By Neto Baptiste
Travel logistics has forced the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF) to shelve plans that would have seen the twin-island state represented at the Santo Domingo Open slated for October 22-24.
National Bikini Fitness champion Makiva Elvin and Men’s Physique champion Duncan Corbin, were slated to fly the country’s flag at the IFBB Elite Pro Qualifier at the Teatro La Fiesta Hotel in Jaragua.
But, according to president of the federation, Hazel Went, the body was forced to pull out of the competition due to the unavailability of affordable flight options.
“We could not get the athletes there. LIAT no longer flies to Santo Domingo and the connection is from out of Tortola and didn’t prove feasible. They would have had to overnight and that’s not something good when they have to be on diet and stuff like that and then we face similar challenges getting them back [to Antigua] and so after discussions with the athletes, we agreed it would be better that we no longer send a team out,” she said.
Despite the obvious disappointment, Went said that athletes understood the federation’s decision, adding that in the end, the cost would have been excessive.
“They are disappointed, yes, because they were really looking forward to it but they also understand it and the limitations we were faced with. Going via Tortola and having to overnight would have meant additional cost which we did not bargain for in the beginning and then to get them back [into Antigua] because the competition would end on the Sunday and they would not have been a flight out until maybe the Tuesday or the Wednesday, which also would have meant additional cost,” the bodybuilding chief said.
The federation had made the decision to send the two-member team to the Santo Domingo Open following the cancellation of another pro qualifier in Barbados.
The team was slated to depart for Santo Domingo on October 21.