Senior Sports Reporter
MR Zimbabwe, Paul Goredema is not looking back after tasting success at the recently held Arnold Classic staged at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa with the Gweru-based athlete now targeting more international competitions.
Goredema, the finest male bodybuilder in Zimbabwe at the moment took third in the Men’s up to 100 kilograms category at Arnold Classic Africa last Sunday. It was a massive achievement for Goredema in a competition entered by 12 participants, some of them from competitive countries such as Egypt and Iran.
Sharing his experiences soon after arriving in Bulawayo from Johannesburg last Tuesday, Goredema said he had never anticipated to get such a high placing considering that he was competing against the best from other countries. It was actually the first time that he was lining up in an international show with his previous experience having been competing in Zimbabwe, Botswana as well as South Africa.
“It was a good experience because I never expected I would probably be able to reach those levels, there were guys from all over, it was my first international show and I actually learnt a lot, how to be among some of the best from different countries,’’ said Goredema.
He described how petrified he was when he saw his line-up and he was not sure if he was going to get past the pre-judging stage where six competitors fell by the wayside. There was joy and jubilation among the National Federation of Zimbabwe Body Building and Fitness leadership present when Goredema made it to the top six which guaranteed him a medal and a certificate.
“First of all I was actually scared if I was going make it because I had just been used to local and regional shows, this time around I didn’t know what to expect, the first thing was to just be calm and just have confidence, go present myself,’’ Goredema said.
On what was the biggest lesson he learnt from Arnold Classic Africa, Goredema pointed out that he got to have more belief in himself that he can accomplish his dreams because he went thinking that was going to be one of the least placed.
“What I learnt from the whole experience is that you don’t have to underestimate yourself, you just have to know yourself.
Initially I just went thinking that maybe it is one of those shows you just go and come out maybe at the bottom half but when I walked on stage I just told myself I can do it and surprisingly I was among the top three,’’ said Goredema.
He felt that after months of dieting, he was better conditioned than most of the competitors he came up against with his only undoing being size because those he was up against were more muscular than he was.
Goredema is now hungry for mores success on the international scene that will make him gain more experience by interacting with more experienced coaches and athletes. He actually made friends with the highly competitive Ghanaians who advised him on weak points which has made him even eager to succeed.
“My next step from now I think I am definitely making more international shows and that will actually make me gain more exposure and experience going from international show to international show. Interacting with more guys, acquiring more knowledge on my presentation itself as I go on stage, my preparations, my dieting and my training, getting knowledge from other coaches on how they do it,’’ Goredema said.
With Arnold Classic Africa now over, Goredema can now stop being strict on himself in terms of dieting. The 27-year-old will however, continue to consume complex carbohydrates and maintain his discipline as he has his sights set on a number of competitions for the remainder of this year. If he gets funding, Goredema wants to compete in international event in Hong Kong.
Zimbabwean athletes who went to South Africa did the country proud at Arnold Classic. South Africa-based Regina Jonga, who entered the competition under the neighbouring country’s banner because of sponsorship won the Women’s Physique.
Helen Costa was the champion in the Women’s Body Fitness where Precious Mujuru was fourth. Costa, taking part in Arnold Classic for the first time lost out to South African, Marcel Meyer in the fight for the overall winner in that category.
Shirly Spreeth was fifth in the Women’s Fitness Bikini under 163 centimetres where the turnout was massive. Youngster Selina Manuel took sixth place in the Junior Fitness Bikini. On the opening day, juniors Juandre Nel and Michael Shoniwa managed to finish in the top six in their respective categories. Garikayi Mujuru was fifth in the Men’s category up to 75kgs.