THE Harare Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships has re-branded to Harare Classic Open and is now set to be held in the capital on December 12, the Daily News can report.
National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness (NFZBBF) were forced to cancel a number of contests this year as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) nationwide lockdown.
However, in order to keep the fitness industry going, NFZBBF are optimistic of staging this re-branded show before the end of the year.
“I’m sure having been following our 2020 programming; we have cancelled four shows namely Muscle and Fitness Gweru, Marume Classic, Novice Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe National Championships.
“However, Harare Classic was not cancelled but postponed to be held at a later date. Harare Classic was not cancelled because the Harare Bodybuilding and Fitness Committee proved beyond reasonable doubt that they had done more than 75 percent of the ground work.
“The only determinant was the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since sporting activities are now being allowed subject to meeting certain guidelines, we resolved to host the event upon getting clearance from the authorities,” NFZBBF secretary-general Quiet Shangai told the Daily News yesterday.
The Harare Open Classic comes at a time when most athletes had slowed down on their gym sessions due to the restricted operating hours.
Gyms are now operating from 6am to 6.30pm which is not ideal for fitness enthusiasts, who usually train early in the morning and late at night before and after working hours.
“We last had Harare Championships in 2012; that is unacceptable. Under normal circumstances, Harare Championships must be an elite show which happens every year.
“The province is supposed to do district shows which must feed into Harare. Harare must then contribute to the nationals. If you look at Harare as a province in terms of open bodybuilding, it has failed to win a prestigious title in 12 years because we Hararians are not taking Harare Championships seriously.
“Having said that, Harare Classic will give a template of a provincial show to the other nine provinces because as the province that houses the capital city, it’s imperative.
“Harare Classic will give the industry an idea of gaps with regards to development. It will help us to identify and develop judges,” Shanagi added.
He is confident that the show is going to attract premier athletes despite its long hiatus and absence from the bodybuilding calendar.
“Without a doubt; if you noticed of late, district shows like Mbare and Highfield were happening.
“We have also witnessed gym shows like Empire, Family Fitness and Life Fitness.
“These programmes need to be directed towards a provincial show.
“Rumour has it that Vincent Kandiyero, Francis ‘Tatanca’ Chideme and Partson ‘Officer’ Chatedzuka are going to take part. If these rumours are anything to go by then the show will definitely attract premier athletes.
“Starting in 2022, the nationals will not be a show of first instance. You will have to qualify unless you have placed in the top six in the previous nationals,” Shangai said.
When the competition was last held, Chatedzuka won the overall men’s Harare Open Championships in 2012. He also won the Mr Uniformed Services as well as the senior men title.
Simbarashe Fero and Eliah Samaringa won the senior men bodybuilding middle-weight and lightweight respectively.
Rigning National Bodybuilding and Fitness champion Nigel Maphosa took the junior men bodybuilding title back then.
Men’s muscle modelling went to Munyaradzi ‘Hakeem’ Mandaza while Craig Ushe took the men’s fitness title and Christine Matange was crowned women bodybuilding champion.