HARARE - Top bodybuilders Helen Costa and Champion Chienderamwano lead a cast of 28 local athletes, pictured, to represent the country at the inaugural African Arnold Classic contests scheduled for Johannesburg, South Africa in May.
The contest is scheduled for May 27-29. Chienderamwano, itching to call time on his bodybuilding career will be looking to exit on a high— having won the Mr Zimbabwe title for three uninterrupted years from 2013 to present.
On the other hand, Costa, the reigning Sports Person of the Year would also want to prove that her heroics in Bari, Italy where she conquered the world were not a fluke. The Arnold Classic Africa 2016 is the first such event to take place in Africa therefore becoming only the fifth Arnold Classic across the world.
The other four being the Arnold Classic Brazil (Rio), United States of America (Columbus), Australia (Melbourne), Europe, Spain (Madrid) and now Arnold Classic Africa and are all administered by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB).
NFZBBF spokesperson Quiet Shangai, on the side-lines of the team announcement at a local restaurant in Avondale, Harare, explained how the IFBB-sanctioned contest Arnold Classic works.
“Arnold Classic events have two leagues that is the Amateur League and the Professional League popularly referred to as Pro League.
“The purpose of the Amateur League is to issue pro cards to eventual winners and the role of the Pro League is to qualify people for the Olympia,” Shangai told the Daily News.
“IFBB Olympia is without doubt the most prestigious bodybuilding and fitness competition in the world. Arnold Classic weekends are therefore the second most prestigious both at Pro level and Amateur level. As Zimbabwe we are very excited to be part of this big event.
“Arnold Classic Africa just like other Arnold Sport festivals will have many sports codes including powerlifting, strongman, volleyball and karate among other codes with over 30 000 participants expected to compete.”
Sports and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane, in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s principal director wished the team well in South Africa in May.
“Indeed you are a team of athletes that the nation is proud of and all our people, united in their diversity, are unwaveringly behind you.
Our people know and are convinced that through your continuous participation in such competitions, you are on your way to top performances in the world of bodybuilding and fitness,” he said.
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