Ramon Broomes (right) and Kirk Alleyne. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
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A rejuvenated Ramon Broomes and the emerging Nicholas Smith were the positive headline acts from the annual Bridgetown bodybuilding and physique competitions.
Neither Broomes and Smith will forget last weekend’s season opener at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Written off over the last few years, in which he has struggled to get in peak condition, Broomes has gradually bounced back with a vengeance.
When a Barbados team toured Brazil last month for the Arnold Classic Brazil, head coach Roger Boyce pointed to an improved Broomes, who landed fourth place in his class in Sao Paulo. On Saturday night, the 27-year-old personal trainer took his condition to a new level by lifting the Mr Bridgetown title for the second year running.
Broomes didn’t just win; he won impressively, answering the challenge of big Kirk Alleyne and the fast rising Shaquile Lavine.
He brought the conditioning that had been lacking for some time. Dry and hard, he presented huge quads with cross-striations and won the symmetry round on his balance and proportion.
Broomes has promised to be even better at the nationals on June 30. “It is a work in progress. I know I can be much better. There is still some work to be done,” he said.
Alleyne, the nephew of former Caribbean champion David “Noddy” Alleyne, walked away with second place and his reputation enhanced with his best ever showing. He pounded the stage with over 200 pounds of muscle, and was clearly the biggest man on stage.
His beefy shoulders commanded attention and he was imposing, especially from the front. Alleyne must know he will have to sharpen his hamstrings and tighten his glutes if he is to knock off the best.
There was no Hadley Hoyte or Jamil Jones in the men’s physique but even if they were around, Nicholas Smith would have given them a stern challenge.
Before last year, the 34-year-old Smith, a product of Danesbury, Black Rock, was an unknown. He could do no better than sixth in his class at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic but he is a man on a mission and has improved greatly over the past few months. Beating the likes of Shone Springer and Julian Belgrave to win the short class and then knocking off the experienced Deono James for the overall crown, are the proof that Smith is no pushover.
Smith’s pleasing shape, width and imposing deltoids, make him one to watch for the nationals. If he comes in a little sharper, he will rub out a lot of big names.
The saddest part of the championships was the unsportsmanlike gesture from Lavine at the medal presentation for Mr Bridgetown. To throw his third place medal on the floor in disgust left a bad taste in the mouths of several fans.
Lavine has been all smiles over the last three years, winning at almost every turn. Showing dissent after getting the third place he deserved was shameful and disappointing.
Just last year, Lavine was lucky to have copped the first place prize at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic when most observers, yours truly among them, felt that big Antiguan Ollyn Martin, should have won. Martin was gracious in defeat then. Lavine should have been gracious in defeat now.
To his credit, Lavine has apologised but surely the Barbados Amateur Bodybuilding Federation has to send a message with a sanction or strong warning.
Congrats should go to Shakira Doughlin and Vanessa Jones for providing some spark to the bikini fitness competition. The resilient Doughlin, without being at her best, was still good enough to prevail but Jones could feel satisfied with another commendable performance. (MK)