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Body blows for judges

Joe Bourne (left), who was the popular choice to win the Open Division,  in a double biceps clash with eventual winner Patrick Harris and Dave Archer (right). Antoinette Downie was also unlucky not to win the Body Figure contest. (Pictures by Kenmore Bynoe.)

By Ezra Stuart | Wed, October 31, 2012 - 12:03 AM

One of Barbados' most acclaimed bodybuilders, Darcy Beckles, isn’t happy with the standard of judging on the local stage and wants the local federation to do more for bodybuilding.

While calling the fifth annual Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic, which is named after him, “a very beautiful show,” the retired long-standing National Sports Council bodybuilding coach would like to see some changes.

“It went beautifully, but I am still not very happy with the judging of these shows. In my opinion, the Open Classic should’ve been won by Joseph Bourne,” Beckles told MIDWEEK SPORT in an exclusive interview.

“In my opinion, he had the best condition and there is no way he shouldn’t have won the early part of the show. The senior part of the show was okay between “Biscuit” [Hoskyn Worrell] and [Martinus] Durrant, but I would hope that people would continue to support the show,” he declared.

“Martinus and Hoskyn were in top form. It could’ve gone either way. Condition, hardness, development – Hoskyn; size and muscularity – Durrant. I think that is what made Durrant win the show. He was bigger than Hoskyn and he carried good condition,” Beckles asserted.

“I think the judging in Barbados is not really improving. I’ve seen a lot of decisions made in bodybuilding in Barbados that, as an old bodybuilder, were very, very far off,” said Beckles, a two-time Mr Caribbean and the 1976 Mr Western Hemisphere winner.

Beckles also indicated an interest in judging, but recalled that he was taken aback by the response he received some time ago.

 “I said at one stage that I won’t mind judging shows and I was told that I had to sit an exam. I would never sit an exam to judge [bodybuilding] shows in Barbados. I am too far ahead of that, so I would never do that,” insisted Beckles, who celebrated his 66th birthday on the same day of the show.

“But I’m hoping that judging would improve and bodybuilding would go from strength to strength,” added the 1975 Mr World Tall Class champion.      

But Beckles said the Classic continued to attract some of the best competitors in Barbados and even in the Caribbean.

“Mr [Roger] Boyce, the person who organized the whole show, I must say thanks to him. This year, we had competitors from St Lucia and Guyana and I am hoping that next year, they can even invite some more Caribbean people to take part in the show,” Beckles said.

Beckles, who came to national prominence in 1968 when he created history by winning the Mr Junior Barbados and Mr Senior Barbados on the same night, a feat which is yet to be matched, also lamented the seeming lack of interest in women doing hardcore bodybuilding.

“I think the women find it hard to come out in bodybuilding. It is easier to come out in fitness and bikini. It is not as much work as in bodybuilding, so a lot of women are straying away from bodybuilding,” he said.

“They want to maintain their femininity so they don’t want to come looking too masculine, so a lot of the women are favouring the female part of it,” Beckles noted.

While stating he was “very happy with the bodybuilding” at the Classic, the five-time National Sports Personality Of The Year called on the local bodybuilding association “to show more interest” in bodybuilders in Barbados.

“This has been going on for a very long time now. We have people who are involved in bodybuilding and, in my opinion, are only there because of the accolades,” charged Beckles, who was also the first runner-up at the prestigious Mr Universe on two occasions.

“They need to put in some work for the young bodybuilders in Barbados to make them feel that they are wanted and not only to go and compete in shows.”

Beckles also claimed that there were people who had been trying to discourage competitors from taking part in the Darcy Beckles Classic.

“I am not guessing – this is something that I know but I want people to know that Darcy Beckles is one of the greatest bodybuilders Barbados ever produced, and every year we have a Darcy Beckles Classic we get people competing, not only from Barbados but all through the Caribbean,” Beckles said.

“Bodybuilding in Barbados needs somebody who is interested in bodybuilding, not interested in the prestige of being at the top of bodybuilding. We need somebody to help bodybuilding. Let me say this to everybody out there: there are no two or three persons out there who can stop the Darcy Beckles Classic. It will go from strength to strength,” he declared.

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