KOCHI: Chitharesh Natesan, a bodybuilder from Vaduthala, has made the country proud by winning the ‘Mr Universe 2019’ title at the 11th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship held on Jeju island in South Korea from November 5 to 10. With this, Chitharesh became the first Indian and Malayali to win the championship organised by World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (WBPF). He participated in the 90-kg category which enabled him to compete with the champions of other categories (55-110 kg).
“This is very special to me. I started preparing for the championship from January. In June, there was a selection trial for the Indian bodybuilding team in Hyderabad. I was selected to the Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship (ABBF) held in Thailand from September 27 October 3. I won the overall championship there which qualified me for the world championship,” says Chitharesh. He is also the first Malayali and second Indian to win the ABBF.
He says the preparations for the championship were tough, but he really enjoyed it. “I used to work out twice a day from January. As the championship neared, the workout became thrice a day,” he adds. He trained under M P Sagar from Idukki, who is also his colleague. Chitharesh also followed a diet which required 300 g of protein and 200-250g of carbohydrates. “I had around 40 eggs daily, one kg of chicken breast, fish and protein powder. Brown rice, oats and sweet potato were the sources of carbohydrates. The diet also consisted of dry fruits and salads cooked in coconut oil.”
Key to success
Chitharesh was interested in bodybuilding from schooldays. He was also a hockey player and played at the school, college and university levels. After getting Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE) from Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), Thiruvananthapuram, he joined Rejuvenation Fitness Group, New Delhi, as a fitness trainer in 2007.
“I took weight training seriously after shifting to New Delhi,” he says. From 2014, he was a regular face in bodybuilding championships and won many medals. “I used to contest in championships under International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (IBFF). However, the federation was not recognisedin India and I couldn’t get a government job. In 2018, I started competing in championships under Indian Body Builders Federation (IBBF), which is recognised by the Central government and sports council. I hope this achievement will land me a government job and I can settle back in Kerala.”
He believes a secure job will help him get sponsorships in future. “We will have support from the department. Also, representing and winning the championship for a department will help in getting selected to the Indian team.”
Chitharesh spent around
`1.40 lakh and `1.35 lakh to participate in the Asian and world championships. “The total cost, including the diet, is even more,” he adds.