The Zambia Bodybuilding Federation and Fitness (ZBBFF) has disclosed that it will cancel all the incoming competitions this year if the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) does not subside.
ZBBFF President Cornelius Chanda told the Lusaka Star in an interview over the weekend that the federation would observe the situation up to September and October.
The president revealed that the federation would be compelled to terminate all the contests if the situation does not improve by the agreed deadline.
Meanwhile, 2019 Mr Zambia runner-up, William Sichone disclosed that he would not go on stage this year.
The former Mr Matero noted that he arrived at the decision after he had consulted his sponsors.
“Bodybuilding is a very expensive sport which requires good supplementation, healthy diet and accurate focus when training for a contest. My sponsors and I weighed the pros and cons, but we realized that we may lose out at the end of the day if all our preparations go in vain because the competitions might be cancelled,” said Mr Sichone.
At the same time, former bodybuilder and now Mr Strongman contestant, Melvin Mweemba expressed his disappointment at how the pandemic has affected not only his career but also his personal life.
“The pandemic has had its share of disruptions on my training because as a strongman athlete, am looking forward to competitions but that is not the case currently because am not certain if the show will take place, I am just training to maintain my fitness levels,” he stated.
And Zambia strongman champion Paul Mwanza revealed that he is training adequately to defend his title should the contest take place this year.
The Strongman stated that he was massively disturbed by the closure of gyms a few months ago because he was unable to train.
“Strongman contests require you to put in your best effort throughout the year. When the gyms were closed, my schedule was disturbed and I felt I was drawn back because my strength levels went down. Right now my drive in the gym is not as it has always been because psychologically am not certain that the competition will take place,” said Mr Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza has been holding the local Strongman Championship title for three consecutive years.
He further propelled the Zambian flag to further heights by winning the prestigious Arnold Classic Africa Strongman contest in South Africa last year.
The 38-year-old had to lift a 130 kg log, 310 kg deadlift and carried a 400 kg yoke for 19 metres in the gruelling competition.