(By Salim Dawood in Sandton City, Johannesburg)

SEVEN-TIME back-to-back and reigning Mr Zambia Sylvester Mwila will this evening take part in the $80,000-rich Arnold Classic Africa Body building competition in Sandton City in South Africa, Johannesburg. Tonight will not be the first that Mwila’s towering and well-tonned muscular figure will be in the competition – he has already tried three times in the past.

But this time, Mwila says his eyes are fixed on coming out tops tonight having emerged seventh, sixth and fourth respectively from his last three attempts at bagging the prestigious title. Reigning Mr Chawama Clement Shamboko and Mr Kabwata Joseph Mwale will also compete along with Mwila in the competition that has attracted participation from muscle men from all over the world.

In an interview yesterday, Mwila said he considers taking part in such a high level international competition as a huge achievement.

“I have worked hard to rectify some of the things that may have prevented me from winning previously so I am very confident I will do better this time around,” Mwila said.

He said he was pleased to meet competition from other countries because that will help him up his game and use the occasion to prepare better for another competition slated for the USA next July. Besides Mr Zambia, Mwila holds several other titles including Mr Iron Man, Mr Lusaka, among others.

Mwale said: “We are here to excel, it feels good to compete with body builders from other countries.”

Shamboko said: “We are here to represent Zambia at the same time explore because if we don’t explore, we won’t learn. It’s a big event for us as body builders. We are ready.”

The competition will be preceded by a prejudging session this morning before the final is staged at the Sandton Convention Centre at 19:00 hours.The Arnold Classic Africa is a huge event hosted annually, attracting athletes from various sports disciplines and arts which was created by popular Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This year’s event started on Friday and ends this evening.

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