By DRIAN MWANZA At Carousel Shopping Mall -
SYLVESTER Mwila on Friday evening retained the Mr Zambia bodybuilding contest to takehis tally of titles to eight.
Mwila was just a class above as he outmuscled 13 other contestants in a colourful event that went into the wee hours of yesterday.
Mwila has been so dominant that a pocket of fans at some point demanded that the judges pick someone else as champion.
Apart from convincing the judges that he was the best, Mwila was also the crowds favourite as every pose brought about wild cheers from the audience.
He took home K17500 for the win.
The now eight-time champion fended off competition from William Sichone,who is the reigning MrIndependence and Mr Matero to see the challenger take second place and walked away with K16000.
Ben Chama from Nchanga Gym managed to get third place and walked awaywith K14, 000 for his efforts.
In the junior category Enock Chanda of Chawama gym proved just too good for a field of 30 contestants to win be crowned the Mr Zambia junior.
Chanda walked away with K4, 000 and was followed by Patrick Kalenga ofKabwata gym who walked away with K3, 000 while Michelo Sibwala also ofKabwata was third best finisher and walked away with K2, 000.
The event was however marred with controversy as fans were demandingchange as the championships had become autonomous as Mwila had won theevent too many times.
It took armed security to bring the rowdy crowd to calm down as theyoverlooked pleas by the master of ceremony for calm.
And speaking after winning the title, Mwila winning was assured as he had prepared well for the tournament.
As if eight titles are not enough, six of them on the trot, Mwila said he would not slow down as he was targeting to win 10titles before concentrating on international tournaments.
“I do not see myself stopping because my target is to win 10 nationaltitles before I think of slowing down or relaxing,” hesaid.
Mwila said the competition this year was stiff and that Sichone hadproved that he was a good bodybuilder who pushed him.
He urged other upcoming athletes to be disciplined and focused to beable to reach the number of titles he had achieved.
“It takes hard work and determination to reach the level I havereached so if these guys want to be like me they need to work reallyhard,” he said.
And speaking on the Sports Minister Moses Mawere’s behalf, Ministry of Sports Deputy Permanent Secretary John Zulu said government wascommitted to ensure that all sports disciplines thrived in thecountry.
Zulu urged the Zambia Body Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (ZBBFF)to ensure that there was good sportsmanship and discipline amongst allathletes and administrators.
“Bodybuilding has a great potential to ensure a physicallyfit citizenship.It also gives an opportunity for many youth to engage inpositive and beneficial activities,” he said.
And ZBBFF president Emmanuel Chimuka congratulated Mwila fordominating the sport saying it showed great sportsmanship.
Mwila should be given a pat on the back for his hard work which hasresulted in him winning the title eight times,” he said.