By Neto Baptiste
Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew has extended congratulations to the country’s newest Ambassador and Arnold Classics Europe champion, Kimberly Percival, on her appointment.
Cabinet decided on Wednesday that Kimberly, who claimed the top prize in the bikini fitness category at the International event late last month in Seville, Spain, will be appointed Ambassador at large in light of her latest achievement which they state has “placed Antigua and Barbuda in a place of high repute”.
“Just based on her representation yesterday [Wednesday] in Cabinet that I think the entire Cabinet was blown away by she is very articulate and we have no doubt that she would be an excellent ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda and as mentioned earlier, she is not a sporting ambassador. Her appointment is actually ambassador at large and so it’s a huge designation and I think she will make this country very proud,” he said.
Kimberly and her husband Bernard Percival Jr, were invited to Cabinet’s sitting on Wednesday where they made presentations ahead of the decision.
The Antiguan edged Spain’s Lina Bejarano to the top prize in the Bikini Fitness category, with fellow Antiguan, Michelle Seaforth finishing third.
Questioned as to why Seaforth was not invited to Cabinet as well, Matthew assured that the third place finisher will also be rewarded.
“We don’t think that both of the achievements, at this point in time, are on the same level as one came first and one came third. [Michelle] will, of course, be rewarded … but yesterday [Wednesday] was the day we decided to deal with Kimberly and recognise her for her achievement, so it’s not to take away anything from Miss Seaforth but see too will be recognized in an appropriate manner,” he said.
The decision means that Kimberly will be presented a diplomatic passport.
Bernard Percival Jr, finished in the top 10 for the second time at the Arnold Classics in the Men’s Classic Physique while Michelle’s twin sister Melissa Seaforth, who also competed in the Bikini Class, finishing just outside the top 10.