George: Bodybuilders performed well in Aruba

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda bodybuilding team to the Giovanni Arendz Classic in Aruba. The team captured four medals, including a gold which was won by Bernard Percival Jr (second from right in back row). (Photo courtesy Dave George)

Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation (ABBWF), Dave George, has commended the sport’s top athletes who competed in the Giovanni Arendz Classic in Aruba last weekend.

One of seven athletes who attended the pro qualifier, Bernard Percival Jr, won his Classic Bodybuilding category and the right to

compete as a professional while the other Antiguan competitors all finished in the top six of their various categories.

“Let me publicly congratulate our newest pro, Bernard Percival Jr. This young man is going places and he is going places in a hurry and what I admire about him is that he is very humble and it is obvious that success doesn’t get to his head. He maintains this calm demeanor but don’t take that for granted, he is a silent assassin when he goes out on stage and I am so proud of him. It’s his fourth show and he got his pro card and the rest of the team, extremely proud of them,” he said. 

Notably, top female Bikini Fitness athlete, Kimberly Ephraim, fell just short of the mark in her quest to turn pro, finishing second in her class. George believes Ephraim’s success is not far off.

“She was right there, right there as well and was just edged out by this Russian athlete, incidentally, who is ranked number one in the world as amateur bikini fitness athlete so Kimberly came up against a very experienced stalwart in the game but I have no doubt in my mind that it is just a matter of time before she gets her pro card and I will go on record and state that it is not going to take her more than two more shows,” the president said. 

The federation, in July, announced its decision to forgo the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) championships and instead, attend the Aruba show.

George said he still believes the decision was the right one to make.

“It was a wonderful experience, we went there competing against athletes from all over the world. If my memory serves me correctly, there were 18 countries represented at that invitational. It was a show of high class, the athletes that competed in that show many of them were in mint condition so we went up against a lot of stiff competition and it was a good yardstick by which to judge exactly where we are at this stage,” he said.

Sher-Rhonda Braithwaite also came away with some hardware, claiming bronze in the open class of the Body Fitness category. There was bronze also for Kenroy Christian in the tall class of the Male Physique division.

There was disappointment for Kemberly Greenaway who finished just outside the podium in the Bikini Fitness, tall class category. National bodybuilding champion, Ollyn Martin and compatriot Elvis Bailey, both finished fifth after getting to the finals in their respective weight classes.

Body Fitness athlete, O’Jay Maria Harris failed to advance to the finals of her category.

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