By Neto Baptiste
It is still early days yet, but International Bikini Fitness champion, Kimberly Percival, is aiming to become back-to-back champion in the Arnold Classic Europe.
Speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Percival said the goal is to also take a much bigger team to the internationally revered championships.
“Forward is just the next step because first and I think the biggest mission in my mind is retaining the title or going for a repeat. I was saying to someone that what I think would be really fantastic is if we had a Team Antigua go to an event like the Arnold, both amateurs and pros, we go with a solid team and just go over there and do the place and come back with some more pro cards. We went and we saw a team from Estonia and it was a whole Coaster bus of people, and I want Antigua to have that,” she said.
The athlete, who is set to take up an appointment as Ambassador-At-Large within the government, following her achievement, is hoping that going forward, more amateur athletes will get the opportunity to experience competition at such a high and competitive level.
“It’s not just about pushing the pros because it’s about everybody and elevating bodybuilding because you have to start here to get there, and that’s what I really want to see come next year, more of our athletes pushing their limits, going out there, getting the experience, getting the feedback, continuing to improve and just beginning to elevate bodybuilding towards bigger and better things,” she said.
Percival said that the goal of lifting Antigua and Barbuda to another level on the bodybuilding spectrum has already begun as the federation’s recent staging of a virtual tournament is already garnering attention across the Caribbean.
“Even with our virtual event, I had a conversation with a promoter out of Barbados who asked ‘what is the formula for having this virtual event because we want to have something for our Independence coming up, so how did you do it?’ and that’s what I want, I want Antigua to be the pattern, the base of inspiration for the rest of the world,” the athlete said.
Percival edged Spain’s Lina Bejarano for the top prize in the Bikini Fitness category, with fellow Antiguan, Michelle Seaforth, finishing third.
Percival’s husband, Bernard Percival Jr, finished in the top 10 of this event for the second time at the Arnold Classics in the Men’s Classic Physique category, while Michelle’s twin sister, Melissa Seaforth, who also competed in the Bikini Class, finished 16th overall.