Sunday, April 14, 2024

Charles for Beckles Classic


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DAZZLING?Darrem Charles, one of the best pro bodybuilders to have come out of the Caribbean in recent years, will flex his world-class muscles at Saturday’s third edition of the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic.
   Charles, 41, will arrive here tomorrow night from his base in Miami to guest pose at this weekend’s event which is slated for the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
   Contest organiser and former Barbados champion, Roger Boyce, told MIDWEEK?SPORT he was delighted to have the charismatic Trinidadian give an exhibition here.
   “Darrem is a top pro and one of the best posers in the world. Fans will get a treat. That is for certain. His presence means a lot and should enhance what promises to be a solid programme,” he said.
   Charles has cracked the top ten of the Mr Olympia, the sport’s holy grail, on three occasions, finishing as high as seventh in the 2003 instalment. He was probably at his razor-sharp best between 20005 and 2006 when he won three contests.
   In 2005, he captured both the New York Pro and the Toronto Pro and the following season, he ruled the way in the Atlantic City Pro and was second in the New York Pro behind Phil “The Gift”?Heath.
   The man from Arouca followed up with a triumph in the Montreal Pro Classic and in 2008, was third in the Atlantic City Pro.
   At the 1998 Ironman Pro in Calfornia, Charles finished second behind the revered Flex Wheeler and placed above the great Ronnie Coleman, Aaron “Batman” Baker, Renel Janvier, Dennis Newman, and Daryl Stafford. Coleman would go on a few months later to win the first of a staggering eight successive Olympia titles.
   Charles is no stranger to Barbados.
At the 1989 Davina Classic best remembered for a guest posing display from the great Lee Haney, Charles was an impressive second on the contest stage behind Patrick Nicholls at the George Street Auditorium.
   He has won every single showdown he has had with Barbadian world-class amateurs of that time, Albert Scantlebury and Jefferson Phillips. He defeated Scantlebury at the 1989 and 1990 World Championships and brushed aside Phillips for the Junior Caribbean crown at the 1988 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in the Bahamas.
   Boyce said he was happy once more to organise a competition in honour of the celebrated Beckles, who won every major local and Caribbean contest during his heyday and was the spearhead of Barbados’ assault on the Mr Universe stage from 1976-79.
   “Darcy has done a lot for bodybuilding and this is our way of remembering his many achievements. He is one of the best bodybuilders to have come out of Barbados and this is a step in the right direction,” Boyce said.
   Winner of Mr Western Hemisphere 1976, Beckles had a superbly sculptured physique, showcasing one of the best backs around when he bestrode the international stage like a colossus in the mid and late 1970s.


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