By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda has a new professional bodybuilder following success at the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships held in Santo Domingo over the weekend.
Bikini Fitness athlete, Melissa Seaforth, became the country’s eighth pro spanning five years after topping her class and moving on to capture the overall title at 2020 instalment of the annual event on Sunday.
She was amongst a three-member team which also included Randy Christopher in the Classic Physique category and Brad Benjamin who competed in Men’s Physique. Christopher finished sixth in his class while Benjamin, who was competing in his first international show, reportedly gave a good account of himself.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation, Dave George, expressed delight over the news of Seaforth’s success.
“Well, the first few words that come to mind are extremely proud because these have been trying times and a challenging year with COVID. It is well documented that we haven’t been able to do much of anything, and to see that these athletes, all three of them, threw their hats in the ring knowing that they would be subjected to some tough restrictions and protocols and a lot of challenges along the way, they decided to do this, bear the burden in terms of the expenses and put themselves through the rigors of traveling and basically mixing themselves with other athletes from all over the Caribbean and Central America,” he said.
Seaforth joins veteran and the country’s first pro bodybuilder, Rosian Warrington who earned her card in 2015, along with Bernard Percival Jr, Kimberly Percival, Leanna Carrington, Michelle Seaforth, SherRhonda Braithwaite and Elvis Bailey as the country pro bodybuilders.
George believes this is testament to the growth of the sport in Antigua.
“We had Rosian Warrington as you know as the lone pro athlete for a number of years and then we had two in 2018 and then we had another five in 2019 which took it so seven and now Melissa Seaforth in 2020, so that speaks well for the fact that athletes have been training hard. They really have been the strength of the federation and the backbone of the federation because without them there is no bodybuilding, so that definitely is an indication that the athletes are not only serious about competing at the national level, but they want to take their skillset and their total package to regional and international shows,” he said.
The team was expected to return to Antigua on Monday afternoon and the athletes are expected to quarantine for the period of time stipulated by the health authorities.