Mehluli Sibanda in Johannesburg, South Africa
MR Zimbabwe bodybuilding Paul Goredema did the country proud on the final day of the Arnold Classic Africa by taking third spot in the up to 100kgs category at the Sandton Convention Centre yesterday.
Coming up against a strong field of 12 men from all parts of the world, Goredema (27), who was participating in an international event for the first time, did well to make it into the final six.
He made the National Federation of Zimbabwe Body Building and Fitness leadership proud when he was announced as the third best in his category. He was placed better than other athletes from highly competitive countries such as Iran and Egypt in a section that was won by an Iranian.
Goredema was excited by his performance as he never thought he could make it into the top three as his target was to be among the best six. He described the competition as tough since he was up against much bigger athletes but managed to win over the judges with his conditioned body.
“I am so relieved; I am actually excited, I didn’t even expect to be placed number three. I would have been happy to be placed in the top six. It’s been a good experience, I am happy to have been placed in the top three in this big competition, my first international show,” said Goredema.
The day started off well for Zimbabwe with Garikayi Mujuru managing a fifth place finish in the men’s up to 75kgs. Goredema, Mujuru and Eliah Samaringa were the only Zimbabwean senior men that took part in the Arnold Classic as others pulled out at the last minute due to the high cost of dieting and competition entry.
Helen Costa lost out in the Women’s Body Fitness overall winner, a title which went to South African Marcel Meyer. Had Costa been crowned the best in that category, it would have been a massive achievement in her first year of participating in the biggest multi sport event in Africa.