A subdued five-member team settled for two silver medals as the 46th Annual Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships wrapped up on Sunday at the Fiesta Theater at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR).
The Bahamas’ squad, reduced significantly from the original list, competed against the region’s best, looking to improve on its fourth place finish from a year ago. However, the small size of the team made it virtually impossible for the quintet to accomplish that. Last year, a 12-member Bahamian squad won three gold, and nine medals in total, in finishing fourth. This year, the team could only muster two silver medals and a seventh place finish overall.
Leading the way was National Champion in Men’s Physique Kiat Young and Wellington Wallace who won a gold medal for The Bahamas in his category in men’s physique a year ago in Mexico City, Mexico. Both struck silver this time around – Young in men’s physique over 182 centimeters (cm) and Wallace in men’s physique up to and including 170 cm.
The other members of the team were Fania Joseph who finished fourth in women’s bikini fitness up to and including 160 cm, David Dormavil who was fifth in men’s physique up to and including 170 cm, and Bertram Miller who finished 10th in men’s muscular physique up to and including 175 cm.
“I feel good about it – just happy to bring back some hardware,” said Young who first competed at the CACs in 2016, finishing 12th. After taking a two-year hiatus, he returned to the CAC Championships this year. “This time, I came in with a better package so I felt more confident. I will come back stronger and better next time. The intention is definitely to come back to the CACs next year, and the plan is to stay in men’s physique. I just have to stick with it and keep pushing.”
Young was defeated by the same athlete who defeated him in 2016; Kenroy Christian, of Antigua & Barbuda, who won the gold medal. Young settled for silver. Wascar Bautista from the Dominican Republic won the bronze. In men’s physique up to and including 170 cm, Wallace was defeated by Carlos Sanchez Alvarez, of Puerto Rico, for the gold medal. Yovanny Rodriguez, from the DR, won the bronze.
“I feel awesome about it,” said Wallace. “To finish second among 13 countries is quite an accomplishment and I’m very happy with that. Words can’t express how happy I am right now. I feel like my performance this year was better. I practiced hard and trained hard and it paid off with a second place finish. I could definitely improve in the shoulders and chest areas. Overall, I feel like I did very well in terms of posing and presenting myself. I was a lil nervous at first but I just went out there and put my best foot forward. I remembered what I went through in training and just brought it to the stage. I’m just looking to continue getting better.”
Wallace had a disappointing third place finish at the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) 46th Annual Novice and National Championships at the end of August, and wanted to come to the CACs to atone for himself. He feels that he was able to do just that at the region’s most prestigious show in bodybuilding and fitness in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB). Wallace is now looking forward to next year.
In women’s bikini fitness up to and including 160 cm, newcomer Joseph said she was very pleased with her performance. This is her first year competing in the sport, and she was able to come away with a fourth place finish at the CACs. Winning the gold was Meryenith Rojas of Venezuela. Finishing second was Anilly Castillo from the Dominican Republic and coming in third was Melissa Seaforth from Antigua & Barbuda.
“I feel very excited about being given the opportunity to compete,” said Joseph. “I’m very proud of what I was able to accomplish. The competition was really tight, and it just goes to show that at this level, you have to come ready to compete. This was a wonderful experience. You get to meet a lot of people from different cultures and different backgrounds, and it’s a great networking opportunity. This sport requires hard work, but with time and dedication and commitment to diet and training, you could accomplish great things. It’s a great opportunity to get out there and get your feet wet and meet people. I think I need to get tighter for next year – maybe work a bit more on my midsection and get the abs more defined, and just continuing dieting and keep pushing. I’m looking to win gold next year,” she added.
Dormavil, who finished fifth in men’s physique up to and including 170 cm, said that he is looking to continue to improve and come back even stronger for next year. This was his first time competing at the CACs.
“I had fun and it was a great experience,” he said. “I got to see what I need to work on and where I need to improve. It was a very tough competition and I feel blessed to be in the top six. I’m grateful. I just have to continue to work on my upper body, my shoulders and my chest. I would encourage all competitors to keep pushing. It’s very exciting and very rewarding. Get in the gym and join this team. It’s a lot of hard work, but in the end, I guarantee it will be worth it.”
Miller had to settle for a 10th place finish in men’s muscular physique up to and including 175 cm. This was his first time competing at the CAC Championships.
“I feel pretty good. It was a nice push and the competition was heavy,” he said. “You just have to bring it to the stage if you want to be successful. It was a lot of hard work to get to this point but I’m thankful. At this level, there is a lot more talent that you have to go up against and you just have to be ready. In order to be successful, you have to start training at a young age. Right now, I just have to get back in the gym, work harder and continue to build muscle mass. The training is more intense in bodybuilding but I’m looking forward to the challenge of possibly switching from men’s muscular physique to bodybuilding,” he added.
Originally, a 12-member team was named to represent The Bahamas at this year’s CAC Championships, and for various reasons, it was reduced. The 47th edition of the CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships is scheduled to be held in Colombia in September of next year. The small squad was coached by Raymond Tucker and Nardo Dean was the team’s manager.
The CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships fall under the auspices of the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (CACBBFF), and were held under the ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) anti-doping rules.
A total of 20 countries took part in the regional championships.