Two lo­cals set for World Champs

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By LEONARD SOLMS

Makana Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing con­tin­ued its sen­sa­tional year with Les­ley Sauls and Asaphila Zani qual­i­fy­ing for the World Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing Cham­pi­onships set to take place in Bordeaux on 24-25 Novem­ber. The two Gra­ham­stown-based com­peti­tors qual­i­fied by virtue of their im­pres­sive dis­plays at the South African Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing Cham­pi­onships in Bel­lville on 30 Septem­ber.

Hav­ing fin­ished fourth at last year’s UIBBN World Champs, Sauls will be gun­ning for gold in his third ap­pear­ance at the global stage. The Makana Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing vice-chair­man made a se­ri­ous state­ment of in­tent by win­ning the men’s lightweight un­der 70kg lineup at the SA champs.

“I will try and dial in to be un­der 65 kilo­grams and [be] hard as a rock,” said Sauls. As for his plans to im­prove on last year, Saul was equally em­phatic. “I will cover each and ev­ery weak body part. I’ll be fuller. I’ll be more de­tailed. I’ll be work­ing my ass off for this one.”

Zani’s ex­pe­ri­ence in Bordeaux is likely to be in stark con­trast Sauls’, since this will be his first world cham­pion- ship. Per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly, he is more re­served about his tar­gets.

“Since it’s my first year and it’s a huge step, I’m plan­ning on get­ting in the top six,” he said.

How­ever, Zani has no­tably im­proved in re­cent com­pe­ti­tions and fin­ished a close sec­ond in the men’s wel­ter­weight un­der 75kg lineup in Bel­lville.

Sauls and Zani were not the only lo­cal body­builders to im­press on 30 Septem­ber. Mbon­geni Nikani fin­ished sec­ond in the men’s ban­tamweight un­der 65kg lineup, while Danie Septem­ber won the men’s dis­abled di­vi­sion.

Makana Nat­u­ral Body­build­ing Chair­man Jo­han Botha hailed the club’s com­peti­tors.

“This serves as an ex­am­ple to all the other body­builders in Gra­ham­stown that what you put into the sport, you will get out. To rep­re­sent your coun­try is your ul­ti­mate goal. I am very proud of Asa and Les­ley and wish them all the best in France.”

Pro­vided they can get fund­ing for their trav­els, Sauls and Zani will carry the hopes not just of their club, but also of a town that, de­spite its size, has be­come ac­cus­tomed to pro­duc­ing body­builders to ri­val the best in the world.

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