Water tanker driver from Bengaluru crowned Mr. Asia 2016
Bengaluru, often known as the tech capital of India, boasts of the finest minds the country has to offer. Start-ups and technology-based businesses often thrive in areas such as Whitefield, which has become a household name even in other cities of India.
If you were to visit Whitefield early in the morning, there’s a good chance you would meet a strikingly muscular water tanker driver running from end to end attempting to supply water to small businesses. However, little would you know that this 25-year-old has also created history in the field of sports.
G Balakrishna is not a name synonymous with India’s sporting landscape, but his achievement on Sunday has sent shockwaves across the continent. The water carrier was crowned ‘Mr. Asia 2016’ in front of a 35,000 strong crowd in Manila on Sunday.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda from Philppiness, Balakrishna said, “This victory is dedicated to my father; he passed away at a very young age. For the last 10 years, I’ve been driving a water truck, so that I can have a consistent income here. However, it’s not easy because I’ve been into professional body-building since 2010. So the amount of money I get, I run my home and with the rest I buy supplements to fund my career. I sincerely hope this helps me get more financial support, because I’m confident that Mr. Universe won’t be too far away.”
Whitefield residents funded my trip: Balakrishna
Fondly known as the ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger of Whitefield,’ Balakrishna is trained by former national champion Sangram Chougla from Mumbai. The water tanker business was set up to help him earn money for his diet.
Balakrishna said, “I work two jobs, I’m a gym instructor in the evening and I’m a water tanker driver in the morning. I have a very high diet. I eat 750 grams of chicken, 25 eggs, 300 grams of rice and 200 grams of fish everyday, apart from my existing supplement count. Hence, for me to afford this I need to work two jobs, but still that’s not enough.
“For this tournament, the Whitefield Residents Association raised me a lot of money for travel, and Mr. Koshy Varghese has been helping me out throughout my career. If I get more funding, I’m sure I will be in the pro-circuit very soon,” he added.
In 2013, Balakrishna won his first ever international tournament by being crowned Mr. Universe in the Under-24 category. One year later he created history again, by winning the Mr. Universe U-24 title in Athens, Greece. But lack of funding has seen him attend only a handful of events since then.
He said, “My major worry is that even after this I won’t get funding. I need to be attending at least 10 international tournaments every year, but now I’m attending only one or two. I really hope the association and Ministry takes an account of my achievement.”
He will give the prize money to his mother and younger brother Raju, to run their household.