Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Berhampur bodybuilder Arjun Sahu has brought laurels for the State and country by winning the gold medal in the 55 kg category of the recently concluded World Bodybuilding Championships in Uzbekistan.

Arjun's journey to the World glory was not a bed of roses. The bodybuilder from Odisha, who is currently serving the Indian Army for the Bihar regiment, has to overcome several obstacles to achieve the feat.

Arjun has to go through acute poverty during his childhood. His father was a vegetable vendor and he was finding it difficult even to make ends meet for his family.

However, the abject poverty didn't deter the spirit of Arjun from pursuing the sport as a career. Initially, he was inspired by his elder brother Madan to pursue bodybuilding. After initial training at home, he got the opportunity to get himself admitted at the sports hostel in Berhampur Stadium in 2002. Gradually he grew in the sports discipline and started winning several medals at many State level competitions.

However, his career took a u-turn when he joined Indian Army in 2010. Five years later his weightlifting coach in Army advised him to start bodybuilding as he has a suitable body for it. Arjun followed his advice and took to bodybuilding as a duck takes to water and the rest what they call is history.

That strong decision in 2015 followed by his hard work, determination and dedication fetched him a World Championship medal six years later.

Arjun's coach R Rajesh Kumar Achari is on the blue moon over his ward's success.

"Arjun is gifted by a good body. Besides, he complimented it with hard work, regular practice and passion to achieve the enviable success," said Achari.

Arjun's family members are so ecstatic that they could hardly find words to express their feelings.

"Arjun's father always wanted him to do well in the sport. He is no more now. He would have been the happiest man in the world with our son's success of winning a gold medal in the World Bodybuilding Championships," said Arjun's mother Tara Sahu.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)