Mixed emotions for Tovey in Johannesburg
Nicole Tovey continued her strong form with a first-place finish in the bikini masters class at this month’s Arnold Classic Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tovey experienced mixed emotions at the competition, however, as she missed out on earning a coveted pro card after placing runner-up in the open class.
Having won the open class at the Australian Arnold Classic in Melbourne in March, Tovey admits that falling agonisingly short of her ultimate goal in Johannesburg had been a little disappointing.
“I’d put a lot of focus, time and energy into achieving that goal at this competition so to just miss out was naturally disappointing, particularly given that Johannesburg is such a long way to go,” she said.
“Unfortunately there aren’t too many pro-card qualifying competitions nearer to Bermuda.
“I’m really happy with how I presented and I wouldn’t change anything. It’s really just a matter of the judges’ preferences on the day and I’m confident that soon enough, if I stick to it, that day will come for me.”
Tovey, 40, said she was blown away by the friendliness of her fellow competitors and took time to catch up with former Bermuda resident Caroly Botha — a pro fitness athlete — at the competition.
Botha won a pro card while representing Bermuda at the Central America and Caribbean Championships several years ago.
“While I didn’t come back with a pro card, I’ve come back with some wonderful new friends in my fellow competitors who were mostly from South Africa,” said Tovey, a lawyer at Taylors in association with Walkers.
“So much of what I love about this sport is the opportunity to meet great people from all over the world who share the same passion and enthusiasm.
“Certainly a highlight of the trip was that I was able to see Caroly Botha compete. I used to compete against her in my first year of fitness. It was so great to see a familiar face so far from home and to be able to support an old team-mate!”
Australian Tovey, who also had a pair of podiums at the Arnold Classic in Columbus in March, plans to compete in a couple of regional shows this summer to keep herself primed for her next qualifier in September.
“I haven’t reached my goal yet so I’ll keep pushing on,” she said. “I’ll likely do a couple of shows just to keep on the ball so there will be no break really. I took a week off the gym and a week off my meal plan to indulge, and now it’s back to work!”
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