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GAUHATI, India (AP) — The northeastern Indian state of Assam has held its first major competition for female bodybuilders.
Five women participated in the one-day event in Assam’s capital, Guwahati, on Saturday, including one from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Bhaba Goswami, one of the organizers, said they have been organizing the men’s version of the event for over three decades and called the women’s contest a major breakthrough in the state’s sports history.
One of India’s top bodybuilders, Sanjana, 26, has won the competition, organized by the Assam unit of the Bodybuilders Federation of India.
“I’m thrilled to be the first winner of this event,” she said.
Sanjana comes from a small town in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. She works as a civil servant in the Customs Department of India. In 2018, she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in an Asian bodybuilding championship.
“It was a tough fight from the start, mainly because of lack of resources and societal taboos,” said Sanjana, known as the “golden girl” among other bodybuilders. “But my hard work paid off throughout.”
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