Duhok bodybuilder wins gold at Asian bodybuilding championship



Haji Abdulsalam Rekani, a bodybuilder from Duhok, beat eight other competitors and finished first in the 85kg category of the 54th Asian Championship in Beirut this month.

Haji Rekani at the Asian Bodybuilding Championship in Beirut on November 14, 2021 (Photo: Haji Rekani archive)

His victory made the people of his hometown of Duhok happy. Thousands of city residents congratulated him, including the governor.

Haji Rekani has been a bodybuilder for 13 years and has won several medals in Iraq and other countries. He always presents the medals he wins to the Kurdish peshmerga and their families.

He presented the gold medal he won in Beirut, his biggest victory to date, to the orphan son of a martyred Peshmerga.

In the 53rd previous championship, Rekani placed third. He presented this medal to a Peshmerga from Shiladiz who was wounded in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Haji Rekani honoring a wounded peshmerga.  (Photo: Haji Rekani archives)
Haji Rekani honoring a wounded peshmerga. (Photo: Haji Rekani archives)

The bodybuilder plans to participate in the world bodybuilding championship. He told Kurdistan 24 that he planned to present his next medal to President Masoud Barzani.

Like all bodybuilders, he typically begins his extreme diet eight months to a year before a tournament, which is very physically demanding and requires a strong willpower.

Haji Rekani at the Asian Bodybuilding Championship in Beirut on November 14, 2021 (Photo: Haji Rekani archive)
Haji Rekani at the Asian Bodybuilding Championship in Beirut on November 14, 2021 (Photo: Haji Rekani archive)

Haji Rekani first had to make his way into Iraqi bodybuilding competitions to prove he was one of the fittest, which allowed him to compete in the Asian Championship.

The 54th Asian Bodybuilding and Physical Sports Tournament took place in the Lebanese capital of Beirut from November 11-14.

In total, 211 players from seven countries participated and took part in over 39 bodybuilding challenges. Dozens of these players came from Iraq and the Kurdistan region.


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