BEIJING—For the world’s best sprinters, passing the baton in the 4x400 relay is about as easy as rolling out of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used to be easy, too.
Local bodybuilding athletes intend to hammer their counterparts from Barbados at this Saturday’s 13th annual Sport World Classic event which is being touted as a revenge championship says promoter and former body-builder Lawrence “The Beast” Marshall.
Bajan muscle-man Stevenson Belle won last year’s competition and was scheduled to return with an even larger team for the highly anticipated weekend fitness championship advertised to take place at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya.
Native muscle men would seek to reclaim national pride at the fitness and physique showcase scheduled to start at 6.30 pm.
Bajan athletes would not be the only visitors expected at the weekend playbill vying for major honours, however, as athletes from Grenada stated their intent to return and compete, as well. Competition officials were also excited and eager to welcome contenders from St Maarten and Mexico, too.
But, that’s was not where Sport World Classic officials end their welcome.
Jose Raymond from the United States and British native William Bonac, both contenders for the Mr Olympia in the 212 category, were scheduled guest posers.
Marshall said there was special anticipation among fitness buffs citing the introduction of the Miss Bikini and Mr Physique categories.
“There is a growing need for citizens to get fit. The fitness industry has taken off by storm. A lot of gyms have opened up: in the east, west, north and south. And more are still opening up. In terms of the bikini contest, you have a lot of women coming into it because it is a softer side to the bodybuilding. Women never liked that muscular look. Miss Bikini had about 30 competitors. In term of Mr Physique there are about 25 competitors.
“Based on what I saw at the National Junior Bodybuilding a lot of women came out for that competition. And they have been asking when is the next competition? The Sport World Classic is that next competition. These girls are getting ready to represent the country. I can see a future where these girls will be battling to represent this country,” Marshall said.
He believed the ability of his production team to offer an overall prize valued at $40,000 was the inspiration needed to bring out the best athletes at the Classic.
Having Sport World as the title sponsor was made easy, he said, citing that the company saw the value of the tournament on the national sporting landscape.
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