Merren sees off visitors – naturally

The recent natural bodybuilding show organised by Tiger Wilson attracted some of the biggest international names in the women’s game to Cayman.

On Saturday 20 June the Lions Centre came alive when the Cayman Islands hosted the Universe Muscle Classic Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.

Countries represented on stage in the fight for the coveted titles included the USA, Canada, England, Dominica Republic, Jamaica, Nigeria and the Cayman Islands. It should be noted that all athletes who participated in the event were subjected to drug testing.

The Boy Scouts opened the event with a presentation of the flags of the various countries that were represented at the event, followed by the presentation of the Cayman Islands flag.

The Scouts also displayed their talent with an impressive rendition by the drum corps and a marching routine.

Opening remarks were made by Susan Wilson, president of the Cayman Islands Natural Bodybuilding Powerlifting and Weightlifting Association. Local musician, Osbert Smith, then took to the stage and entertained the crowd with two of his latest hits.

First up were the Pro Figure competitors. The well toned and balanced physique of Sue Merren from the Cayman Islands earned her a first place finish, followed closely by Yenny Polanco representing Dominican Republic in second and Tracy Barlow from the USA in third.

Merren gave special thanks to Tiger and Susan Wilson for their hard work and dedication to natural bodybuilding and figure.

Merren said: ‘As hosts of the NANBF/IFPA event, they have given local competitors the opportunity to compete at an international level right here in Cayman. It was really exciting to compete against other pro figure competitors from other countries, and even more exciting to win first place.’

In the amateur figure class, Clair Adams, representing the UK, displayed her well balanced shape and refined physique and placed first while Kimberly Bowen who displayed good symmetry came second with Susanne Clements of the Cayman Islands, displaying her well toned physique, rounded out the top three.

Adams also walked away with a pro card and is now eligible to compete at the professional level.

Adams said: ‘Having worked so hard to achieve the results needed to take part in the show this year I was overwhelmed with my win.

‘I am very proud to have taken part in the show and glad to have met all the other competitors who took part. I will be looking forward to taking part in any further shows on the island and wish to extend a special thanks to Dale Morris, Michael Salmon and to all those who have helped and supported me in achieving my goal.’

The lone entry in the amateur woman’s bodybuilding class was Susanne Clements who displayed great muscle.

Moving on to the pro women’s building, these ladies showed the spectators what a pro natural woman bodybuilder should look like.

Displaying great symmetry, combined with a well balanced physique would earn Christina Comparator of Ohio, USA the victory.

Melanie Tydrich of Wisconsin, USA came in very hard and despite her strong challenge Comparator edged her into a second place finish with Sherri Pilotti of North Carolina placing a close third.

Tydrich said that although she has done many bodybuilding competitions in the past, Tiger and Susan Wilson’s pro championships in the Cayman Islands has become her favourite place to compete.

‘Tiger and Susan make extraordinary efforts to help the competitors provide their best performances for the audience, and the audience always responds with their uniquely Cayman warmth and enthusiasm that makes the competitors feel more than rewarded for our efforts.

‘This was the second show that I have done in the Cayman Islands, and the experience was first-class in every respect. My deepest thanks go out to Tiger and Susan as well as all of the wonderful co-competitors and the audience that turned out to support us.’

‘This was definitely the best championships that we have promoted so far,’ said Susan Wilson who, with husband Tiger has been bringing the IFPA/NANBF Universe Muscle Classic Championships to the Cayman Islands annnually. This was their seventh year of promoting these championships.

Tiger said: ‘The quality of competitors for this year’s event was superb and it was indeed a pleasure to have them competing here in Grand Cayman. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible.’

Sponsors for the event included PricewaterhouseCoopers, C.I. Department of Tourism, Chris Johnson Association, Ministry of Sports, Webster’s Tours, Island Paving, Western Union, Hot 104.1FM, Vibe 98.9FM, Radio Cayman 89.9FM, Andy’s Rent-A-Car and Body Sculptor Fitness Center.

Immediately after the intermission, fitness star, Yenny Polanco, did a guest posing routine in which she demonstrated a high energy fitness routine that consisted of a combination of rope jumping, gymnastics and aerobics.

Her routine was amazing and, judging by the reaction of the crowd, it was no doubt that it was thoroughly enjoyed.

Polanco said: ‘The crowd was great and I loved entertaining them. The show was an overall success and I met some great people. I would like to thank everyone involved in coordinating the show.’

Tiger also added his thanks to those who were at the championship for supporting the Cayman Islands Under-23 national football team by purchasing the food and drinks that they were selling in an effort to raise funds to assist them to travel to Cleveland, Ohio to particulate in a tournament.

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