Mr. Tamil Nadu
Nothing gives more satisfaction to a fan of bodybuilding than watching the top players of the game fight it out for a big title. The thrill of watching a contest cannot be explained – it’s a feeling of high, which one has to experience to get the hang of it. The air pungent with odour of pain-relieving spray, stains of tanning cream, clanging of weight plates and yelling (the marks of the backstage pump-up room) are things which every hardcore bodybuilding fan loves like crazy.
My team members and I once again got an opportunity of going through all that excitement at the 39th Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu, which was held on March 20 at Katpadi.
Once again, the Vellore District Body Building Association members deserve a word of praise for conducting three contests within a couple of months.
I sincerely thank each and every member of the association, which includes not only seniors known to me but also persons not known to me, for their warm reception.
As regards the competition, I would say it was long time since I saw a fight like this. To be precise, the State championship held at Tiruvallur in March 2009 was perhaps the toughest in the recent years. This event at Katpadi may be ranked next to that.
55 kg class
Kumaravel of Vellore who competed in this category was thick, ripped and full. He had an excellent grip on his one-minute posing routine and flexed amazingly well to a very famous folk song.
60 kg class
The decision was very clear in 60 kg class. Haribabu of ICF was back in good form and easily took home the title. I am proud that K. Sriram of Kancheepuram, helped by Murali Vijayakumar of Team Masters, placed second only to Haribabu in this category. That it is Sriram’s very first State competition needs special mention.
Saisaran of Kancheepuram, who placed third, was ripped and in amazing condition. However, his height made him look as if he had less muscle than others, and this pushed him to third place. You have potential to be a hell of a competitor Sai, keep moving ahead.
65 kg class
There was no competition for my young friend Kodandaraman of ICF. Now, I am waiting to see this ‘Sachin of body building’ kill all his opponents and win gold at the Senior Mr. India scheduled to be held in Karnataka on April 9 and 10.
70 kg category
Man, this class was awesome. Vignesh of Kancheepuram and Shiva Kumar of Southern Railway locked horns for the title. The former was dry, thick and hard while the latter was cut, big and had round muscles. The decision went in favour of Vignesh and not many in the audience seemed to complain.
I introduced myself to Antony Kumar of Chennai, who placed third in this class. My friends were right when they told me how nice a person Kumar is. I wished him all luck at the end of the show and congratulated him for making a terrific comeback. Hats-off my dear friend, you deserve a lot of praise for your dedication and respect you showed to all your fellow competitors.
Ethiraj of Tiruvallur had returned to stage after some years and it was a great comeback. He placed fourth and is likely to climb up a couple of spots very soon.Murtuza of Team Masters was not at his best and had to finish fifth. I wish I could say more.
75 kg category
Tamilanban of Nagapattinam and Arunachalam of Kancheepuram fought for the title here. This is one weight category, which gave the judges a tough time.
However, Tamilanban won the first prize and Arunachalm had to settle for second. Speaking to this year’s Mr. South India on his loss to a much younger champ, I found out that Arunachalam was a great champion and all geared up to fight it out at the nationals.
My good friend Munusamy was not at his best and finished third. Mohanarangam of Salem, who was second at Mr. South India, was unlucky to have brought down his weight to enter this class. However, he was much more ripped, dry and carried more muscle than the previous years. I am proud of Mohan’s achievement and dedication as Team Masters has been helping him for a couple of years now.
80 kg class
The fight was between an incredible Manikandan and national champion Ranjith Kumar of Southern Railway. After several rounds of comparison, over 90 per cent of the judges chose Mani as the winner. However, Ranjith is sure to reach his top form and rock the nationals.
85 kg category
Senthil Kumar of I.C.F. and Karthick of Chennai fought for the title in this class. This time, Karthick had to take second to the seasoned ICF athlete. A couple of days after the show, Karthick called me over phone and said that he would give his body a break and come back in amazing form for the next season.
90 kg class
Mr. India Jayakumar of Southern Railway stood like a statue in this weight category. Wow, what an amazing physique! He was big, cut and extremely pleasing to the eye. He is a ‘big guy’ with a lot of class. I stood 100 feet from the stage in the open air stadium to watch this class in the evening finals and was blown away by Jayakumar’s looks. Murali Vijayakumar, the beast-in the-making, who stood by my side, was equally stunned.
Nataraja of Salem, another competitor helped by Team Masters, finished third.
Champion of champions
The clash for the overall title was as exciting as the entire show. In the end, Manikandan walked away with another overall title, a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 and everyone seemed happy.
Cash prizes of Rs.5,000, Rs.3,000, and Rs.2,000 were given to top three finishers respectively and Rs.1,000 each for fourth and fifth place finishers in each weight category.
Here is how the competitors finished top 5
1. M. Kumaravel – Vellore
2. L. Karthick Kumar – Vellore
3. K. Manikandan – Kanchee
4. N. Karunakaran – Vellore
5. J. Saravana Kumar – Cuddalore
1. K. Haribabu – I.C.F.
2. K. Sriram – Kanchee
3. M. Saisaran – Kanchee
4. M. Srinivasan – Chennai
5. M. Raj Kumar – Kanchee
1. M. Kothandaraman – I.C.F.
2. S. Jayaraj – Chennai
3. D. Sadeendran – Tiruvallur
4. G. Kalaiarasan – Tiruvallur
5. K. Saravanan – Tiruvallur
1. D. Vignesh – Kanchee
2. S.S. Shivakumar- Southern Railway
3. A. Kumar – Chennai
4. G. Ethiraj – Tiruvallur
5. S.R. Murtuza – Chennai
1. P. Tamilanban – Nagai
2. K. Arunachalam – Kanchee
3. R. Munusamy – Chennai
4. R. Mohanarangam – Salem
5. S. Senthil Murugan – Tiruvallur
1. M. Manikandan – Tiruvallur
2. P. Ranjit Kumar – S.Rly
3. S. Dhinakaran – Chennai
4. V. Raja – Chennai
5. M. Karthick – Tiruvallur
1. S. Senthil Kumar – I.C.F.
2. E. Karthick – Chennai
3. S. Manikandan – Vellore
4. V. Manohar – Tiruvallur
5. C. Praveen Kumar – Kanyakumari
1. V. Jayakumar – S. Rly
2. P. Rajesh Kannan – Krishnagiri
3. C. Nataraja – Salem
4. S.M. Krishna – Vellore
5. M. Karunakaran – S. Rly
Plus 90 kg
1. S. Nishal Varma – S. Rly
2. A.M. Zulfi – Cuddalore
3. G. Naresh Kumar – Thanjavur
4. A. Sathish – Vellore
5. P. Raj – Vellore
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar