Third time lucky for Johnson

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  • The Night of Champions winners take to the stage (Photograph by Jennings Photography)

    The Night of Champions winners take to the stage (Photograph by Jennings Photography)

  • Johnson won at the third time of asking (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Johnson won at the third time of asking (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Smith maintained her stranglehold in the women’s physique class (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Smith maintained her stranglehold in the women’s physique class (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Third time proved to be a charm for Julian Johnson while Melissa Smith continued her dominance during the Bermuda BodyBuilding and Fitness Federation’s 30th Annual Night of Champions at Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night.

Johnson finally won the overall men’s physique title after finishing runner up the previous two years.

Smith, the defending champion, maintained her stranglehold in the women’s physique class after retaining her crown in front of a large gathering who were treated to some exciting and highly entertaining performances on stage at the Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre.

Johnson, who trains out of Ultimate Fitness Club, was relieved to get over the final hurdle after coming up just shy twice before.

“It took three years to get there,” Johnson said. “My first year was in 2015 and I placed second in 2015 and 2016 and finally came first this year.

“It was a relief to get over the final hurdle because you never know how your body is going to perform. You have to basically trust yourself, your coach and your eating habits that your body is either going to come out soft or hard based on your water intake.

“It’s just knowing that I am going to be able to present my body as best as I could; is it going to absorb food or am I going to lose water to look hard on age?

“It’s all those factors because from morning to night you look two totally different ways. Some people can look terrible in the morning and amazing at night and it might change the decision. But I made sure I stood my ground; war is war!”

The 25-year-old athlete’s relentless approach to training and disciplined diet has ultimately paid off.

“After last year’s show I continued on and worked out throughout the entire year and ate pretty healthy and started my diet earlier,” he added.

Johnson refused to take all the credit for his success.

“I definitely have to give a special thanks to my coaches Ross Caesar and Winston Weeks,” he said.

“They are phenomenal coaches and two of the best coaches who have helped me.”

Smith was the only defending champion on the night and was equal to the task at hand.

“I am actually very pleased with my progress,” the 31-year- old mother of twin boys said. “I did work hard over the past few months and my basic goal was to improve my physique.

“In bodybuilding your objective as a competitor is to improve upon your last performance. That was my main goal, I wanted to improve my physique and hopefully it showed through my performance.”

Smith had her work cut out for her against formidable competitors.

“The competition was phenomenal this year in all categories,” she said. “Everyone came out prepared and did a great job.

“The judges had really tough decisions in all the classes in regards to choosing the individuals for the title of the class.

“It was a really good competition this year and I was very pleased.”

The remaining men’s categories were won by Jefta Miller (bodybuilding) and Shaqir Richards (classic physique).

Kai Miller (bikini), Sabrina Burgess (figure) and Natasha Trott (bikini wellness) were the other winners among the women’s field.

The men’s classic physique and women’s bikini wellness were two new additions to this year’s championship, which also featured guest poser and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness professional Darrem Charles, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy during an electrifying performance that included moonwalking.

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Published Aug 21, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 20, 2017 at 11:53 pm)

Third time lucky for Johnson

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