BODYBUILDERS from different parts of the country will be out to outshine each other when they strut their muscles in this year’s potentially exciting Manicaland Classics Open at Golden Peacock Villa Hotel in Mutare tomorrow (Saturday).
The event will run from 10am to 7pm.
More than 60 contestants in different categories are expected to display their biceps and triceps before a panel of judges.
Tobias Pedzayi Madzime, the chairman for the Manicaland Classic 2021 organising committee, said: “We are expecting total representation from across the country. We are looking forward to having bodybuilders from Bulawayo, Harare, Chegutu, Rusape, Marondera, Mutare and Masvingo to mention, but a few of the areas represented.”
The former Mr Zimbabwe confirmed that US$5 will be paid as entry fee to the contest, while a VIP ticket will attract double that amount.
“US$5 will be the entry fee to the contest, while a VIP ticket will attract double that amount. This is an important event to any fan of bodybuilding and bodybuilders themselves,” he said.
He added that their mission is to make the competition a closed contest for athletes in Manicaland, but this can only happen after they are convinced that they have a good number of bodybuilders from the province.
“I was a champion who hails from Mutare after winning the Mr Zimbabwe Heavyweight in 1999. When I say these provincial events are where champions are made, I am speaking from experience.
“We will be paying close attention to athletes from Manicaland with the aim of closing this competition to athletes from Manicaland only. We made it an open tournament because we were not sure whether we could get the numbers from Manicaland only.
“Therefore, we really want to urge bodybuilders from Manicaland to come to the party and ensure they take ownership of their thing,” he said.
Madzime said they already have their list of the panel of judges.
“Our panel of judges will be drawn from our main board of judges represented by our chief judge, Collen Mushunje from the Zimbabwe Bodybuilding Association. We do not want to disclose who the other judges will be for purposes of fairness and transparency,” he said.
The 1999 Mr Zimbabwe champion bemoaned setbacks experienced due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations and control measures.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the sport in many ways. The main challenge is lack of sponsorship since most businesses either closed shop or operated below capacity.
“There was also loss of income to many athletes who survive on this sport such as personal trainers, gym instructors, even the athletes themselves,” he said.
Madzime thanked sponsors who came on board and supported the event. After the Manicaland Classics, Harare Classic, Bulawayo Classic and the main event, Mr and Ms Zimbabwe Bodybuilding Championship are expected to be staged before year end.