KOLKATA: Mahadev Deka, who won the Mr. Universe title in the bantamweight category at the Musclemania superbody world championship in the United States on Saturday, returned to Guwahati to a hero’s welcome on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old engineer, overcoming a life threatening open-heart surgery, seven years back, had finished runner-up in the same competition last year.
Deka underwent an open-heart surgery in August 2002 after which he developed a lump with cancerous growth in his chest. On doctor’s advice he underwent an open-heart surgery to get it removed.
He also underwent chemotherapy. After three months rest, he was back to the gym to pursue his favourite pastime, bodybuilding.
His latest exploits earned him a promise of a house from Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the Numaligarh Refinery Limited has announced a cash award of Rs. 50,000.
Deka began the sport under the guidance of former Mr. Universe, well known as Pocket Hercules, Manohar Aich in Kolkata in 1992. The same year he ended on the podium with a third place finish in a National meet at Bangalore.