Memorable moment for Zimmermann

Rene Zimmermann was adjudged Mr. Universe 2003 at the 57th World men's bodybuilding championship held at the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India.

G. VISWANATH

Rene Zimmermann was adjudged Mr. Universe 2003 at the 57th World men's bodybuilding championship held at the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India on November 9. The 31-year-old from Zurich, the gold medal winner of the welterweight category, was declared the best among the seven because he had a `perfect symmetry.'

"I train for myself and happiness. If money and recognition come, fine. If they don't, it's okay," said Zimmermann after winning the Mr. Universe title. -- Pic. VIVEK BENDRE-

"I train for myself and happiness. If money and recognition come, fine. If they don't, it's okay," said Zimmermann after receiving a portrait of the Hanuman.

Zimmermann has taken part in half a dozen Mr. Universe events. The Swiss was declared the No. 1 from a field that had three Egyptians — Anwar El Amawy, Al Shahai Mabrouk and Ahmed Hamedy — and a German in Thomas Scheu, Slovakian, Igor Kocis, and an Italian, Giampiero Cataldi.

The Mr. Universe event is the ultimate showpiece event for men. They train round the year in modern gym to achieve this feat.

Egypt's Hamedy, competing in the heavyweight category, was adjudged the winner in his group, though some felt that Austria's Manfred Petautschnig should have been the choice. Only the No. 1 in each of the seven weight categories advance to the Mr. Universe round. The Egyptian made it and the Austrian failed to make it.

The winners of the 80kg event: Al Shahai Mabrouk (centre, gold), Andreas Becker (left, silver) and Juraj Vrabel (bronze). -- Pic. VIVEK BENDRE-

Zimmermann's coach Reto Frankhauser said: "It's not important to be in the heavyweight categories. The point is having a perfect body, great symmetry. Zimmermann is one in a million and that's why he has won. We worked hard, but not harder than anybody else. What is vital is that the body is also God's gifted. One must be born with a body that can be engineered to perfection.''

The 35 finalists (seven from each weight groups) were first asked to do one-minute freestyle posing individually, set to a music chosen by them. Thereafter the seven qualifiers, standing in a row, were ordered to do seven routines in the following sequence. 1) Front Double Biceps, 2) Front Lat Spread, 3) Side Chest, 4) Back Double Biceps, 5) Back Lat Spread, 6) Side Triceps and 7) Abdominals and Thighs.

The finalists first came through the weigh-in and prejudging procedure. Usually, a judge gives points for competitors with harmonious and classical physique. He also looks for good posture, athletic bearing, correct anatomical structure that includes body framework, road shoulders, high chest, correct spinal curves, limbs and trunk in good proportion, straight legs, not bandy or knock-kneed.

In addition the judge looks for good skin tone with out surgical scars, spots, acne or tattoos, tidily dressed hair, well shaped feet and toes.

The event had attracted entries from 54 countries. India was allowed to field two entries in each of the seven groups, but not a single Indian made it to the finals.