Hoskins under threat


HOSKINS?“Biscuit”?Worrell has won every Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic held in this country. This week, that unbeaten streak is under threat from former Barbados champions Martinus Durrant and Stevenson Belle.
The 2012 edition of the event will be held on Saturday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre and Worrell is bound to command plenty of attention as he seeks a fifth successive triumph over some of the best bodybuilders in Barbados and the Caribbean.
Worrell was an impressive winner at the first four instalments of the show and is reportedly leaving no stone unturned in his bid to take the first prize cheque of $4 000.
Fresh from capturing the light middleweight and masters divisions at the just concluded Central American And Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Puerto Rico, Worrell will have to be at his razor-sharp best to hold off what should be a formidable challenge from Durrant, a winner of two Mr Barbados crowns, and the determined Belle.
Belle, a rugged Coast Guard officer who won Mr Barbados last year, has not stepped on stage this year and is bent on proving a point. Condition could make all the difference in this event and Belle has promised to be sliced to ribbons.
Durrant is now working his back to his best and will be flexing muscle for only the third time since serving a two-year ban after a positive drug test at the 2009 CAC Championships in Grenada, where he lifted the light heavyweight title and overall crown.
He was smooth and lucky to take the light heavyweight title at the nationals and was second in that class in Puerto Rico. However, he is improving all the time and if he rediscovers his best form, he may be the most dangerous of the lot and the man they will all have to beat.
Fast-rising 21-year-old Ramon Broomes is the reigning Mr Barbados and is expected to give a good account of himself. However, he is going to find it tough getting into the top three.
Ricardo “Cou Cou”?Bascombe has said he is going to be on stage for the first time this season and must know he will have to bring some deep cuts to his legs to be in the hunt.
The regional threat should come from Guyanese heavyweight Mark Perry and, possibly, towering St Lucian Rolandson “The Beast”?Auguste, who competed here several times with some success during the ’90s.
The Invitational will be preceded by an open competition that will attract Barbados representative Patrick Harris, the persistent Therold Babb and Joseph “Runt”?Bourne along with the dynamic Samuel Eastmond. The top three here qualify for the Invitational contest.
The championships will be enhanced by an exhibition from Barbadian Andrew Jemmott, who earned his masters pro card with a victory in the Over-40 class at the North American Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a few weeks ago.
Jemmott, who is originally from St Michael, has qualified to compete at the masters Olympia.
The Classic is being held in honour of the revered Beckles, one of the biggest names in local bodybuilding throughout the 1970s. He won every major local and Caribbean contest during his heyday and spearheaded Barbados’ assault on the Mr Universe stage from 1976 to 1979.
Beckles lost a memorable duel with Australia’s Roger Walker in the heavyweight class at the 1976 Mr Universe contest in Montreal, Canada, and the following year had a stirring toe-to-toe showdown with compatriot and eventual winner Roy Callender (representing Canada) in Nimes, France.


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