Organiser hails bodybuilding contest

 

Moorosi Tsiane

The Maseru Classics Clash of the Iron Titans bodybuilding contest held at Lakeside Hotel last Saturday has been described by the organiser, Mpoea Phatela, as “outstanding and a great success”.

Solomon Mahone of Butha-Buthe clinched the coveted title and walked away with the winners’ cheque of M5000, as well as Basutoland Ink and HerbalLife hampers.

According to Phatela, the turnout of contestants, as well as the audience, was good considering the country’s current security and political concerns.

“The turnout was very good from both an audience and contestants’ point of view, considering we had to shift the competition at short notice, from the National University of Lesotho to Lakeside Hotel. This was after the university was closed last week due to the political instability in the country,” Phatela said.

Phatela said a total of 23 contestants took part in the competition, eight of them coming from South Africa.

“This was the first competition of its kind and to us, as the organisers, it was outstanding and a great success. We were expecting about 150 contestants but the prevailing political instability in the country affected us badly. But still, we had 23 participants, eight of them South Africans, and they gave their all to ensure the contest was a success,” he said.

Phatela further said to ensure the sport continues to develop, he was hoping to hold regular competitions that would also feature high school students.

“The growth of the sport will depend on how the young generation is going to respond, which is why we are hoping to be holding such competitions regularly and from high school level. This would ensure there is interest in bodybuilding from an early age.”

However, Phatela lamented lack of corporate sponsorship for bodybuilding, which he said was one of the biggest challenges facing the sport.

“The biggest challenge we face in this sport is funding. This is a very expensive sport, especially when it comes to diet, which has to be balanced, and this costs money. This is in addition to training costs at the gym, which are also prohibitive.”

On his part, Mahone said he was overjoyed to have beaten such a strong field of contestants.

“I’m very excited to have won this competition. It was not easy and I was not expecting to win, but I would like to thank God as he guided me through this challenge,” Mahone said.

“I have been competing in several competitions in South Africa and doing extremely well. Since sponsorship has been our major problem in Lesotho, we ended up representing other countries, and in November, I will be representing South Africa in the Mr Olympia Universe 2014 bodybuilding contest to be held in California.

“I was chosen for this honour after winning the Inter-Natural Bodybuilding Championship in South Africa two months ago,” said Mahone.

“I just hope the business sector can give us that much-needed support as we have proved that we have the potential to win medals for this country.”

 

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