Shantel de­fends Miss Zim beach bikini ti­tle

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Sport/leisure - Mehluli Sibanda Se­nior Sports Re­porter

SHANTEL Green­land last Satur­day as­cer­tained her sta­tus as the most dec­o­rated lo­cal fe­male body­builder when she suc­cess­fully de­fended her Ms Zim­babwe beach bikini ti­tle at 7 Arts The­atre in Harare.

Her suc­cess­ful de­fence of Ms Zim­babwe beach bikini came a week after she won Ms Bu­l­awayo for the third year in a row.

With that con­quest, Green­land added to the sev­eral ac­co­lades she won be­fore which in­clude Ms West­ern, Ms Bu­l­awayo, Ms Novice, Ms Zim­babwe In­ter­na­tional Trade Fair and Ms Iron­man Zim­babwe.

The 31-year-old be­lieves that it was no stroll in the park for her as the seven girls she com­peted against gave her a re­ally tough time on stage.

“It’s nice to have been able to re­tain the ti­tle. It was quite com­pet­i­tive, at least there were more girls com­pet­ing so it was a nice chal­lenge but it was en­joy­able, the en­vi­ron­ment was good,’’ Green­land.

On whether she had any con­cerns that she would be able to de­fend her ti­tle, Green­land said she did have some fears that one or two of the girls could up­stage her but what gave her the con­fi­dence was the fact that she was the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

“I was a bit wor­ried about one or two fe­males but I just kept telling my­self that I am the de­fend­ing cham­pion and that’s what kept me mo­ti­vated and kept the con­fi­dence up. I think the one this year had a bit more of a chal­lenge than the one last year. I think con­fi­dence and poses, pre­sen­ta­tion. From what I am gath­er­ing from the crowd I seemed very com­fort­able on stage, my poses were bet­ter,’’ she said.

Next year she is plan­ning to par­tic­i­pate in one of the South African shows but she is not sure if it will be Arnold Clas­sic. She does not have good mem­o­ries from Arnold Clas­sic where a back­stage mix up saw her fail to get on stage at this year’s show.

She is grate­ful to her United King­dom-based hus­band, Nathan, who flew all the way from Eng­land to watch her com­pete in Bu­l­awayo and Harare. For her, hav­ing a spouse who is sup­port­ive of her body­build­ing ca­reer has been cru­cial to her suc­cess.

“It’s very im­por­tant to have a part­ner that is into the sport, he pushes me and en­cour­ages me in ev­ery as­pect of it even where the diet is con­cerned. It’s nice be­cause if your part­ner is not into it and you are try­ing to do some­thing and you are not on the same page it can be quite dis­heart­en­ing. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate his sup­port and his in­ter­est in the sport, not only for me but for the whole team,’’ she said.

Green­land is also grate­ful to her coach, Si­mon Gama, who has been men­tor­ing her since he in­tro­duced her to the sport in 2015.

“Si­mon is a cool, calm coach who pushes me in an en­cour­ag­ing way, he is al­ways pos­i­tive and never speaks a word of doubt. I can say and I be­lieve that he knows his strat­egy on body­build­ing from get­ting me to lose weight, build, tone or cut. He re­ally has a good heart,’’ Green­land said.

Her wish is that by her hold­ing all the ti­tles she has won, she can in­spire more fe­males in Bu­l­awayo to get into body­build­ing.

“It’s a nice achieve­ment and I just hope that in hav­ing those ti­tles I can in­spire more fe­males to be part of the sport and also help them pre­pare, pre­pare them with train­ing, di­et­ing, what­ever it is even if it’s not for com­pe­ti­tion but just in gen­eral,’’ Green­land said.

She dis­pelled the pop­u­lar be­lief that body­build­ing makes one mus­cu­lar, she says that is not the case all the time as that de­pends on one train­ing pro­gramme.

“I am not sure why they don’t take part, I am hop­ing that the fact that I am there and know­ing me, know­ing the ti­tles that I’ve got would be an en­cour­age­ment so they can see that. Women tend to think by do­ing weights they will be­come mus­cu­lar and manly but just by look­ing at me I am sure its clear that is not the case. Dur­ing off sea­son, I lift heavy weights as much as I can, but on cut­ting in prepa­ra­tion for a com­pe­ti­tion I then go light and do more reps or in­creased sets. I lift weights daily but man­age to main­tain a fem­i­nine look,’’ she said. She is one of the win­ners coached by Si­mon Gama at Body­works gym in Bu­l­awayo.

It was cer­tainly a suc­cess­ful night at the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion for Bu­l­awayo where South Africabased Ndu­miso Dlodlo, who has his roots in the City of Kings, won the men’s over­all ti­tle. Them­binkosi Lunga won bronze in the men’s heavy­weight, Par­don Dube took sil­ver in the men’s physique where Marvelous Gan­dah was third. Love­more “Yadah” Mun­ya­mana picked up gold in the men’s light­weight.

Eu­lene Ndlovu was third in the women’s beach bikini, Mitchell Mat­sito also won bronze in the fe­male body fit­ness while Selina Manuel was fourth in women bikini fit­ness.

Marko Mwale won the men’s wheel­chair com­pe­ti­tion with Mu­goni Chikove the run­ner up. Bless­ing Tim­burwa was the best Un­der-19 male body­builder, Zibu­siso Khu­malo took fourth place in the men’s Un­der-23. After a suc­cess­ful 2017, se­ri­ous ques­tions will be asked if Green­land and her coach Gama do not get a nom­i­na­tion for the An­nual Sports Awards.

Shantel Green­land

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