An eye-opener

L. M. Karibasappa of Karnataka, who won the Bharath Shrest title for the second consecutive year. — Pic. K. BHAGYA PRAKASH-

THE Federation Cup body-building championship held in Bangalore on August 18, was an eye-opener for many casual spectators. There was a virtual stampede at the venue, Guru Nanak Bhavan, with fans occupying every nook and corner of the auditorium, including aisles. This sport, no doubt, has a huge following in Karnataka and some of the best contestants, who figured in the meet, were naturally from this State. The 19th edition of the championship, which was conducted by the Karnataka Body-Builders Association, was aimed at spotting the Indian probables for the Mr. Universe and World championships. There were 40 contenders in the fray, vying for the final spots in the team. The `Bharath Shrest' title, the highest award for the most outstanding contestant, was also at stake.

The overwhelming favourite for the title turned out to be the defending champion L. M. Karibsappa, an unassuming cop of the Karnataka State Police. Karibasappa, who sported a great physique, scored high marks with his winning poses from the judges' panel. And it was no wonder when he walked away with the crown, despite fierce competition from arch-rival Roshan Ferrao of the All India Electricity Board.

The `Bharath Shrest' contest, which was confined to the winners of four classes — short, medium, tall and super tall — was the climax of the championship, and a strong band of supporters rooted for the two favourites Karibasappa and the other international Rashan Ferrao, who had earlier won the short and medium class titles respectively. In the end it was Karibasappa who took the title amidst standing ovation from the packed auditorium.

"It is an honour to win the title again and I will do my best in the forthcoming World and Mr. Universe meets," said the champion. Besides Karibasappa, most of the other winners were from Karnataka and they included Prasad Kumar (tall class), Shodhan Rai (super tall class) and Sriramappa (Masters). Barring Sriramappa, all the four class winners will represent the country in the Mr. Universe and World championships, to be held in France and Germany respectively.

The results (finals):

Short class: 1. L. M. Karibasappa (Kar); 2. K. Malleshwara (Kar); 3. Sanjay Srinivas (Vidarbha).

Medium class: 1. Roshan Ferrao (AIESC); 2. Artatran Pradhan (Ori); 3. Suresh Raju (Kar).

Tall class: 1. Prasad Kumar (Kar); 2. H. Krishnamurthy (Kar); 3. Satyendra Kumar Rai (MP).

Super tall class: 1. Shodhan Rai (Kar); 2. A. V. Narendra (Kar); 3. Riaz (Kar).

Masters event: 1. Sriramappa (Kar); 2. Ambeshwar Das (Asm); 3. Kupendra (Kar).

Bharath Shrest: L. M. Karibasappa. — Kalyan Ashok