The Bahamas finishes fourth at CAC Championships
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Sep 24, 2013
Dominique Wilkinson is the country’s latest athlete to earn a professional card in bodybuilding and fitness.
She got that distinction over the weekend, helping The Bahamas to a fourth place finish overall at the 41st Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The 15-member team returned home late last night with 10 top five finishes, a pro card from Wilkinson, and an overall fourth place finish for the second year in a row.
Barbados won the overall title, Venezuela was second and host country the Dominican Republic placed third, just ahead of The Bahamas.
BBFF President Danny Sumner said that he was extremely pleased with the team’s performance, considering what they were up against.
“We came fourth, but it was a hard fourth. The Dominican Republic had 35 competitors, Barbados had 22, and Trinidad had 20, so when you consider that, you would see that The Bahamas did quite well,” he said last night. “I’m particularly proud of Dominique. Last year, she just missed her pro card, but she came back and got it this year. This is a new team and a new breed of athletes. We’re going to try to get this unit to stick together, and keep performing well. We finished fourth again, and we did it with no financial support from Corporate Bahamas. Had we gotten some sponsorship, we would have been able to prepare better and take one or two more athletes. Nevertheless, I’m extremely proud of the way they competed, and I’m looking forward to more big things from this team.”
Wilkinson earned a pro card by winning a gold medal in Body Fitness Short Class, and the overall title in Body Fitness. She is now qualified to represent The Bahamas as an International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) professional athlete, once the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) applies on her behalf.
Wilkinson was in transit and unavailable for comment last night, but speaking from Orlando, Florida, team member Dawnita Fry said that everyone was excited about the team’s performance, especially the overall title in Body Fitness by Wilkinson. Fry herself, won a bronze medal in Body Fitness Tall Class.
“The team did well. They all worked hard and made great improvements, and I'm proud of Team Bahamas,” she said. “We were well represented in the finals. Many countries didn't make it to the finals, so we were proud of that. Everyone did well, and everyone was in good spirits. In particular, I felt great about my performance. It was such a great experience, and I am so pleased with my placing in such a competitive field of athletes. My physique came in on point, but the competition was just that stiff. I wouldn't change anything though. I feel very accomplished. I am ready to go again.”
Fry, who got some crowd support from her family in the Dominican Republic, said that she couldn't have asked for a better experience.
In addition to Wilkinson’s two gold medals and Fry’s bronze, the country got a silver medal from Lorraine LeFleur in women’s light heavyweight in bodybuilding, a silver from Freeport native Bernard Davis in men's heavyweight in bodybuilding, a bronze medal from Amy Sands in women's bikini short class, a fourth place finish from Tammy Stubbs in women's masters in bodybuilding, a fourth place finish from two-time national champion Jimmy Norius in men's bantamweight in bodybuilding, a fourth place finish from Kenny Mackey in men's physique short class, and a fifth place finish from Dawn Charlton in women's fitness.
The husband and wife team of Jonathan and Nicole Richardson were making their first appearance at the championships for The Bahamas, and both said they were encouraged by their performances.
“I'm so proud of myself, my husband and my teammates,” said Nicole last night. “I did not make the top six but I did my best and was proud of my performance. This is the best my body has ever looked. Next year I'll be back and it's on. We did well. The team showed love and were supportive of each other, and I pray we all will be back next year.
“What an experience! It's amazing to see what can be done with the human body. You must be on your ‘A’ game at an event such as CAC. When you’re tired and ready to give up, you must remember the enemy is up and working hard at it. I was able to scope out the competition and set my game plan for next year, when I intend to win a medal.”
Jonathan said that it was a great experience, and he is looking forward to next year as well.
“The athletes brought out the best physiques they had,” he said. “With men's physique in particular, the competition was tight but being there allowed me to get a feel of what the judges are looking for, and I will be able to bring a better presence and physique to the stage next year.”
Nicole and Jonathan competed in body fitness and men’s physique respectively, and are coached by ‘Big’ Joel Stubbs, the country’s second professional athlete in the sport.
As for Wilkinson, she joined Stubbs, Charles Kemp, Jay Darling, Gena Mackey, and Natasha Brown in fitness, as the only Bahamians to earn their pro cards at the CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
Next year’s event will be held in St. Maarten, and according to Sumner, all of the athletes from this year’s team are looking forward to returning to that level of competition.