Dubai: The UAE’s Amer Majid Jafar is targeting a rare appearance from an Arab at the 2018 Mr. Olympia after winning his Pro Card last week.
Jafar created his own slice of history in Fujairah last week when he became the first Emirati eligible to apply for his Pro Card with the world governing body for the sport, the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB).
Jafar first made it to the Super Final by winning the -85kg category at the inaugural edition of the IFBB Diamond Cup Fujairah that coincided with the hosting of the 17th UAE National Bodybuilding Championships held over the weekend in Fujairah.
The UAE bodybuilder then outdid three other category champions to be crowned overall champion and earn the right to officially bid for an IFBB Pro Card.
More than 250 musclemen from across the world and the UAE participated in the inaugural IFBB Diamond Cup and the 17th UAE National Bodybuilding Championships.
In the past, Jafar won fourth place in the 75kg category at the 2009 World Bodybuilding Championships, a third position at the 2010 WBPF Mens World Bodybuilding Championships and a fifth in the 80kg at the WBPF World Championships.
The first edition of the IFBB Diamond Cup Fujairah was held under the patronage of Shaikh Saleh Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Chairman, Department of Industry and Economy, Fujairah.
Jafar won the -85kg category and was joined by other category winners, namely Egypt’s Mohammad Khalid Embaby (-75kg), Khalil Asadi of Iran (-95kg) and Asta Morgan from the UAE (+95kg) for the Super Final.
And when the judging process was done, Jafar was declared overall winner while Embaby took the runners-up spot, making both of them eligible to now officially apply for a Pro Card with the IFBB.
In the Teams Championships, Egypt took the top spot followed by Iran and India in second and third respectively.
Dr. Rafael Santoja, IFBB President, was joined by Adel Fahim, IFBB Vice-President and Executive Assistant and Shaikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi, Vice-President of the Asian Bodybuilding Federation (ABBF) and President of the Emirates Bodybuilding Federation (EBBF) at the presentation of the awards.
“I am thrilled, excited and I cannot thank all those who supported me in this life changing moment in my career,” Jafar told Gulf News after being crowned at a fully-packed hall of the Tennis and Country Club in Fujairah.
“Now that I have cleared my first hurdle with a Pro Card, I am committed and excited to participate at the Mr. Olympia in 2018. I know it’s going to be a long road ahead, but it is something that I am mentally prepared for at this moment,” he added.
Jafar further related that he plans to now go easy on his regimen while training just once a day before shifting into full training mode at the end of this year. “The build-up needs to be well planned and perfect so that the muscle mass can peak in time for the competition,” Jafar said.
“Everything is on schedule for me at this moment. I need to rest my body at this moment and then pay attention to it closer to the competition,” he added.
Mr. Olympia is the title awarded to the winner of the professional men’s bodybuilding contest at Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend that is held annually by the IFBB. Weider created the contest to enable Mr. Universe winners to continue competing and earning money. The first Mr. Olympia was held on September 18, 1965 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. And while the dates of the 2018 Mr. Olympia are yet to be finalised, the 2017 edition is scheduled to be held from September 14-17.