Wednesday, 27 June 2012, 08:22 GMT
A historical achievement for Kurdish bodybuilders

This picture shows Sardar Ismail overall winner of World Amateur and Ahmad Rambo, WABBA president in Iraq./GLOBE PHOTO/Abbas Khidhir

The Kurdish Globe
By Zakaria Muhammed--Erbil

Sardar Ismail becomes overall winner of the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship

Three Kurdish athletes took part in the 2012 Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship which was organized by The World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA).

Sardar Ismail, Omer Faisal and Didar Khudhur, from Kurdistan represented Iraq in the June 9-11 competition held in Padua, Italy.

Both of the Kurdish top bodybuilders Sardar Ismail and Omer Faisal won gold medals in their respective categories.

Sardar Ismael secured first place in the Small Men Category and won a gold medal in the championship. Exhilarating the Iraqi and Kurdish people, Ismail was selected by the organizers as the overall winner of the championship.

"I feel extremely happy over winning the gold medal in this great championship. What made me happier was the overall winner award I was granted. When the results disclosed I started crying and all the Kurdish fans who attended the events came to congratulate me," said Ismail

Ismail's participation came after he and his friends had been assured the championship would not be like those that took place in the previous years where many mistakes were committed by referees.

"The success of the event is due to good evaluators who did a very good job by avoiding any prejudgments," noted Ismail. He maintains that he would have come first in most of the previous Asian and Arab competitions if he had been treated fairly by the referees.

Over 160 athletes, form 25 countries all over the world, participated in the competition. Obtaining the gold medal was line with expectations for Ismail as he has participated in different championships in the past and recoded good achievements.

"I went to Italy to gain gold medal and I expected to be placed first in my category. The only thing that passed through my head was to work to the maximum in order to win a medal and get my country some steps higher," stated Ismail, adding, "But One thing I should admit, is that I didn't expect to be selected as the overall winner. This title and achievement among almost 160 athletes is something that cannot be overlooked because they remain forever in Kurdish history," he explained.

Faisal, who also won gold medal at the Small Men Category, and Ismail, spent money out of their own pockets for food, nutrition, and training whilst preparing for the championships and so far no one has helped them financially.

When asked if the organizers had granted them with financial awards, Ismail said "It is not the organizers' responsibility to reward us other than medals, but it's the government's tasks to have a serious attention to our achievements since what we achieved is not only for us but it is for all Kurdish people and the government too."

The participation of Kurdish bodybuilders in the 2012 Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship was due to a successful attempt by famous Kurdish bodybuilder Ahmad Rambo, who has recently identified as the WABBA President in Iraq.

The World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA) is a bodybuilding organization founded in 1976 by the legendary French bodybuilder Serge Nubret. The association joined the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) based in England in 1977, but left again in 1983. WABBA holds World Championships and European Championships.

The athletes who compete within the category Men Body aren't limited by weight. The Categories are defined by the height of the competitors except for the categories Super J24 (This category is similar to the former juniors' category except for the age limit), Super Masters and Masters, which are defined by the age of the athletes.