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Belle tolls for Mr Bridgetown


Mike King

Belle tolls for Mr Bridgetown

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Rugged?Coast Guard officer Stevenson Belle joined the long list of Mr Bridgetown muscle champions, and comeback kid Sophia Forte became the queen of the stage at the opening contests of the 2011 bodybuilding season at Combermere School, Saturday night.
Belle, 30, who was third in last year’s contest, was the class of a modest seven-man field while Forte, competing on behalf of Strike Force Gym and back on stage for the first time since 2007 brought shape, style and symmetry to thwart a fierce challenge from impressive rookie Deidre Archer.
The 6 ft, 1 in Archer, carrying the banner for the Surfside Fitness Centre, was mean and muscular, especially in the double biceps pose from the back and could feel pleased with her performance. She does not have the kind of balanced physique that Forte brought to the stage and the judges went for Forte’s proportion rather than her muscle detail.
This was a heartening comeback for Forte, who has had to deal with the trauma of losing her baby daughter in 2008. She has promised to come in better condition at this year’s nationals.
Archer, 39, does not have an ideal physique, but she brought loads of muscle, the rewards for near 20 years of training at Universal, West One and World Gyms. Julia Davis, 38, representing the Hoyte’s Village-based Brute Force Gym, placed third while Antiguan-born Burnelle Hunte completed the top four.
An audience that included former Barbados champions Loftus Roach, Tony “Broad Back”?Parris and William Prescott, along with ex-Barbados fast bowler Sam Skeete, were on hand for an even more riveting contest for the Mr Teenager between the persevering Jonathan Nana of Unique Fitness Gym, and former St Leonard’s Secondary student, Matthew Watson.
However, although it was close, it was inexcusable for the judges, to bring them on stage three times, after being unable to make a decision after looking at them, not once but twice. This confrontation pitted Nana’s shape and better proportion, against Watson’s density and muscle detail.
 In the end, the judges finally went for Watson, who trains at the Stadium Gym.
Watson’s heroics weren’t over. He also walked away with the Mr Novice title, winning a showdown with the flamboyant Kirk Bryan, owner of the Body By Kirk Gym. Bryan was a big hit with the fans when he delivered a well choreographed free posing routine, in which he showcased his detail muscle, especially in his upper torso. Debutant Dave Archer of the Black Rock based Dane Rovers, was third.
This was a good night for St George.
Watson is from Flat Rock and Belle hails from Ellerton. Belle brought density and muscular development to easily prevent former Barbados wicketkeeper Michael Worrell from “gloving” Mr Bridgetown. Worrell was dynamite in a small package and  was a clear second.
He lacked the width and sharpness in his abs to seriously challenge Belle.
On the body fitness gym, 5 ft, 2-in Jamila Sokunbi of Oceans 2 Fitness Gym, was the class of the field. A product of Foundation and Queen’s College, Sokunbi, 25, who has an English mother and a Barbadian father, brought poise, shape and was well toned.
Sharon Coppin of Fitter Bodies Gym was crisp and dry and took second with Kathy Ann Greenidge of Unique Fitness, third. Maria Walters of Stadium Gym, was fourth.
In the junior body fitness, debutante Robyn Codrington of Body By Kirk Gym, scored an upset victory over Jeanna Johnson of Stadium Gym.

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