Rohit Khandelwal made history on July 19 when he was crowned Mr World 2016, becoming the first Indian, and Asian, to win the title at the pageant.
Khandelwal, 26, had earlier won the title of Mr India in 2015 prior to his big win at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre in the UK on Tuesday, beating 46 other hopefuls in the contest. In addition to winning the title, Khandelwal won a $50,000 (Dh183,500) cash prize.
“I feel so privileged and humbled to be Mr World 2016,” Khandelwal said in a statement posted on the Mr World website.
“I would like to thank all my fans and all the people who have been giving me all their blessings. It is only your love and support that has been my inspiration to win Mr World 2016. It has been an amazing journey to this point, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.”
Khandelwal was up against stiff competition in the final round from 21-year-old Fernando Alvarez from Puerto Rico and 26-year-old Mexican contestant Aldo Esparza Ramírez.
The Mr World contest in unlike traditional beauty pageants. Organized over three weeks, the contest is designed to discover “The World’s Most Desirable Man” . Contestants are required to participate in a series of activities, including sports, talent and “extreme” challenges, and rounds of interviews that finally culminate in a grand stage show.
The event is not to be confused with the AAU Mr World, IFBB Mr Universe (now World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship, and famously won by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1967 and Lou Ferrigno, aka the Incredible Hulk, in 1973)) and NABBA Universe Championship events, which are all bodybuilding competitions.
The contest was inaugurated in 1996, and is held every two years. Khandelwal is the ninth winner of the title.