It’s a great feeling to watch a contest where iron warriors clash for glory. Beyond cash prizes, gifts and cans of food supplements, it’s the satisfaction of winning a title which makes bodybuilders spend endless hours in the gym and stay on regimented diets for months.
And when an organiser tries to give attractive gifts to winners and put together a grand show, the effort needs to be appreciated and encouraged.
I should congratulate D. Prakash (or ‘Gold’ Prakash as he is known) for successfully conducting Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu 2013 contest under the aegis of Tamil Nadu Amateur Body Building Association affiliated to the Indian Body Building and Fitness Federation, on March 3 at Kancheepuram.
The moment Prakash announced that the overall winner would drive home a TATA Nano, the event was the talk of the town. I was thrilled to watch a great show once again and am happy to share my opinion on some of the best athletes who rocked certain weight categories.
Save for a few champions who were National material and won medals in some weight classes, the rest came pretty close to each other finishing in fourth, fifth and sixth places.
In 55 kg class, Ramamurthy, who won the title, was a clear winner from the word ‘go.’ He had a nice structure, decent size for his height, good muscle shape and conditioning.
In the 60 kg class was ICF’s Baskar. This former National champion, known for his thick, dense muscle, recently made a comeback at the All-India Railway Championship held in Madurai and placed third. Baskar, at that event, was not at his best and needed some more weeks of dieting to dial-in and reach top form. Here, he was much more ripped and better conditioned. Though he was still not at his absolute best, he was way ahead of the rest. The moment he walked on the stage, his muscle shape, roundness and fullness shocked me. I just couldn’t take my eyes off Baskar – such was his magnificence! The competitor who placed third in this class was a young man, Raja from Nagercoil. Trained by my friend G.M. Chandru of GM Fitness, he looked very promising and has the potential to do well in future shows.
The outcome in the 65 kg category gave me excitement and shock – excitement over the appearance of the first two finishers; shock over the injustice done to a particular competitor.
The first place finisher M. Kothandaraman of ICF (Vinod to friends) was class apart. His muscles were hard, ripped, dry and full. Haribabu of ICF (Senior Mr. India winner in 2011), who placed second at this event, usually competes in 60 kg class. However, I heard the little freak had put on so much muscle that he couldn’t bring down his weight and had to enter this class! Haribabu was looking excellent but Vinod was ahead of him.
The competition was intense as this class had former Junior Mr. India medalist Harikrishnan making a comeback after a few years, Mr. South India medalist Sriram and Junior Mr. India bronze medalist Haridas! A surprise entrant was Kalaichelvan of Tiruchi, now representing Chennai. The Tiruchi native was back on the stage after 3 years, but all set to grab third place. I was shocked when he was put in sixth place and out of the finals! In the evening show, Haridas, who was also back competing after a couple of years, looked full and much more dry. He finished third. Sriram ended up in fourth place and Harikrishnan fifth. Both these athletes, I’m sure, will amp up their training and diet and look fabulous in the coming shows.
Hero of the show
Jayaprakash (JP) of ICF dominated the 70 kg category. The three-time Senior Mr. India winner was big, thick, full and dry. His waist was tiny and taper amazing! The class line-up for the title was like watching a superstar and other stars competing – such was JP’s dominance. His evening posing showcased his confidence and flexibility.
The 75 kg class winner K. Arunachalam of Chennai was awesome. His shoulders were wide, separated and full; his thighs were deep and muscular; his arms were full; back was etched! There was no way this incredible man aged over 40 was going to take anything less than first. M. Kandan, who placed second, was huge and full, but not dry. Conditioning cost him the title, according to the audience. The third place finisher was my friend Saravanan from Chennai. The handsome man was in his best form – at least the best I had seen in the recent times. His was a beautiful physique, but lacked the freakish look of the first two place finishers.
Arunachalam’s posing at the evening show was amazing and I would say he was a real crowd pleaser. His posing routine entertained the audience who were otherwise kind of bored seeing just muscle, muscle and more muscle.
Two great champions fought for the title in the 80 kg class. Antony Kumar of Chennai and Rajesh Kannan of Thoothukudi, both State title winners, entered this weight category. Kumar was huge, ripped, full and dry. This was the best version of Kumar I had seen. Rajesh Kannan had improved his thighs and was looking beautiful. However, Kumar’s muscle density, vascularity and hardness pushed Rajesh to second place. Had the young man entered the 85 kg class, he would have easily won gold.
Murali Vijaykumar of Chennai was at his biggest ever in this contest. Entering the 90 kg class, he looked wider than before with round deltoids, bigger and deeper quads and more muscular back. His biceps were bigger and had a deep split. His conditioning was pretty good and stage presence dominating. Biglee Murali was a clear winner and is now set for a rocking performance in the Nationals.
The evening show was what everybody was waiting for and the outcome was on the expected lines.
The clash for the overall title narrowed down to ‘Vinod,’ JP and Kumar. For a while I though that ‘Vinod,’ who was looking drier, harder and fuller than in the morning, might upset JP’s dream of driving home the Nano! However, the senior’s muscle maturity, density, taper and fullness helped him win the overall.
Jayaprakash is now focused on getting a fourth victory at the Senior Nationals scheduled in May.
Kumar who finished second in the overall fight was given a TVS Scooty. Vinod who finished third was given a fridge. Baskar and Arunachalam were given a washing machine each.
– C. Lakshmi Kumar