In the run-up to this weekend’s much-anticipated IFBB South African Bodybuilding Championships in Witbank we look at what happened in KZN a year ago.
Comp wide open
Bodybuilding champions Louis Bessinger and Johnny Lucas were sitting out, leaving the show a wide-open race for the ultimate prize.
Hosted in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, it was a showpiece in every sense of the word. Athletes and organisers pulled out all stops to make it the highlight of the country’s bodybuilding calendar. The weekend was divided into prejudging and two main shows to accommodate the larger number of competitors – all 354 of them. This number was up from the previous year’s 339 when the event was held in Sandton where it took the shape and form of a test run for the first ever Arnold Classic on African soil.
Athletes from all over the country brought crisp, bone-dry conditioning and fullness for all to see.
Iron Mike best of the best
Capetonian Michael Adonis finished first in the Men’s Light Middleweight U/80kg category on the strength of his pleasing lines, shape and superb conditioning. Iron Mike was challenged for the Overall title by a number of athletes in fantastic shape such as Mdu Green, Sibusiso Kotelo, Awonke Ngoma, Werlou van Tonder and Heine Deysel. Although they made strong cases to claim the coveted Overall title it was Adonis who was just a tad crisper than the rest to power his way to a spectacular victory.
Athletes such as Sifiso Thabethe (U/23 U/75kg), Larnelle Denver Friedericks (U/23 O/75kg) and Amore Coetzee (Ladies Junior Fitness Bikini) displayed impressive conditioning to shoot to the top of their respective line-ups. Seasoned campaigners Chris Pillay (Masters O/40 U/75kg), Nelson Mthembu (Masters O/40kg U/75kg), Dumisani Jali (O/50) and Marco Ferruci (Masters Athletic Physique) also had the crowd’s full attention when they traded poses to fetch gold in a showdown which was as fierce as ever.
Ladies who impressed were Anesca Gouws (Ladies Beach Bikini U/1.63m), Ki-Yano Schoonraad (Ladies Beach Bikini O/1.63m) and Ladies Physique winner Lee Chaldecott. Foster Mkhabela bagged first place in the Classic Bodybuilding O/1.80m division with the perfect example of class and proportion.
Catch your favourite athletes as they go head-to-head for the top honours at this year’s IFBB Nationals at The Ridge Casino in Witbank from 1 to 3 September 2017. Visit www.ifbbsa.com for additional information.