Clash of the physiques
Men’s physique, the show-stopper at last season’s national bodybuilding and fitness championships, is likely to attract about two dozen entrants at this year’s event slated for next week at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
So far, 19 men have entered and several more are expected to sign up over the next few days for the August 30 contest, which will be used as a guide to select the Barbados contingent for the 42nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships set for St Maarten for October 2-4.
Men’s physique is as much about flamboyance and personality as it is about six-pack abdominals and chiselled chests and judging from the response last season, it is here to stay.
National champion Marlon Dottin of Valley Fitness Zone, will start as one of the favourites but he will not have it his own way with the likes of Omar Benn, Evy Bentham, Ramon Dodson and Kevin Edwards in the line-up.
Last year in the short class, Dottin’s superior shape and symmetry gave him the edge over the improved Benn of Krackan’s Gym and Edwards of Strike Force Gym.
Bentham, the charismatic 42-year-old personal trainer at Surfside Wellness Centre walked away last year with third place in the tall class, and no doubt will be aiming to do better.
Dodson should be on a high after tasting success on his first overseas tour a few weeks ago, when he took the men’s physique crown in Trinidad &?Tobago at the Sport World Classic.
Bikini has a wow factor and just as huge a following as men’s physique. Saskia Griffith, the Barbados and Caribbean queen, will be in the audience and not on stage as she has her sights set on the pro ranks.
Shakira Doughlin, Kara-Lyn Belle, and Natalie Webb lead a strong squad from Strike Force Gym, that have the experience to be major factors but one to watch should be another member of that camp, 20-year-old Janesia Pitt, winner of the season opening Barbados Bikini Fitness show in March.
Shari Mapp, the stylish and elegant winner of last December’s Michael Riley Classic, has much to prove after finishing down the field at the Barbados Bikini Fitness. Mapp, 28, an analyst in the credit union division of the Financial Services Commission, is the only entrant from Flawless Concepts.
Women’s bodybuilding has been replaced by women’s physique in which competitors will do fewer mandatory poses. There are just two entrants so far with former Miss Barbados Julia Davis of the St James based Brute Force Gym going head-to-head with the 6ft 1in, Deidre Archer of J & S Health, Fitness & Sports Academy. This could be a riveting clash. Davis will be ahead in terms of shape and style while the rugged Archer with her impressive lat spreads, and bulging biceps.
Ramona Morgan (J&S Fitness) is the heavy favourite to rule the body fitness segment which will be without Kim Sealy, who impressed on her debut last season.
The nationals are being sponsored by ALLMAX Nutrition, ACE Pharmacy, Mint Condition Industrial Services, Tiger Malt, Aesthetic Dental and Hott 95.3 FM.