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World’s top strongmen to visit city

entertainment Updated: May 22, 2011 14:02 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times
Schwarzenegger’s Arnold Sports Festival

Forget Hrithik Roshan’s six-pack, the world’s most muscled men are staging a takeover of Mumbai. Indian-born strongman Sheru Harmit Aangrish is officially launching what he calls India’s most prestigious bodybuilding championship. Sheru Classic will be held in September this year at Bandra’s Taj Lands End.

The world’s top seven bodybuilders will be in attendance, including super-buff Jay Cutler, who currently holds the title of Mr Olympia, the same crown that thrust Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger into the limelight.

“This is a professional battle of the best, and is by invitation only,” says Sheru, who’s also advised Jason Statham of Transporter fame in the past. “The top three winners will qualify for Mr Olympia, which is considered to be the Olympics of bodybuilding. We will also have Robin Chang, vice-resident of Mr Olympia, managing our event.”

Sheru adds that he has extended an invitation to US reality TV star Paris Hilton, who he claims to know personally, to attend the event. “I have advised her on her diet in the past, and we know each other on a friendly level. I have checked with her whether she’ll be able to make it,” he says.

The bodybuilder contends that his event is in direct competition with Schwarzenegger’s Arnold Sports Festival, an event that’s held in the US every year.

“Arnold’s been trying unsuccessfully to get the top bodybuilders to leave Mr Olympia and join him for 22 years. But Joe and Ben Weider, his gurus and the pioneers of bodybuilding in the US, have chosen to support me instead. They are joining us as official media partners with their bodybuilding magazine, Flex,” says Sheru, adding, “The bodybuilding world is abuzz with excitement. Many people are asking why these stars are coming to India, but we’re happy that they’ve agreed to make it for this historic event.”