Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Marcus White and Shernett Falconer captured the Mr Jamaica and Miss Jamaica titles at the 2008 National Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships before an appreciative crowd, at the Holy Childhood High School auditorium on Saturday night.
Representing Body Language Fitness Centre out of Spanish Town, White initially won the middleweight title ahead of five competitors, before beating out heavyweight champion Douglas Rodgers from MoBay and light-weight champion, Ainsworth Carridice for the overall title.
Carridice, who hails from Body Trend Fitness Club in May Pen and is also a member of the Jamaica bobsled team, was the 2007 overall champion.
On this occasion he proved no match for White, who was presented with the magnificent championship trophy by Denise Allen, proprietor of Body Language Fitness Centre.
The new champion said he worked hard in the months leading up to the championships in order to get the right muscle development.
"I'm happy that the hard work has paid off handsomely in that I won two titles," said White.
"Right now, I am looking forward to the upcoming Central American and Caribbean Championship in The Bahamas from September 25-28. My dream is not only to represent Jamaica but to win a regional title for my country as well," said the 28-year-old gym instructor.
White gained the approval of the seven judges to win the middleweight contest ahead of Daniel Chisolm and defending champion Cecil Beacon, with Andrew Chisolm finishing fourth. He received his trophy from Miss Earth Jamaica, Simone Burke, who will leave the island on October 15 to represent Jamaica at an Environment Awareness contest in the Philippines.
Interestingly, White revealed that he has been involved in bodybuilding for the past four years, but really came into prominence last year when he emerged novice champion. He won the junior bodybuilding title earlier this year, becoming the first junior to win the overall title in the same year.
Falconer meanwhile, upstaged her two opponents, Sasha-Gaye Clarke and Nicole Weller, in that order, to win the Miss Jamaica Fitness title. A petite 26-year-old data entry personnel, Falconer works out at the Gymkhana inside the Hilton Kingston hotel in New Kingston.
Beacon, out of luck in the middleweight contest, came back to win the Masters title ahead of four-time champion Michael Johnson and Owen Montigue, his only two opponents. Representing Gymkhana MoBay, Rodgers beat Robert James and Michael Clarke for the heavyweight title, while Peter-John Bellas won the men's Fitness title.
Guest posers on the night were last year's Miss Jamaica Fitness champion, the gorgeous Debbie Hall and the current Miss Jamaica Body Fitness champion, Murlene Dudley. Both will represent Jamaica at the upcoming CAC Championships. M.C. was Ludlow 'Pretty Boy Floyd' Peynado.