Locals bring home the titles

Three local athletes were titled national champions at this year’s IFBB National Body Building and Fitness Championships.

It is the first time that the National Championship was hosted in Mpumalanga, here on eMalahleni’s doorstep at The Ridge – Venue over the weekend of September 1 to 3.

423 athletes competed over the weekend event, registrations were opened on Friday and the athletes took to the stage on Saturday and Sunday.

Gerhard Nel won the u.100kg heavyweight bodybuilding title

On Saturday the junior body builders, master body builders, classic bodybuilders and men’s and ladies’ physique line-ups took to the stage. This was followed by the beach bikinis line-ups and a new division, the mixed couple’s bodybuilding whereby couples take to the stage to be judged as a bodybuilding couple.

Sunday’s action saw the ladies body fitness line-up, ladies fitness bikini line-ups and the senior men’s bodybuilding line-ups.

Simon Mwelayse won the u.75kg bodybuilding title.

In the judging, the athletes were scored according to their physique, display and stage presence by the panel of international and national judges.

IFBB is the only body building federation that is associated with SASCOC whereby all athletes that are selected to go to Worlds receive their national colours.

Three local athletes stood out above the rest and were crowned national champions, they are Karien van der Wal (Middelburg) who won the over 35 bikini fitness, Gerhard Nel (eMalahleni) who won the under 100kg heavyweight bodybuilding title and Simon Mwelayse (eMalahleni) who won the under 75kg bodybuilding title.

Karien van der Wal won the over 35 bikini fitness title.

Local athletes that placed well were Izell Erasmus who placed in the top six of bikini fitness and Tebatso Lewele who placed in the top six of ladies physique.

“We wish to thank The Ridge for hosting the IFBB National Championships, as well as the various sponsors who contributed to the successful weekend of bodybuilding and fitness, and to thank the athletes that came in from all corners of the county to participate in this year’s successful event, and lastly the body of the IFBB,” said Antonie Holtzhausen, IFBB Mpumalanga.

Trevor Aingworth

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