BY FORTUNE MBELE
The National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness (NFZBBF) is expecting a competitive event at this year’s PPC Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Open Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships to be held at Bulawayo Theatre tomorrow evening.
The competition will be preceded by the ZITF Strongman Challenge to be held at the ZITF Showgrounds in the afternoon.
NFZBBF and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (Zimbabwe) secretary-general Quiet Shangai said this year’s edition is set to attract bodybuilders from outside the country as was the case last year with reigning Mr ZITF, Ndumiso Dlodlo, who is based in South Africa, already in town to defend his title.
Last year’s Strongman Challenge winner Botswana’s Gift Sango is also expected in the country to defend his title.
“We are expecting a highly competitive event because most of the premier athletes are participating. We are expecting 100 athletes to take part in this year’s event. High-ranked judges from across the country will officiate at the event,” Shangai said,
The bodybuilding and fitness contest has eight divisions which include the senior men bodybuilding (up to 75kgs), senior men (over 75kgs), junior men (up to 23 years), men’s physique (up to 176cm), men’s physique (over 176cm), men’s fitness open, women bikini fitness open and wheelchair men bodybuilding open.
Dlodlo is expected to battle it out in flexing muscles with Mr Bulawayo Lovemore Munyamana and Themba Lunga and Manicaland champion Blessing Nyapimbi, among others.
Blessing Itai Sithole, the current national men’s physique champion, is favourite to retain the ZITF men’s physique title.
The national women’s bikini fitness champion Shantel Batch will battle it out with Kylie MacDonald.
Other top bodybuilding athletes to feature in the ZITF competition are Chamunorwa Marange, Gideon Teguru, Tatenda Justice Chikuhwa, Francis Chideme, Stan Mudavanhu, Lynette Tom and Alista Ndimba.
Shangai said top bodybuilder Nigel Maphosa is yet to confirm participation in the ZITF showcase.
A number of companies that include PPC, Iron Lion, Proton Bakeries, United Refineries, Musclerage, Veezed Tyres, Intercape and Rumrich are partnering NFZBBF in running the event.