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Coach hails body team showing

MIKE KING, [email protected]

Coach hails body team showing

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Nine and a half on a scale of 10. That’s the huge ranking from head coach Roger Boyce on the national bodybuilding and physique team’s performance at the Arnold Classic Brazil held in Sao Paulo last weekend.

Six of the nine-member team cracked the Top 10, with three of them – bikini fitness entrant Shakira Doughlin (third), bodybuilder Ramon Broomes (fourth) and figure competitor Ramona Morgan (fourth and fifth) – cracking the top six of their respective divisons.

The team returned home from Brazil’s most populous city to a hero’s welcome at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday afternoon and were met by president of the Barbados Amateur Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (BABBFF) Dr Alfred Sparman and other members of the executive.

“The team did great. We secured all Top 15 finishes, so it is a big plus for the respective disciplines. The standard was high. We had tough competition and the team generally rose to the challenge,” Boyce said.

The coach said every single member of the team made improvement, making special mention of newcomers Vanessa Jones and Kirk Alleyne. Jones, who made her debut on stage last year, was seventh in her bikini fitness class, while Alleyne landed seventh on the bodybuilding stage in the light heavyweight division.

“Vanessa, Dionne, everyone did great. All of them did personal bests. It is the best time that I have seen Ramon, Kirk and Ramona look. I am really happy with the team performance,” said Boyce.

“I couldn’t ask for more. On a scale of ten, I would give the team 9.5. The team fought gallantly [against] the competition, most of it coming from Colombia, Chile, and the host country Brazil. I am all for going back next year.

“It is not necessarily about going back with a bigger team, but with a team that can compete. We just don’t want to work on numbers,” he added.

Broomes, a 27 year-old personal trainer, has had challenges peaking for competition, but felt he was close to his best in Brazil.

“I was back to something like my best form. I really brought a good package to this show. Knowing the level I was going up against, it was necessary. I was definitely in my best condition in a long time,” said Broomes, the winner of last year’s Mr Bridgetown.

“I was really aiming for the top three but what actually happened was that I was in a heavier class than I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be in the 80kg [kilogram] class but I ended up going in the 85kg division. Knowing that I was up against bigger guys and still did well, I am happy with that.”

Doughlin, the most experienced of the team, was delighted with her third place.

“I didn’t know what to expect because everytime I come to a contest there are so many different changes. This year I found that the classes were different. I even ended up in a different class.

“This particular show, my focus was just on bringing it on stage. I worked very hard to ensure that my first show this year would be a stepping stone to summer. For me, I feel great to have made the top six and over the moon to crack the top three after only being in the top 15 last year,” she said.

Doughlin, 27, hailed the overall team showing as monumental.

“The team did really well. This show was monumental for the entire team. It was hard but everyone did well,” she said. (MK)

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