A strong performance by 20-year-old Kobi Ifrach resulted in the young Israeli winning the coveted Mr. Universe junior title.
Ifrach, from Zikhron Ya’akov, was all smiles on the podium at the National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association (NABBA) event in Birmingham, England.
“It is an amazing feeling to wrap myself in the Israeli flag,” Ifrach told the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Aharonoth after his win. “I came from such a small country and became the center of attention. This is unprecedented!”
Ifrach is the first Israeli to win the NABBA under-23 Junior Division since it was introduced in 1988. Arnold Schwarzenegger won the same competition four years in a row.
“I have been training 24 hours a day for many years,” he told the Hebrew daily. “Training means following a tight schedule—eating every hour and a half and not drinking water at all on some days.”
Yoni Hanna, president of NABBA in Israel and a former Mr. World, presented the Mr. Universe cup to Ifrach at Sunday’s event.
Israeli bodybuilder Dani Kaganovich was the first Israeli ever to win the title of Best Overall Body in the NAC International Ms. & Mr. Universe 2015 competition in Hamburg.