East London’s Mveliso Tapi emerged victorious from BodyBuilding South Africa’s most prestigious tournament, when he walked away with the overall title at the IFBB SA Champs, held in Witbank Mpumalanga last weekend.
Tapi bounced back brilliantly from missing out on the IFBB Buffalo City District Championship title last month to claim the win in the lightweight U70kg category before going on to claim the overall title.
It was a superb effort with the best body builders in South Africa taking part which saw Tapi pick up his first overall national title.
“I was so surprised, I couldn’t believe it. I even asked if it was me because I had forgotten my number at that moment, that’s how excited I was,” admitted Tapi.
“After the Buffalo City Champs I went to the judges and asked them what I could do to improve myself and they told me to focus on certain body parts, so since then I was working very hard.
“It is a great honour to be SA champ, as I started bodybuilding a long time ago. It has been a dream come true to be Mr South Africa and now I am standing here knowing that dreams come true.”
National vice-president of BodyBuilding South Africa, Khaya Majeke, praised the standard of talent at the SA Champs and admitted it was a deserved win overall for Tapi.
“These champs were held by BodyBuilding South Africa, the only organisation recognised in the country by Sascoc and the National Department of Sport,” said Majeke.
“By virtue of these athletes winning their division at the championship they will get their national colours and they will represent the country at the World Championships in Spain in the first week of November.”
Other Eastern Cape athletes who all triumphed in their various divisions were Mabhelandile Mapapu (Buffalo City), Vuyo Vanda (OR Tambo) and Gareth Scheepers, Lionel Martins, Devonshire Pillay and Carine Kloenne (all Nelson Mandela Bay).
Sinato Soci, Steve Nako (Buffalo City) and Tristan van Aarde (Nelson Mandela Bay) took runner-up positions, while Lusindiso Danster, Landu Mtyia (Buffalo City) and Tinotanda Mafuto (Nelson Mandela Bay) claimed third place spots.
“Hearty congratulations to the team and officials for their outstanding achievements at the 2017 South African BodyBuilding Championships,” said chairman of BodyBuilding Buffalo City, Andrew Sokolich.
“We would also like to say a special thanks to both the Eastern Cape Sports Council and Motorland for their support and sponsorship over the last four years. Without them our athletes would not have been able to realise their dreams.”
Next up for the athletes will be the World Champs taking place in November
“It was my goal this year to go to the Worlds, so I was looking to go to the SA Champs and win my division,” said Tapi.
“My goal in the worlds is to try and make the top five.”