With only a few weeks to go, preparations are in full swing for athletes competing in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) South African Championships in Mpumalanga.
The ultimate showdown
At the beginning of September the best athletes in the country will go head to head, toe to toe and pose to pose at The Ridge Casino in Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) for a chance to shine in the national spotlight.
Who was the la crème de la crème at the IFBB SA Champs in 2013?
In that year the contest was held in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and competitors ranging from beginners to seasoned veterans were judged in their respective classes.
Two athletes in a league of their own were Western Province’s Tariq Jamodien who set a benchmark in the Juniors under 23 (u/75kg) category and Jade Essendrup of Border, winner of the Juniors under 23 (o/75kg) class.
Lizelle Horn dominated the Fitness Bikini under 1.63m showdown, Justin Thacker hit his poses perfectly for the main spot on the podium in the Men’s Classic Bodybuilding division and Mdu Green shot straight to the top with a display of thickness, balance and conditioning to claim the Light-heavyweight title.
In the Senior Men’s Heavyweight class the IFBB judges zoomed in on big boys Chris Fitzpatrick and Louis Bessinger who brought contrasting physiques to what can only be described as an epic clash of muscle. Bessinger clearly put in a ton of effort and was absolutely shredded while Fitzpatrick boasted muscle maturity which made him a serious threat in any line-up. As the two men relaxed from the strain of holding their bodies in position under the lights for a couple of seconds the crowd exploded but it was Fitzpatrick who secured gold after squeezing every last striation out of his poses. Although Cobus van der Merwe’s pre-contest diligence secured him first place in the Super-heavyweights it was Fitzpatrick who reached out and snatched a piece of history leaving the Ebenezer Centre in Algoa Park with the IFBB SA Overall trophy.
In the next three weeks Muscle Evolution will look at the IFBB SA Championships held over the past five years.
How the 2017 version of the show will turn out is anyone’s guess. A certainty is that the show won’t end once the trophies are handed out but photos and videos will be posted on social media where the flexing will continue for at least another week or two. Roll on, September 1-3!
Compiled by Werner Beukes, Muscle Evolution Editor