Abdullah vows to come back stronger after silver showing

Abdullah Ja'afar (left) and Shaifulhaq Ahmad Ishak won a silver and bronze respectively at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship.
Abdullah Ja'afar (left) and Shaifulhaq Ahmad Ishak won a silver and bronze respectively at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WORLD BODYBUILDING AND PHYSIQUE SPORTS FEDERATION SINGAPORE

Singapore's Abdullah Ja'afar has vowed to reclaim the Masters Over-60 title at the next edition of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship.

He had to settle for the silver after an unsuccessful defence of the title that he won last year in Mongolia.

While he was pleased with his result at the Dec 11-17 event in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the 62-year-old said: "I did not have enough time to train longer in order to prepare my body to (reach) its peak for this competition.

"Nonetheless I am happy with the result. I hope to come back stronger and (be) at my peak next year to win the title for the second time."

Joining him on the podium was Shaifulhaq Ahmad Ishak, who clinched the bronze in the men's 75kg bodybuilding category.

Shaifulhaq, who was up against 11 other athletes, dedicated his medal to his wife and son, who were supporting him in Chiang Mai. He added: "Whenever I go to compete and whatever challenges I face, they are there to encourage me."

Singapore fielded four athletes in the competition, which is in its 10th year. The other two athletes were Madeleine Png and Farah Bee Ismail Dawood, who competed in the women's categories.

Over 400 athletes competed in 51 categories at the annual event.

Shawn Sugendran, president of World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation Singapore, lauded the Republic's result as a "significant achievement" for the development of the sport here.

"It is very encouraging to see our athletes giving their best. Their commitment and sacrifices have paid off as both our male athletes won medals in their respective categories," said Sugendran, who also praised the women athletes.

"I am sure, with their commitment and drive, our ladies will bring home medals in the future. (The results) augur well for our plans to reinvent bodybuilding and physique sports so it can attract greater interest and participation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2018, with the headline 'Abdullah vows to come back stronger after silver showing'. Print Edition | Subscribe