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New champions to be crowned

Situation vacant: Bean will not defend his title at CedarBridge Academy (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Several new champions will be crowned at Bermuda Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation’s 29th Night of Champions at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium at CedarBridge Academy tomorrow night.

Some of last year’s winners are not back to defend their crowns, such as reigning men’s bodybuilding champion DeVon Bean, who is presently serving as Bermuda’s athletics coach at the Summer Olympics in Rio.

Among those returning to defend their titles this year are Deon Brangman, of SeaView Gym, and Bernard Opoku and Tresca Trott, both from Beast Gym.

The event will showcase more than 30 athletes, among them 12 debutants, competing in seven categories; women’s figure, fitness physique and bikini, and men’s fitness, physique and bodybuilding.

As well as national titles and bragging rights, qualification for next month’s Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in the Dominican Republic and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness professional cards will also be at stake for the participants, who will lay all of their hard work, dedication and sacrifice on the line during the annual bodybuilding extravaganza.

“It’s a very hard journey for the athletes,” Melanie DeRosa, vice-president of the Bermuda Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, said.

“It’s not easy at all, and the diet is really the thing you need to get right when you’re getting ready for competition.”

The championships has evolved into one of the biggest events on the annual sporting calendar and this year has proven to be no exception.

“It has always been sold out and we are down to our last 20 tickets,” DeRosa, Bermuda’s first and only professional bodybuilder, said. “I think people see the athletes training throughout the year and are getting a greater appreciation for what they go through and how they look with the final product.”

The introduction of new categories in recent years has seen a spike in the number of participants.

“I think the introduction of the new classes has made it bigger,” DeRosa said. “At one point when I competed there were just women’s and men’s bodybuilding, and then they introduced men’s and women’s fitness, and you started getting more competitors coming out.

“Not everyone wants to be a bodybuilder and these other categories appeal to a broader range of people.”

Tomorrow’s event begins at 7pm.