GEORGE NEWS - Kirsten Smit, a former Knysna resident and now Sanguine Spa and College George Campus student, was just as surprised as everyone else when she secured top spot in the Junior Bikini section at the SA Natural Bodybuilding Championships last weekend and made it into the team that will contest internationally in France.
The SA Natural Bodybuilding Union (Sanbu), for athletes who don't use supplements, every year rotates the location of its national championships, and on Saturday 28 September, the competition made its way back to Knysna for the first time in six years, as nearly 200 bodybuilders made their way to Knysna High School, including Knysna's own contingent of competitors.
The live show brought more than 100 bodybuilding fans to the Knysna High School hall, and provided competitors the chance to show off their bodies which they have worked so hard to perfect.
With winners having already been decided in all but a few divisions during prejudging earlier in the day, and with the smell of oils and sprays the athletes use to highlight their muscle definition wafting through the hall from backstage, the evening got under way just after 18:00 with the u.17 Junior division.
Here Knysna representative Joseph Vermaak took third place, while home boy Delan Jonker would take second place in the u.21 Junior Division after that.
Knysna's unexpected (by her own admission) star of the evening would be Kirsten Smit, who took part in the Junior Bikini division and came first. She was also named in the select group of athletes to go to France to take part in the world championships, something she hasn't quite grasped yet, she said.
Born in Phalaborwa, Smit grew up in Knysna and now studies and lives in George. She was on the verge of withdrawing from the competition but thanks to her family and friends' support, decided to participate.
"It hasn't hit me yet that I made the team, and I definitely didn't expect it, so making the team is an absolute dream come true," she said.
Knysna would have another national champion on the evening too, with Sizwe Mota claiming first place in the Heavyweight division, while Nelson Ncube would take second place in the Middleweight division.
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