By Neto Baptiste
Following a historic triumph at the IFBB Elite Pro Miami Grand Prix held in Florida over the weekend, Classic Physique competitor Bernard Percival Jr., has his eyes set on this year’s World Championships slated for Spain in November.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Percival said that having followed the sport for many years, he is very familiar with the level of competition at that level and what it would take to be competitive.
“In our elite pro division, in the classic physique division specifically, I’ve been following it at least for the last two years since it’s been introduced, and two or three of the top guys right now who are pretty much winning all the shows in Spain, I follow them closely. So I know exactly what they look like, what the judges are looking for and stuff like that, so I need to get my physique as close to that as possible,” he said.
“At this point, it’s just being a lot tighter than I was even this past weekend. I’d probably end up being a little bit tighter, which I don’t really want to be, but I don’t have time to actually put on the muscle mass I would need to have to get the conditioning with the size as well,” he added.
Percival, who gained pro-status last year, competed in his first event as an IFBB Pro Elite athlete on Saturday, winning the Open Class of the Classic Physique category, qualifying automatically for the World Championships.
Speaking for the first time since his triumph, Percival said he went into the Miami Grand Prix just hoping to be competitive.
“I can’t say I really had a goal per sé, but just pretty much to bring my best package to date, let the judges take a look at me, get some feedback and see how I can fare against some of the other pros. I guess you can say I was hoping for a top five which is pretty much the money placing, so the eventual outcome was very overwhelming,” he said.
The athlete, who has won at every competition he’s entered, said the competition was close during Saturday’s show.
“Once I am on stage I don’t look at any other athletes, I just simply focus on what the task is so I keep my eye contact with the judges to know what poses they call, hit them. Honestly, the morning of the show we had our weigh in because as a classic physique athlete we have to make a height, weight requirement so all the guys were backstage where everybody strips down and steps on the scale so you take a quick look at everybody and see who you think the top contenders might be. So I saw a few of the guys and said ok, it’s going to be a tough show and I looked over at Elvis and said to him that we’re going to have a tough show,” he said.
Percival also walked away with the US $2,000 prize up for grabs. Elvis Bailey, who is also an IFBB Elite Pro, finished eighth, also in Classic Physique.