REIGNING Ms Zimbabwe Regina Jonga added silverware to her ever growing career when she was crowned sixth in the female physic whilst fitness trainer Precious Mujuru came fourth in the bikini and fitness figure at the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa at Sandton Convention Centre in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was in attendance over the weekend.
The events included a health and fitness trade expo with 30,000 people and around 10,000 athletes from Strong man competition to amateur wrestling. Jonga, a domestic worker in South Africa together with Mujuru were making their debut on the international platform. Jonga, despite making it into the top six had regrets that she could have done better.
She said, “Half a loaf is better than nothing but I wish I had adequate resources. I could’ve done better. The reason why I lost points was because I couldn’t challenge some of the competitors who’ve everything at their disposal.”
Mujuru said she was thrilled with her performance considering that she was participating on the international stage for the first time.
I must appreciate God for taking me this far. When I came here, I didn’t expect that I would make it this far. I ruled myself out during rehearsals and felt I couldn’t compete with some of these internationally recognise female body builders. I was surprised to make it to the top six and being rated fourth is an honour. I’ve learnt my lessons and I believe it’s a bonus to Zimbabweans because I’ve a story to tell. I understand what the judges expect. It was more of an eye opener for me and my career,” she said.
Zimbabwe had more than 15 athletes competing and two male athletes Lovemore Manyamana and Garikayi Mujuru who both came sixth in the under 70kgs and 80kgs physic respectively.
Meanwhile, legendary professional body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated his South African homecoming show where he won the Mr Olympia title 41years ago. The three-day sports festival reminded the movie star of the time he spent in the country before he rose to stardom. “I’ve been coming to South Africa since 1967 because my idol lived here, the man that inspired me to get into lifting, body building and fitness, Reg Park,” he said.
On Saturday Arnold Classic Africa visitors and athletes received a Hollywood treat when the iconic body builder went on a walkabout at the Sandton Convention Centre, spent most of the day meeting fans, visiting exhibitions and showing support to various sport codes that were on display.