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Shakira still queen

MIKE KING, [email protected]

Shakira still queen

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Shakira Doughlin remains the bikini fitness queen but Vanessa Jones is closing the gap.

Doughlin walked away with the title and a cheque for $1 000 at the annual Bridgetown Championships at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Saturday night, but there can be no denying the promise of the stylish Jones.

Jones, who has caught the eye since making her debut last season, was ahead in terms of condition, but couldn’t knock off the champion, who brought more width, and more developed back and shoulders.

It is the fourth time the 30-year-old Jones has been second best to Doughlin, who is fresh from a third place at the Arnold Classic Brazil. Jones was gracious in defeat.

“She is a good athlete, so she will always be a hard one to beat. I knew it would have been close again but I wasn’t sure how the result would go. The plan is to improve on my weak areas and hopefully over time I will be victorious.

“I was good in Brazil, but this would be my best performance in Barbados because I would have gained some muscle since last year’s performance at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic and I think my physique now is better proportioned, more balanced,” she said.

Newcomer Geanna Jules would be pleased to have cracked the top three.

The men’s physique competition was one of the high points of the programme with Nicholas Smith announcing himself by capturing his division and taking the overall title. This was a splendid performance from the 34-year-old Smith, who hails from Danesbury, Black Rock.

Smith turned it around after placing sixth at last year’s Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic.

“Last year at the Darcy Beckles Classic, I got my prep wrong, so onstage I was really flat and unable to obtain a pump. I know my body better now and I have been able to improve on what was lacking. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes,” he said.

Smith took the overall from the resilient Deono James, both of them having won their respective height classes. Smith won an enthralling showdown with the persistent Shone Springer and Julian Belgrave to take the short class while in the tall class, James took the honours in a hard fought clash with Alex Ifill and Nicholas Moseley.

Shaunnell Neverson was the only entrant in the fitness segment for juniors (Under-16). (MK)