Hit­ting power but­ton

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - By ALAN WEIMANN and MFUNDO PILISO

A NUM­BER of Eastern Cape ath­letes have been in­cluded in a con­tin­gent of South African body­builders who will be fly­ing the na­tional flag at the In­ter­na­tional Body Power Mid­lands Fit­ness Cham­pi­onships to be held in Birm­ing­ham, United King­dom next week.

Un­der the aus­pices of Body­Build­ing and Fit­ness South Africa, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that hosts body­build­ing and fit­ness shows with a view to iden­ti­fy­ing tal­ented sports­men and women who are of the stan­dard to rep­re­sent South Africa on the in­ter­na­tional stage, four lo­cal men and three lo­cal women will be among those rep­re­sent­ing South Africa in com­pet­ing against some of the best in the world.

Lusindiso “The Di­a­mond” Danster, with an im­pres­sive 14 first places in re­cent tour­na­ments, Tsha­bal­ala Itume­leng, Al­fred Bethani and Stephen Strydom will be strut­ting their stuff in the body­build­ing di­vi­sions while the women will par­tic­i­pate in events with names such as Fit­ness Bikini, Beach Bikini and Miss Fig­ure.

Hav­ing tasted suc­cess in the Miss Fig­ure and Beach Bikini com­pe­ti­tions re­spec­tively, Jaime Grif­fiths and Sheri­dan Muller will be hop­ing for sim­i­lar achieve­ments in Birm­ing­ham, while Donna Bartlett will par­tic­i­pate in the Over-35 Fit­ness Bikini events.

Muller, who will be com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally for the first time, said she started pre­par­ing since April and she was look­ing for­ward to rep­re­sent her coun­try for the very first time.

“This is go­ing to be an ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time for me even though we don’t know what lies ahead of us, and I would def­i­nitely like to place in the top 10.”

Danster, who walked away with the over­all top po­si­tion at the But­ter­worth Clas­sic, said he was ec­static to have made the cut.

“I have been di­et­ing since April. It’s been very hard be­cause I haven’t been rest­ing enough and, re­cently, I could feel my body get­ting tired af­ter the But­ter­worth Clas­sic.

“Af­ter that I had to take a week just to have a break so my body could re­cover, and also tone down on the hec­tic diet and, thank­fully, af­ter that my body re­sponded well and I’m back to my­self now.”

Bethani, who has a jour­nal­ism de­gree, said his pas­sion for body­build­ing has been the driv­ing force in his aim to be the best of the best, es­pe­cially af­ter hav­ing qual­i­fied twice for the in­ter­na­tion­als but fail­ing to at­tract spon­sors for the trip.

“I have al­ways dreamt of rep­re­sent­ing my prov­ince and wear­ing the Bor­der colours and I knew I had to be very good.

“Then I had to up my am­bi­tions so I could carry the bag for my coun­try, and for two years I qual­i­fied to go to the in­ter­na­tion­als – but it never ma­te­ri­alised, but God is amaz­ing and He works in mys­te­ri­ous ways be­cause my dream of go­ing to com­pete at the world stage is com­ing true.

“Thanks to Vir­gin Ac­tive for com­ing on board while I am at my peak,” he said.

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