By Neto Baptiste
SherRhonda Braithwaite, one of four bodybuilders who found success at the Darcy Beckles Diamond Classic in Barbados last weekend, said she was shocked following the judges’ announcement that she had finished third in the Open Class of the Body Fitness division.
“Oh my God, I did it, I am a pro and my fellow competitors were like, ‘SherRhonda you don’t look happy’, but I didn’t know how to react,” she said.
The performance qualified Braithwaite to hold an Elite IFBB Pro Card alongside her other teammates, Kimberly Percival, Leanna Carrington and Michelle Seaforth.
Antigua and Barbuda made a clean sweep of the top three spots in the bikini overall section with Seaforth claiming the number one prize, Percival finishing second, and Carrington third.
The athletes were then invited to compete in the pro segment of the Darcy Beckles show in which Braithwaite finished third in the figure class.
The athlete said it was a great experience.
“It’s a lot of work because posing on the stage takes a lot out of you and I was like, it doesn’t matter how I feel, I want this experience so that’s why I decided off the bat that I wanted to do this and no matter how I feel I am going to do this,” Braithwaite said.
Questioned as to how difficult she thinks it will be financially as a professional bodybuilder, Braithwaite said things have changed drastically from 10 years ago where Caribbean athletes needed to travel outside of the region to compete at professional shows.
“The elite pro shows are closer to home so there is one in Barbados, one in Aruba, there is one in St. Martin and I would also believe there is another one in Santo Domingo and these shows are more attainable … I don’t have to go to the US to compete but still, there aren’t many elite pro shows in the US so I think it’s a lot easier. The prize money is a lot better, so I am good with it,” she said.
Braithwaite has indicated that she will not compete in this year’s nationals, which is scheduled for August 24th.