Sugar's sweet humility

HARARE - For a long time veteran bodybuilder Isaac “Sugar” Chimuchenga has tried to uphold the virtues of true sportsmanship whether in defeat or in victory.

Chimuchenga’s long standing rivalry with nemesis Vincent Kandiyero is well-documented and it brought a lot of interest to the sport.

There was, however, one blip on this record at last year’s Mr Ironman contest held at Odyssey City in Kadoma when Chimuchenga declined to accept his bronze medal after coming in third place behind winner Champion Chienderamwano and second-placed Blessing Samaringa.

On that fateful evening, September 5, 2015 to be exact, Chimuchenga even refused to acknowledge the crowd that had braved the chilly weather and gathered to witness the contest.

But with all great sportsmen, what matters most is how they moved on from such dark episodes in their careers to win back the affection fans.

This is what Chimuchenga did last weekend when he took part in the Mr Ironman 2016 edition held at Longchen Plaza’s 1+1 Happy.

The veteran bodybuilder was the only seasoned campaigner on the bill and went on to finish third again behind Nunurai Masosonere and Gideon Teguru.

The Gweru-based muscleman redeemed himself this time around as he took his place on the podium to accept his medal and congratulated the winners.

“We are in this sport not by default but it’s passion that drives us to be doing this year in year out and failing to accept the outcome of the results is the most treasonous offence a sportsperson could ever committee,” Chimuchenga tells the Daily News on Sunday.

“The guys that sit on the judges’ bench are not cherry-picked from the streets but chosen specifically based on their expertise and knowledge of the sport.

“I’m glad we are having a new crop of athletes coming through to challenge for onus which shows that the future of bodybuilding is very bright.”

Chimuchenga added: “Nunurai was sharper than all of us and credit to the youngster Gideon for getting the silver. I wasn’t prepared for the contest but had to make a last minute appearance to ensure that Gweru was represented — other than that I would have sat with the fans.”

Now in his early 40s Chimuchenga refused to throw in the towel so easily declaring Armageddon come October at Mr Zimbabwe.

“I think I still have plenty years of competing, the downfall at Ironman was just a reminder that no one is invincible, there’s no shortcut to success because hard work pays all the time,” he said.

“From now I will embark on a regional crusade where I’m scheduled to compete in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia and I can promise my fans that Mr Zimbabwe is ours; I’m coming back with a bang.”

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