Kobi Ifrach, 20, became the first Israeli to win the Mr. Universe title in the junior category during an international bodybuilding competition held in Birmingham, United Kingdom Sunday.
“It is an amazing feeling to wrap myself in the Israeli flag,” Ifrach told Yedioth Ahronoth. “I came from such a small country and became the center of attention. This is unprecedented!”
The bodybuilding event, which has been won in the past by superstars such as former California Governor and Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been organized annually for 67 years by the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA).
“I have been training 24 hours a day for many years,” said Ifrach. “Training means following a tight schedule — eating every hour and a half and not drinking water at all on some days.”
The Mr. Universe trophy was presented to Ifrach by Yonni Hanna, president of NABBA in Israel and former winner of Mr. Universe in the “tall” category.