If any particular person has to be named as the torchbearer for the sport of bodybuilding for Singapore, it needs to be Azman Abdullah. The Mr. Universe had an illustrious career with numbers of accolades and awards under his kitty as a bodybuilder in the South East Asian country. Azman Abdullah’s success story, which even got him to the Singapore Sports Council’s Hall of Fame, is one of perseverance, dedication and immense hard work.
Azman Abdullah’s early life
Very little is known about Azman’s personal life or his childhood other than the fact that he belonged to Singapore and was born in the year 1963 on the 17th of June. As a kid and a young teen, he had a very scrawny body and he hit the gym with a vengeance to build a body that would put many to shame. Successfully, he went on to become a professional bodybuilder after hitting upon the right formula and workout and through sheer dedication.
Azman Abdullah’s career graph and achievements
The 90s were a glorious year for Azman Abdullah, especially the year 1992 and 1993 when he was at the peak of his career and won a lot of awards and titles.
Abdullah’s most significant win was in 1993, when he won the gold medal at the International Olympic Committee’s sanctioned game at Seoul in Korea, the World Games Bodybuilding Championship on 14th of November,1993. He contested in the middleweight category and beat 51 other renowned and premier weightlifters and bodybuilders from around the world to win the gold and became the first individual from Singapore to do so. In the first round at this competition, he posed for the seven compulsory poses as required by the competition and scored 12 points and by the final round, he had a score of 19 points, which far outweighed the total points of the second runner-up, Mr. Johnny Shambourger, who scored a total of 29 points. Azman had competed for the same competition in 1992 in Austria and had stood second, so this victory made up for it and established his significant comeback. He was awarded the title of IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) Mr. World which is a coveted title all over the world and the best bodybuilders from all over the world compete for the same.
- In 1992, Azman won the prestigious award in Asia, titled the Asian Pro-Am Classic.
- He was also the winner of multiple gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games for 1989, 1991 and 1993 when the games were held in Singapore celebrating the biennial games.
- Azman also won the title of Mr. Singapore at five separate occasions, one of them in 1993.
- He also bagged the coveted Mr. Asia title, which a continent elite award, for five years in a row, from 1989 to 1993.
Azman Abdullah at 2007 Nationals
1993 was a memorable year for Azman when he won the gold medal at the World Bodybuilding Championships and went to attain the title of Mr. Universe. By winning these prestigious titles, Azman Abdullah became the first Singaporean to bring the glory and title home for his country.
These outstanding achievements made him the most obvious choice for bagging the Sportsman of the Year award presented by the Singapore Sports Council, both for 1992 and 1993.
The various achievements for 1993 included:
- The Sunday Times and Coca-Cola Sports Star Annual Award presented on 26th of February to honor his silver medal achievement at the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in the previous year, that is, 1992.
- On 3rd March, he won the Sportsman of the Year from the Singapore Sports Council, making him the first bodybuilder to win the award.
- On 9th August, he was felicitated by the Public Service Medal.
- In July 1993, he won the gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games that were held in Singapore for the light-heavyweight category.
- In August, at the World Games held in Hague in Holland, he was proclaimed as the middleweight champion.
- On 30th August, he defended his Asian Pro-Am Classic title after beating 20 other participants at Malacca in Malaysia. This competition awarded him a cash prize of 4,500 US dollars.
- He further won 2 more of the Asian Championships held in Singapore, thus raising his gold medal count.
All of the above achievements further procured him a professional bodybuilder card from the International Federation of Bodybuilders in 1994.
Controversy in his career
In 1995, the champion was punished to 4 years of suspension from professional bodybuilding following a false allegation charge made by him against the then president of the Federation.
This controversy put him out of the circuit for close to 8 years and though he was acquitted of charges, his career never recovered to its former glory from that moment onwards.
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