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Roper, Whyte muscle away bodybuilding titles
Orville Clarke, Freelance Writer
ORLANDO ROPER and Lavene Whyte captured the Mr. and Miss Jamaica titles at the Sanatogen-sponsored Senior Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships held at the Girl Guides headquarters,Waterloo Road, on Saturday night.
Roper also won the Magnum-sponsored heavyweight title ahead of highly fancied Rupert Johnson and Dwayne Hylton.
The 42-year-old personal trainer at Spartan Health Club beat out other category winners, defending champion Cecil Beacon who topped the middleweight division, lightweight champion Clive Smith and also Michael Johnson, winner of the veterans category, to emerge overall champion for the first time.
In the posedown involving all four champions, as well as most improved bodybuilder Andrew Chisolm, Roper impressed with his size and overall conformation to be ahead on the slate of the seven judges.
He said he was happy that all the hard work in preparation for the championships paid off handsomely.
"I put in 16 weeks of intensive training to report in the best possible shape and I am happy to say it was not in vain.
"One of my objectives was to win the Mr. Jamaica title, and although I knew Cecil (Beacon) would not be easy to dethrone, I knew if I worked hard enough I could do it," said Roper, who is a former two-time lightweight heavyweight champion in 2000 and 2001.
For his efforts, Roper received a range of prizes, including an undisclosed cash prize and assorted gift baskets from the various sponsors, as well as the Mr. Jamaica Trophy from Bryon McIntyre, brand manager of Sanatogen, and Kemoya Brown, representing Magnum.
He is now looking forward to representing Jamaica in the upcoming CAC Championships from September 27 to October 2 in Aruba.
Meanwhile, Whyte walked away with the Miss Jamaica title ahead of Charmaine Daley and two other competitors.
The 19-year-old personal trainer from the Caribbean Fitness Academy, Lady Musgrave Road, duly chalked up her second title in recent weeks, having captured the Junior Miss Jamaica on July 2.
She clearly impressed the large turnout with her style and personality in the posedown, upstaging her three opponents, even though in training for only nine months.
She said: "I'm really very happy to have won the title and plan to continue for some time. I am more into body fitness than bodybuilding," Whyte readily admitted.
"I like to look more feminine than muscular ... looking well toned and sexy for my body weight of 126lb," added the past student of St. Hugh's High.
Earlier, the crowd was treated to an acrobatic display by the national cheerleading team and sexy singer Natalie Fresh, who brought the house down with her rendition of Patti Labelle's I'm So Excited.