Tough flex­ing for Bar­ba­dos

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 4 - By MIKE KING

SHAKIRA DOUGHLIN suf­fered a rare de­feat at home, Hugo Greaves had to set­tle for sec­ond best, and Shaquile Lavine se­cured a hotly de­bated vic­tory as host coun­try Bar­ba­dos found the go­ing tough at the Darcy Beck­les bodybuilding and physique com­pe­ti­tion at the Lloyd Ersk­ine San­di­ford Cen­tre, over the week­end.

Doughlin, who has had an im­pres­sive lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional bikini fit­ness sea­son, won her divi­sion but lost the over­all crown to the im­prov­ing Anti­gan Kim Ephraim.

Last year in this event, Ephraim could do no bet­ter than third in her divi­sion, but re­bounded on Satur­day night to nose out fast ris­ing Bar­ba­dian Dionne Clarke to take a com­pelling tall class that paved the way for a show­down for the over­all ti­tle with Doughlin, who cap­tured the short class.

This must have been close but the judges went for Ephraim, a 29-year-old of­fice man­ager from St John’s.

Doughlin, fresh from a third place in her class at the Am­a­teur Olympia in Las Ve­gas in Septem­ber, won her divi­sion by de­feat­ing the im­prov­ing Vanessa Jones, who is hav­ing a fine de­but sea­son. It is the third suc­ces­sive oc­ca­sion that Jones has been sec­ond to Doughlin.

Lavine made sure Satur­day night ended on a high for Bar­ba­dos by cap­tur­ing the In­vi­ta­tional Clas­sic, the ma­jor show­piece of the packed pro­gramme. How­ever, the dy­namic 22-year-old can thank his lucky stars for the vic­tory over tow­er­ing An­tiguan Ol­lyn Martin, which earned him $4 000.

The judges went for Lavine’s shape, pro­por­tion and cus­tom­ary stel­lar con­di­tion, but was dwarfed in the size de­part­ment by Martin, who thun­dered on stage with 239 pounds of muscle. This was a case that big­ger should have been bet­ter.

Sev­eral ob­servers in­clud­ing Darcy Beck­les, the for­mer world-class body­builder in whose name the show is held, picked the 37-year-old Martin to win. Martin has com­peted in Bar­ba­dos on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, but this was cer­tainly his best per­for­mance.

Lavine looked shocked when the re­sult was an­nounced just be­fore 11 p.m.

“I put up a fight, a re­ally good fight. I never thought I would do it. I put on five pounds of muscle since na­tion­als, mov­ing from 168 to 173. I want to add more mass next year and main­tain the con­di­tion.

“It’s been a good year for me hav­ing won Mr Bar­ba­dos. I want to thank my spon­sors Light & Power Credit Union, Clyde B Jones Funeral Home, coach Joe Bourne and man­ager Nneka Archer,” he said.

The af­fa­ble Martin, who earned $2 200, was gra­cious in de­feat.

“The re­sult was a big, big sur­prise to me. I was shocked but I give re­spect to Shaquile, he is a good guy. If the judges see it that way, so be it. I will just have to get bet­ter for next time. You can’t take it back. I thought I had it, the judges saw it a dif­fer­ent way. It is just mo­ti­va­tion to go for­ward,” he said.

This was a big night for An­tigua with Bernard Per­ci­val mak­ing a re­sound­ing im­pact just like Ephraim and Martin. The 32-year-old Per­ci­val won an en­thralling clash with Bar­ba­di­ans Hugo Greaves and La­marr Coward to be crowned men’s clas­sic bodybuilding cham­pion.

Coward, 22, gave a mas­ter­ful clas­si­cal free pos­ing rou­tine and is clearly one for the fu­ture, but did not have the ra­zor sharp muscle de­tail to be a threat to Per­ci­val and Greaves, the de­fend­ing cham­pion. This was a two-man race. It looked close from the front, but when the com­peti­tors turned to the back, Per­ci­val’s tight glutes and sliced ham­strings pulled him clear.

This was a big win for the soft spo­ken Per­ci­val, a per­sonal trainer at Xtreme Health and Fit­ness in St John’s.

BERNARD PER­CI­VAL (cen­tre) of An­tigua won the clas­sic bodybuilding cat­e­gory ahead of sec­ond-placed Hugo Greaves (right) and third-placed La­marr Coward. SHAQ AT­TACK: Shaquile Lavine cap­tured the In­vi­ta­tional Clas­sic, the ma­jor show­piece of the packed pro­gra

AN­TIGUAN KIM EPHRAIM (right) won the over­all bikini fit­ness crown ahead of lo­cal girl Shakira Doughlin.

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