1249 GMT April 26, 2018
Iran’s bodybuilding sensation Rouhollah Mirhosseini, who has recently bagged three gold medals at the world events, said Iranians would be among the medal winners if they are supported.
Mirhosseini scooped a gold at the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia competitions in March, adding two first-place finishes at the men's open +100kg contests in Pro/AM Champs in New Zealand and Fiji.
The 35-year-old Iranian has also earned an IFBB Pro Card, turning him into a professional bodybuilder.
Having collected a number of medals at international tournaments as an amateur athlete, the Iranian athlete will be looking to make his mark at professional events if he is provided with more support.
Following is Iran Daily's exclusive interview with Mirhosseini:
Q: Would you tell us about your career?
A: I started as a wrestler when I was 15, however, as everyone suggested to me, I had a career change to become a bodybuilder in 1999 and was crowned Iran's champion and overall champion at youth and senior levels on several occasions.
In international competitions, I claimed the runner-up spot at the 2010 Asian championships in Bahrain and finished fourth in world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the same year.
In 2016, I grabbed a gold medal at Asian championships in Beijing, a bronze at Fitness Expo Dubai and a silver at IFBB Diamond Cup in Greece.
I also finished fourth at Mr. Olympia amateur competitions in Italy in 2016.
I recently landed an IFBB Pro Card after winning +100kg and overall golds at Fiji championships, qualifying for the professional competitions.
Q: What do you make of Iran's bodybuilding on international scale?
A: Iranians are currently dominating worldwide amateur championships, snatching most of the medals in every tournament.
But we are yet to make significant achievements on professional levels as it needs proper preparation and nutrition program.
Still, we are 50 years behind the highest level of professional bodybuilding, but I am sure we will have a lot to offer if we are offered with more effective support.
Iranian sports officials do not pay due attention to bodybuilding and we have a lot of problems with training camps and nutrition program to prepare properly for the tournaments.
I have to provide the expenses all by myself, so I need financial sponsorship to receive an accurate preparation for international tournaments.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I am 35 but in bodybuilding you can keep competing until 50.
Considering the weight categories at Mr. Olympia championships, I will have to increase my weight with a proper nutrition program over a two-year period.
My ambition is to win medals at the prestigious event.