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Top muscleman coming to Bim

Mike King

Top muscleman coming to Bim

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It?doesn’t?get much better than this for local muscle fans.
Jamaica’s Shawn “The Flexatron” Rhoden, one of the very best bodybuilders on the planet, is coming here next month to flex his aesthetic world-class physique at the 2013 edition of the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic slated for November 2 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Rhoden will guest pose at the annual contest that is attracting bodybuilders from Trinidad &?Tobago, Guyana, Antigua, St. Lucia and host country Barbados.
The majestic Rhoden, known for his statuesque front double biceps pose and quad striations, captured fourth place and US?$50 000 last month in Las Vegas at the sport’s ultimate event, Joe Weider’s Mr Olympia.
Rhoden, who is now under the guidance of eight-time Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman, is the fastest rising star in bodybuilding. At last year’s Arnold Classic, he did not even crack the top six at an event dominated by Branch Warren and Dennis Wolf, but six months later stunned the world at Mr O. with an incredible third place finishing behind goliaths Phil “The Gift”?Heath and Kai “The Predator”?Greene.
Two-time Mr Barbados Roger Boyce, who is coordinator of the Classic, now in its sixth year, told the WEEKEND?NATION, he was delighted to have the “Flexatron” in Barbados for the first time.
“This is going to be special. I have had some good pros before, but Shawn is certainly the the best among them and I am honoured that he has agreed to guest pose.
“It is costing a bundle to bring him here, but it is going to be worth it. He is one of the very best pros on the planet and a real class act. Last year he won four pro shows and no one from the Caribbean has ever done that. Only Heath may have a better physique,”?Boyce said.
Following an eighth place at the 2012 Arnold Classic, Rhoden went on to win the Tampa contest, Dallas Europa Supershow, Arnold Classic Europe and the British Grand Prix.
Defending champion Martinus Durrant is recovering from injury and skipping the contest, but his absence should not detract from what could be one of the toughest fields to line-up in the invitational classic.
Two-time Mr Barbados Stevenson Belle, fresh from capuring the light heavyweight title at the Central American &?Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Santo Domingo, will start as favourite but will have his hands full in trying to stop two men bent on vengeance compatriot Hoskyn Worrell and Trinidad’s Richard Noel.
He beat both of them at the 2013 Sportworld Classic at the Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in July, and knows that both of them will want to avenge that loss and take that first prize cheque of $4 000.
Four-time Mr Barbados William Prescod, who was left out of the team for Santo Domingo after a disappointing performance at the nationals, is another man on a mission. If Prescod nails his conditioning, he can be a major factor.
Last year’s Mr Barbados Ramon Broomes, dynamic Sammy Eastmond and former Mr Teenager Dario Bryan are among those entered for the open show that precedes the classic.
The contest is being held in honour of the celebrated Beckles, who won every major local and Caribbean contest during his heyday and was the spearhead of Barbados’ assault on the Mr Universe stage from 1976-79.
Beckles had a memorable titanic duel with Australia’s Roger Walker in the heavyweight class at the 1976 Mr Universe contest in Montreal, Canada; and the following year had a stirring toe-to-toe showdown with compatriot and eventual winner, Roy Callender (representing Canada) in Nimes, France.