Shaquille Lavine added more silverware to his ever increasing trophy cabinet when he won the Invitational Classic at the Darcy Beckles Bodybuilding and Physique Competition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Saturday night.
Lavine is not the biggest you will find on stage but he is big enough. And, he is invariably well chiselled and beautifully tapered whenever he appears on the bodybuilding stage. He found the judges’ favour on the weekend even though many in the audience believed the bigger, meatier Antiguan Olly Martin should have got the nod over him. Martin brought an excellent package to the stage and was symmetrically pleasing to the eye. What was particularly commendable about Martin was that he was magnanimous in defeat and did not give any outward signs of displeasure at the judges’ decision.
Where Martin failed to scale, his compatriot Kim Ephraim succeeded when she won the overall bikini fitness title from a competitive Shakira Douglin. Douglin tasted victory in her short class division but on the night had to settle for second best overall – an unfamiliar position for her. Ephraim had earlier won the tall class in the bikini fitness segment.
Antigua and Barbuda generally outshone Barbados at the Darcy Beckles Classic as Bernard Percival was also in winners’ row. He got the better of the Barbadian duo of Lamarr Coward and Hugo Downes in a contest where there was a thin line between success and failure as there was not much to choose among the three in their posedown. Greaves appeared to have better definition in the legs, Percival seemed well proportioned overall and better cut while Coward was somewhat smooth in the legs and could do with some work in that area. But the trio turned in a pleasing demonstration for the fans.
Those at the Centre were also treated to some guest posing by outstanding Barbadian bodybuilder Antoinette Downie as well as seven-time Mr Olympia Phil Heath.
Many came out to see the huge Heath and were not disappointed. The massive American, like most of the international stars who visit Barbados for the Darcy Beckles Classic, showed much of the quality that has earned him bodybuilding greatness, even though currently out of training for competition and understandably not as ripped as he usually is.