Alexander Yashankin: I doubt that bodybuilding can become an Olympic Sports


The World Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship was held in Ulaanbaatar for the first time, from October 25 to 27.
Over 270 bodybuilders from 30 countries competed in four catagories-Master, Classic, Fitness and Bikini classes -25 medals in the championship.
The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Mongolian Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.
The Master’s Class was between the ages of 40-49 with four weight categories; 70 kg, 80 kg, 90 kg, and above 90 kg. Senior bodybuilders between the ages of 50-59 also competed in three categories, 60 kg, below 80 kg, and above 80 kg.
Sixteen Mongolian bodybuilders took part in competition. Two female bodybuilders from Mongolia won bronze medals in the Bikini Class. The 45th Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship was hosted in Ulaanbaatar two years ago with the initiative of the Prime Minister of Mongolia.

We spoke with the winner of the 90 kg category of the men’s Master’s Class, Alexander Yashankin of Russia.

-Congratulations on winning the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship for the ninth time.

-Thank you. I have competed in the competition for 15 years and won nine gold medals, five silver medals, and a bronze medal. I will work hard to win my 10th gold medal.

-It is speculated that bodybuilding and fitness will be included in the 2020 Olympic Games. Were you glad to hear the news?

-It is very early to be glad. Bodybuilding and fitness haven’t developed enough to be compared to other types of sports in the Olympic Games. It is not popular around the world. For instance, Russian elites are interested in boxing, judo, athletics and winter sports. So I doubt that this sport can be one of the Olympic Sports as it isn’t very popular. Only popular sports are included in the Olympics. Freestyle wrestling has been taken off of the Olympic Games due to its decrease in fans and popularity.

-But bodybuilding is considered the “king” of all sports?

-Bodybuilding is the foundation of all sports. Most people aren’t interested in it; it is regrettable.

-What is the secret to your success?

-I focus more on diet than on training. This is my secret to success. I am 61 years old. My skin is as soft as it was when I was 25 years old.

-What is a good age to start training in bodybuilding?

-A person of any age can practice bodybuilding. My youngest son started training when he was just ten years old. He practically grew up in the gym. My son won the silver medal in the World Youth Bodybuilding Championship. He can be a successful bodybuilder.

-When did you decide to become a bodybuilder?

-There was a Russian man who won the World Bodybuilding Championship five times. When I was young, I dreamt of becoming a bodybuilder like him.

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