr. Chennai on May 24.
The weigh-in scheduled for May 23, Saturday, at Allan Gym on T.H. Road made it clear that not many senior players were getting into the ring. An unexpected show like this during hot summer months is not likely to attract many.
However, Murali, being a good champion himself, did his best to encourage competitors by offering a cash prize of Rs. 1,500, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 to top three finishers.
Ganga Cauvery Marriage Hall on T.H. Road, the venue, was buzzing with activity on Sunday morning. Members of Team Masters made it quite early to the hall with four of their players ready to battle it out on the stage. Three of them eventually came home with medals – two won bronze and the third, silver.
Even as I was walking around the hall, I was greeted by two surprise guests – ‘Mr. India’ Mohammed Abdullah, who had come to guest pose, and National champion K. Gopinath. Our conversation stretched for more than 10 minutes as Abdullah spoke about several ‘Mr. India’ winners, who were part of Services Team.
Voices of T.K. Gurunathan, working president of TABBA, K. Suresh, general secretary of CABBA, and J. Muniappan, ‘Mr. India’ and national judge, snapped us out of our own world! We took our seats in the front row and show began reasonably on time. Thomas Philip and Hemalatha of Millennium Nutraceuticals, the major sponsor, were guests of honour.
As the competition was not very tough, I will mention about only some competitors who stood out in each class.
55 kg category
Nagarajan of Allan Gym was a standout. He had a proportionate frame and reasonably good muscle, separation and cuts. With some more size, hardness and conditioning, he can win gold in State meets, more than once.
60 kg class
The hero of the entire show was the winner of this category. Muralikrishnan of Soldiers Gym was ripped, cut and dry. Though he did not have thick or dense muscle, his symmetry, shape and contest condition stole the show. Every time Murali hit a back pose, the smaller muscles such as teres major, teres minor and rhomboids popped up and made the fans go crazy. The third place finisher, C. Vijaya Bhaskar of Masters Gym, was a new kid on the block. Though it was only his second competition, Bhaskar had made significant improvements from his first show – the city meet held at ICF in March. I could see that he had a well-balanced frame that was pleasing to look at. All this young man needs is a couple of more years of hard work before he starts winning medals in major competitions.
65 kg category
Udayakumar won this category as he was easily the best. Saravanan was another champ who looked equally good. That both of them improved significantly at the next week’s State meet is a different story.
70 kg class
A surprise entrant was ‘Junior Mr. India’ N. Senguttuvan. I could see that he was not aware of this meet and had taken a plunge at the last moment. Though he was carrying a lot of freaky muscle, the amount of water he was holding was too much. I appreciate his love for competing. As he never puts on a lot of fat in the off-season, he would have decided to try his luck.
However, when Mohammed Ashraf of National Gym stepped on stage, it was clear that Senguttuvan had to forget the top prize. This young man, who resembled ‘Mr. India’ winners Bhakta Kumar and Bobby Singh, had fantastic shape and full muscles. He was cut but not freaky dry. With persistent hard training, the muscle maturity he would get in the future can win him National glory.
75 kg category
Arumugam of Soldiers Gym won this class hands down. He displayed a lot of muscle maturity and had a pleasing shape. Close behind him was Ramesh. Though thick and big, he was holding water and a bit off to win gold.
Lakshmi Kumar, who finished third behind him, had improved from his previous performance – the ICF city meet. The most notable thing was that he had stayed lean in the off-season and got ready in three weeks! But, to nab the top spot, he needs more conditioning and little more size. As this happens to be only his third competition, he may need some more time to hit the peak.
80 kg category
Kamal Kumar of Masters Gym had good potential as he had been training systematically only for the past three months. If the runner-up honour he earned doesn’t go into his head, he has a great career as a competitor.
I could see that he had potential to win several State titles and go beyond, but we would have to wait and watch how committed people are.
90 kg class
Lakshmi Narayanan, trained by ‘Mr. South India’ M. Satish Kumar showed a lot of promise. Time alone can tell whether he is serious about becoming a big-time bodybuilder.
What do I say about ‘King’ Abdullah’s guest posing?
He is a great champion, crowd pleaser and I am proud to call him my friend.
P. Srimathy of Team Masters was officially announced as a judge of TABBA and honoured as the first woman judge in South India.
I take this opportunity to thank all officials for giving members of Team Masters a chance to serve the sport of bodybuilding.
The fight was between Muralikrishnan, Udayakumar and Mohammed Ashraf. Though Ashraf’s round, thick muscles looked spectacular, Murali’s conditioning and hardness won him the overall.
Good show champ, you have a long career ahead as a competitor. Make your trainer, ‘Mr. India’ J. Muniappan, proud.
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar