(MENAFN - Times of Oman) Omani bodybuilders Haji Shaban and Nasser Al Maskeri created history by winning the 'Arnold Classic' in different categories held at Ohio State in the United States.
Haji won the gold in the 90-kg category while Nasser crowned the glory in the 75kg.
Haji became a household name ever since he won the Amateur World Championship in Qatar last year. Haji topped the competition after a tough fight from the 21 participants belonging to different countries.
Speaking to Times of Oman yesterday, a delighted Haji said he wanted to prove a lesson to his critics. "You know I wanted to prove some critics who thought my world title came by fluke. All these achievements happened because of my hard work," said an emotional Haji.
When it took 15 years for Haji to win a gold at a World Championship, it not only brought laurels to Sultanate but also helped Haji get a chance to participate in the Arnold Classics. Nicknamed as the 'Arnold of Arabia', Haji said it was a dream turned true for him. "I always admired him (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and to be there in that tournament and to win a gold was a dream come true. I am thankful to God Almighty," he said.
Haji is sponsored by Times of Oman and Al Shabiba.
Incidentally, Nasser who had to withdraw from World Championship last year had won a silver medal in the 60kg category at the Asian Bodybuilding Championships in Bangkok last year.
The young bodybuilder has now set his eye on the Asian Beach Games that will be hosted by the Sultanate this year. "I know it's a long way to go from here. Almost a year left now but I can't waste my time. I am working hard to be there in Musannah next year," he said.