Azman Abdullah is famed as the first Singaporean to be crowned the winner in the middleweight class at the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships on 14 November 1993. The two-time winner of the Sportsman of the Year award – in 1993 and 1994 – trounced fellow competitors from 51 other countries at the competition held in Seoul, Korea.
In round one of the competition, Azman was awarded 12 points for the seven compulsory poses, and he eventually achieved a winning score of 19 points in the finals. Second runner-up Johnny Shambourger of the United States trailed far behind with 29 points. The win was particularly rewarding for Azman, who made a dramatic comeback after finishing second in the same competition held in Austria in 1992.
In addition to his gold at the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships, Azman was presented with a number of other awards in 1993, making it a particularly triumphant year in his bodybuilding career. On 26 February, Azman beat other local sports nominees to win the Coca-Cola/The Sunday Times Sports Stars Annual Award for his silver-medal feat at the 1992 World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships. The first bodybuilder to be awarded the Singapore Sports Council’s Sportsman of the Year award on 3 March, Azman was also honoured with the Public Service Medal on 9 August.
Azman’s winning streak continued with a gold medal in the light-heavyweight category at the Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore in July 1993. Next, Azman was proclaimed the champion in the middleweight class at the World Games held in August in the Hague, Holland. He successfully defended his Asian Pro-Am Classic title in the competition held on 30 August in Malacca, Malaysia, beating 20 other competitors to win a US$4,500 cash prize. This was followed with two more gold medals at the Asian Championships held in Singapore.
Azman’s win in Seoul jump-started his plans to turn professional, and in 1994 he became the first Singaporean bodybuilder to apply for a professional card from the International Federation of Bodybuilders.
1. 1993 reflections. (1993, December 31). The New Paper, p. 54. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore National Olympic Council. (2014). Sportsman of the Year. . Retrieved October 23, 2014, from Singapore National Olympic Council website: http://www.singaporeolympics.com/awards-recognition/singapore-sports-awards/sportsman-of-the-year/; Ho, S. (1993, November 16). Victorious Azman does it his way. The Straits Times, p. 34. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Azman to turn pro next year. (1993, November 15). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; The Straits Times, 16 Nov 1993, p. 34.
3. Superchamps nite. (1993, February 27). The Business Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Top sports. (1993, March 4). The Straits Times, p. 1; Rajaram, G. (1993, August 10). ‘I feel very proud’. The New Paper, p. 41. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. The Straits Times, 15 Nov 1993, p. 30; Koh, T. (1993, August 31). Azman’s hot streak wins him Pro-Am title. The Straits Times, p. 29. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Rai, H. (1993, December 30). Azman the professional to pose for medals and money. The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.