World title for body builder

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A BANBURY body builder has scooped a world title.

Henry Elsom, 49, has been training as a body builder for about four years and won the masters heavyweight division at the UIBBN World Championship, held in Slovakia on November 17.

Mr Elsom of Laburnum Grove said: “I was absolutely elated to have won as I wanted to go there to get some experience from taking part in competitions like this.

“I thought I stood a reasonable chance and would have been happy with third or fourth.”

Mr Elsom has lived in and around Banbury for most of his life, and began weight training when he was 16 to improve his speed in cycling.

He has been competing in ‘natural’ shows across the country for about four years, where entrants are regularly drug tested and polygraphed to ensure they are clean.

After winning the 40-50 age group at the British finals last year, Mr Elsom earned a place along with ten others to represent Great Britain.

At the World Championship he was judged on symmetry, condition, presentation and muscle development before taking home the trophy.

Mr Elsom trains four times a week and goes to Bannatyne’s Gym in Bodicote. He also runs his own financial advice business in Banbury.

“There is a misconception with this sport as people think those who do it are all brawn and no brain, but when travelling with the team to Slovakia I found out most of them have got professional backgrounds,” said Mr Elsom.

“More and more people are now starting to get a better understanding of the sport, and winning this competition gives me a real sense of purpose and recognition for the hard work I have put in.

“Not many people can say they are a world champion.”