Zimbabwe bodybuilders fight for honours today
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The race for honours in one of Zimbabweís most prestigious bodybuilding contests reaches its climax tonight when an impressive field of bodybuilders fight it out in this yearís Mr and Ms Iron Man championships at Cresta Jameson Hotel, writes Augustine Hwata.
More than 40 strongmen are expected to take to the podium to flex their muscles in an effort to land the title.
And five women are also set to showcase their heavily built bodies, a sight that keeps most spectators at the edge of their seats clamouring for more.
Pre-judging for the event is at 10am at Empire Gym while the competition begins at 7.30pm.
Zimbabwe National Body-building and Weightlifting Asso-ciation president, George Takundwa, said registration would still be open until shortly before pre-judging.
"We are even expecting more people to come as registration will still be open until the very last minute," said Takundwa.
Preparations for the competition hit a slight snag as registration forms had not been sent out to contestants in time, which could congest this morning as people jostle to fill in their forms. The senior menís winner is set to get $50 000 and a floating trophy while the womenís winner stands to pocket $30 000 and a trophy and they would also be a junior menís category.
The Mr and Ms Iron Man ranks only second to the Mr and Ms Zimbabwe competition and so an equally impressive field of the countryís top bodybuilders is set to participate.
An exciting but close contest is expected in the senior menís section where defending champion Walter Munyikwa has promised to retain his crown.
Munyikwa, who turns 28 today, would be seeking something to put icing on his birthday party because of his well-cut muscles and fine shape.
During a workout this week, Munyikwa said he was in fine shape and fancied his chances of winning the title for the second time in a row were high.
2002 champion Zumailar Hussein-Maman has vowed that it will not be a one-man show as he has vowed to give Munyikwa a good run for his money.
Dark horses like all-time Mr Zimbabwe lightweight champion and 2000 Mr Iron Man Elvis Chibhamu, seasoned George Munyoro and Spencer Bhauti from Mutare have equally strong chances of springing surprises and claiming the title.
Current Mr Mashonaland Chenai Mabwere, Collin Mushu-nje, Dexter Nyamayaro and Wellington Kachoka from Bulawayo are also gunning for the championship. The menís junior category will produce its own moment of excitement as defending champion Bavis Maplanka is back again this year. Mr Junior Zimbabwe champion Tonderai Nyachuru of Empire Gym, Sam Mukabazi and Nasho Matandirotya will also be out to wrestle the crown.
Sheila Sibanda of Bulawayo Health Studios remains favourite to win the Ms Iron Man title.