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Tough flexing for Barbados

MIKE KING, [email protected]

Tough flexing for Barbados

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Shakira Doughlin suffered a rare defeat at home, Hugo Greaves had to settle for second best, and Shaquile Lavine secured a hotly debated victory as host country Barbados found the going tough at the Darcy Beckles bodybuilding and physique competition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, over the weekend.

Doughlin, who has had an impressive local, regional and international bikini fitness season, won her division but lost the overall crown to the improving Antigan Kim Ephraim.

Last year in this event, Ephraim could do no better than third in her division, but rebounded on Saturday night to nose out fast rising Barbadian Dionne Clarke to take a compelling tall class that paved the way for a showdown for the overall title with Doughlin, who captured the short class.

This must have been close but the judges went for Ephraim, a 29-year-old office manager from St John’s.

Doughlin, fresh from a third place in her class at the Amateur Olympia in Las Vegas in September, won her division by defeating the improving Vanessa Jones, who is having a fine debut season. It is the third successive occasion that Jones has been second to Doughlin.

Lavine made sure Saturday night ended on a high for Barbados by capturing the Invitational Classic, the major showpiece of the packed programme. However, the dynamic 22-year-old can thank his lucky stars for the victory over towering Antiguan Ollyn Martin, which earned him $4 000.

The judges went for Lavine’s shape, proportion and customary stellar condition, but was dwarfed in the size department by Martin, who thundered on stage with 239 pounds of muscle. This was a case that bigger should have been better.

Several observers including Darcy Beckles, the former world-class bodybuilder in whose name the show is held, picked the 37-year-old Martin to win. Martin has competed in Barbados on several occasions, but this was certainly his best performance.

Lavine looked shocked when the result was announced just before 11 p.m.

“I put up a fight, a really good fight. I never thought I would do it. I put on five pounds of muscle since nationals, moving from 168 to 173. I want to add more mass next year and maintain the condition.

“It’s been a good year for me having won Mr Barbados. I want to thank my sponsors Light & Power Credit Union, Clyde B Jones Funeral Home, coach Joe Bourne and manager Nneka Archer,” he said.

The affable Martin, who earned $2 200, was gracious in defeat.

“The result was a big, big surprise to me. I was shocked but I give respect to Shaquile, he is a good guy. If the judges see it that way, so be it. I will just have to get better for next time. You can’t take it back. I thought I had it, the judges saw it a different way. It is just motivation to go forward,” he said.

This was a big night for Antigua with Bernard Percival making a resounding impact just like Ephraim and Martin. The 32-year-old Percival won an enthralling clash with Barbadians Hugo Greaves and Lamarr Coward to be crowned men’s classic bodybuilding champion.

Coward, 22, gave a masterful classical free posing routine and is clearly one for the future, but did not have the razor sharp muscle detail to be a threat to Percival and Greaves, the defending champion. This was a two-man race. It looked close from the front, but when the competitors turned to the back, Percival’s tight glutes and sliced hamstrings pulled him clear.

This was a big win for the soft spoken Percival, a personal trainer at Xtreme Health and Fitness in St John’s. (MK)

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