Mahadeo repeats; Duke first time winner at Fitness Challenge


By Avenash Ramzan

Witnessed by a crowd far larger than what is seen at regional cricket matches in Guyana these days, the Fitness Challenge came off with a bang on Sunday with the phenomenal Dillon Mahadeo becoming the first athlete to successfully defend his title, while Seminoca Duke went one step further by climbing to the top podium spot.

Champs! Semonica Duke and Dillon Mahadeo are all smiles after their success at the third Fitness Challenge

The athletes battled their fierce competitors and the scorching sunshine in a display of strength, endurance, determination and tenacity, but at the end of it all, only two can boast of being the fittest in their respective categories.

Competing on the National Park Tarmac, Mahadeo defied a large field in the Male division to become the most successful athlete in the three-year history of the Fitness Challenge to earn the title of fittest man in Guyana, while Duke improved on her second place finish last year, becoming the fittest woman in the country.

The participants were required to compete in five events, the first of which was a two-mile run around the inner circuit of the National Park. That was followed by deadlifts, jumping on and off a box, kettle bell swings, chin over bar pull-ups, overhead squats, wall balls and toes-to-bar among others.

The final event of the day required the athletes to perform 100 skips, 30 trusters and push and pull a heavy sled.

Mahadeo of Team Crossfit 592 emerged with the most points after the five events with 462, 52 more than Charlie Walker-Yhap of Team Fitness Paradise, who finished with 410. Rounding off the podium spots was Berbician Anis Ade-Thomas of Team Elite Systems. He managed 397 points.

Duke, also of Team Crossfit 592, ended the day as the most prolific female athlete with 490 points, 15 more than her nearest rival Delice Adonis of Team Fitness Paradise. Christine Rahman of Team Elite Systems took third with 455 points.

Champion team- Crossfit 592. From left: Dillon Mahadeo, Semonica Duke, Christian McRae and King Solomon

Not surprisingly, Team Crossfit 592, comprising Mahadeo, Duke, King Solomon and Christian McRae, copped the overall team title, while Elite Systems (Ade-Thomas, Rahman, Timothy McAndrew and Jeremy Chow) brought second and Team Fitness Paradise (Walker-Yhap, Adonis, Paul Meusa and Thurston Pearce) came in third.

For their wins, Mahadeo and Duke each pocketed a cash prize of $250,000, compliments of title sponsor Kares Engineering, a trophy, a trip for two to Arrowpoint Nature Resort, a deep tissue massage by Kathy Paul, Massy Industries gift hamper, Giftland Sportsmaxx gift certificate and Domz Creative Things gift hamper.

The second place finishers in both categories received $150,000, a trophy, a trip for two to Baganara Island Resort, and Giftland Sportsmaxx gift certificate, while the third place finishers got $100,000, a trophy and Giftland Sportsmaxx gift certificate.

For finishing as the top team, Crossfit 592 received $150,000 and a day trip to Baganara Island Resort, while Team Elite Systems collected Massy Industries hampers and Fitness Express gift bags, and Team Fitness Paradise won Fitness Express gift bags.

Scotiabank’s Marketing Manager Jennifer Cirpriani (right) with the celebrities. From left: Reon King, Sean Major, Yannick Charles, Soyini Fraser and Ashley John

All the judges were presented with certificates, and medals were presented to every athlete who participated. The oldest competitor, Silas Brummell, received a hamper, compliments of Survival Supermarket.

In the midst of the heated rivalry among the competitors, there was the Scotiabank Celebrity Charity Challenge, which was won by reigning Miss Guyana Universe Soyini Fraser. Former West Indies fast bowler Reon King came in second followed by ‘Inside the 592’ host Yannick Charles, News Room Anchor Ashley John and popular businessman Sean Major.

As part of the Celebrity Charity Challenge, Scotiabank donated $100,000 each to the Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Centre and Help and Shelter to assist them with their mandate. Scotiabank’s Marketing Manager, Jennifer Cipriani, was on hand to present the cheques to representatives of the two organisations, and she expressed gratitude to the celebrities for participating in a good cause.

The day’s activities were organised by Guyana Fitness Games, whose representative Jordana Ramsay- Gonsalves said the body was very pleased with the spectator turnout and support for the athletes.

“It was a great feeling to hear how loud the crowd got as they cheered on their favourite athletes or when they counted down the athletes to their final rep of each event. Our sponsors this year, just as in the past, have helped to make the Fitness Challenge successful once again. We are extremely grateful to our title sponsor Kares Engineering for the increase in cash prizes for the first, second and third male and female athletes and first place team. We are thankful for everyone who helped to make Fitness Challenge 2017 a success- sponsors, judges, volunteers, ground staff, media, friends, family and all the spectators who came out to support this event,” Ramsay-Gonsalves told News Room Sport. 

The event, which was graced with the presence of Guyana’s international bodybuilding champion Hugh Ross and Director of Sport Christopher Jones, was sponsored by Kares Engineering, Trophy Stall, Giftland Mall, Ansa McAl Trading (Lucozade), DeSinco Trading (Degree), Tech Pro, Fitness Express, Genesis Fitness Express, Star Party Rentals, Baganara Island Resort, Wings Investments, St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, Arrowpoint, Johnny P Supermarket and Windjammer Hotel.

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