By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi’s first female bodybuilder, Doreen ‘Dee’ Kumbatira, won gold and bronze medals during the South Africa Xtreme bodybuilding contest at Silverstar Casino on Saturday evening.
Kumbatira won the gold medal in the bikini fitness category for participants measuring over 172 centimetres. The category attracted 18 competitors.
The 33-year-old then scooped bronze in a bikini fitness contest for competitors aged above 30 which had 15 contestants.
The development comes as a relief for the bodybuilder who finished on position eight out of 35 participants during the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic show in the same country last month.
“Generally, the competition was very tough but I prepared very well after getting lessons from the Arnold Schwarzenegger show. I had to change one or two things along the way, including attending posing classes,” Kumbatira said.Advertisement
Kumbatira said changing her strategy also helped her achieve good results.
“In preparation for this competition, I went for one attitude and mindset-positivity. I chose to close some doors not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, no, but simply because they were leading me nowhere near my goals. I had to focus. I have pushed my body to a place I only once imagined,” she said.
Kumbatira said achieving her ultimate dream came out of hard work, determination and dedication.
“I should also thank my manager, Benny Phiri, who kept motivating me. I also thank my family and friends for encouraging me to beat seasoned athletes who participated in the competition. This achievement has helped me to realise my ultimate goal. It is every athlete’s dream to win a gold medal but it takes the best to achieve it,” she said.
The competition had athletes from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Association of Malawi General Secretary, Harold Mwayang’ana, said they were proud of Kumbatira’s exploits.
Mwayang’ana said Kumbatira had inspired them to continue with their plans of wooing more ladies to take up the sport.
“Kumbatira has demonstrated that ladies can be equally good at bodybuilding and we are proud of her achievements. She was the first female to join this sport and we hope more ladies will join,” he said.
Kumbatira came to the fore in October last year when she made her first international appearance at the Gentle Giants competition in South Africa.
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