Joseph and his ‘Champion of Champions’ trophy. – Photo by Ghaz Ghazali

MIRI (July 2): Joseph Ladi of Kuching emerged victorious in defending the ‘Champion of Champions’ title at the 56th Mr Sarawak Bodybuilding Championship finals in Boulevard Shopping Mall here today.

Despite being out of the scene for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Joseph proved that he still had the same fighting spirit, as he did when he was adjudged the best overall athlete in 2019.

“I have been involved in this sport for about 11 years now. To win the ‘Champion of Champions’ title again after being out of the scene for two years, means a lot to me as I feel all my hard work has paid off,” the 35-year-old told thesundaypost.

The government servant started out with only normal training routines before making his competitive debut at Mr Gym 1Malaysia 2013.

“From there, I continued on competing until in 2014, I became the flyweight champion of Mr Malaysia which was held in Putrajaya.

“Having been Mr Sarawak 2019, I am thankful to once again be named the Champion of Champions for 2022,” he added.

His next focus would be Mr Malaysia 2022, to be staged in Alor Setar, Kedah this August.

“For the next target, I would continue what I have been doing, which seems to be working well for me,” said Joseph, who earlier had won the Lightweight 65kg-70kg category.

Joseph (centre) in a group photo with other winners: (from left) Muhammad Hafiz, Farrokh, Azizul, Awangku Hosin, Hamizan and Daubline. – Photo by Ghaz Ghazali

Over 30 participants competed this year, battling it out across nine categories.

Hamizan Zaudin of Miri came out tops in both the Masters (Age 45) and Bantam Weight categories.

Mr Miri 2022 Awangku Hosin Awangku Bagul won Welterweight (70-75kg), while Mr Kuching 2022 Awang Mohamad Azizul Ghani clinched the Light Middleweight (75-80kg) title.

Other category winners were Daubline Timbol of Kuching (Flyweight 55-60kg), Farrokh Ibtisam Ting of Sibu (Middleweight 80-85kg) and Muhammad Hafiz Remmy of Miri (Heavyweight 85kg and Above).

Daubline was also adjudged the ‘Best Poser’ of the competition.

Chong Hien Yung of Miri took home the Physique Below 170cm trophy, followed by respective runners-up Adzli Suhaili and Falizan Salleh.

The Physique Above 170cm battle, on the other hand, was dominated by Sibu — Alfie Khan was the winner, with Mohd Azzrul Safare and Edric Jiau as the respective runners-up.

In his opening speech, Sarawak Bodybuilding Association (SBBA) president Dato Wee Hong Seng expressed his excitement over the revival of the Mr Sarawak competition after a disruption of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also congratulated Miri Division Bodybuilding Association (MDBBA) for ‘the wonderful organisation of the event amidst the challenges that were still existent under the current recovery phase.

He added that the event also served as a platform to select athletes to represent Sarawak in this year’s Mr Malaysia championships.

Among those present were MDBBA president Cheyenne Muris, Kuching Division Bodybuilding Association president George Awi William, Sibu Division Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Association president Chia Soon Cheong, SBBA advisor Kapitan Desmond Thian, and Miri City Council’s Standing Committee for Tourism Development chairperson Councillor Warziedea Ahmad.

The event was broadcast live via Facebook Live on https://www.facebook.com/borneopost.online.