Maheshwor Maharjan receives a warm welcome upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Maharjan won gold in 75 kg weight category in the 10th World Body Building and Sports Championship held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo: Anil Malla Thakuri/Republica
KATHMANDU, Dec 26: Hard work, determination, and patience -- the undeniable keys to success -- were in full display when Nepali player Maheshwor Maharjan won the gold in the 10th World Body Building and Sports Championship held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Maharjan’s feat came after 20 years of persistent practice of the sport of body building. He not only won a gold for himself, but also for the sport of body building that has a history of 65 years in Nepal.
Nepal had so far won only silver in the world championship.
With the win, Maharjan has also become the only Nepali player to win two gold medals in international competition of body building. He had claimed the other medal in the 50th Asian Body Building Championship held in Bhutan in 2016.
Maharjan returned to Nepal on Tuesday to receive a warm welcome from supporters and authorities. National Sports Council (NSC)’s Vice President Pitambar Timsina had reached Tribhuvan International Airport to welcome him.
A person in the crowd asked: “Is a cricketer coming?” A reporter immediately answered him: “No.” That surprised the person who asked again: “It might be a footballer.” The reporter answered again: “No, it is a body builder.” The person was shocked.
With the historic win, Maharjan is expected to inspire many Nepalis into the sport of body building. But behind the win, he has a history of his own.
He said: “To win the gold medal, I really had to work very hard.”
He said he had the determination to win the medal although there were many who doubted. “We have to face a lot of struggle in this game. Only hard work does not get you medal. We have to eat a lot of expensive food. The diet is expensive because some of it has to be imported from abroad.”
Maharjan, 35, had been preparing for around seven to eight months prior to the tournament. He said that he personally spent about Rs 800,000 in preparation for the tournament. He does not have the figures how much he spent in the past two decades.
“Regardless of the expenses, I am happy that I have been able to win the medal for my country, which has made the sports fraternity and the entire nation proud. It is a big achievement for me,” Maharjan said.
Maharjan won the gold in 75-kg weight category in the tournament held in Thailand from December 11 to 17.
Before Maharjan, Nepali bodybuilders Bimal Lal Shrestha, Rujesh Shahi, and Nanita Maharjan have won medals in international tournaments.