“THIS is it, I quit. You will never see me competing again,” said Garikai Mujuru as he left the 2017 Mr Zimbabwe competition venue with close pal Elia Samaringa in tow.
“Did you see the size and cuts that Gari had? And you say he was not good enough to win that category? This is a bad joke,” added Samaringa as the pair negotiated their way out of a packed 7 Arts Theatre.
Mujuru had placed third in the middleweight category and found it difficult to get his head round the way the judges had called it.
Miffed by the decision, Mujuru left the scene vowing to “retire” from bodybuilding. Eight months later, the 31-year-old is still in the game and basking in the glory of making it into the top three at last weekend’s Arnold Classic in South Africa. Instead of quitting, Mujuru was the first at the gym the Monday after Mr Zimbabwe: more reps, more weights, eyes firmly on the Arnold Classic.
“I really felt hard done by at Mr Zimbabwe and really considered calling it a day but you know this is a labour of love, I love bodybuilding and will be bodybuilder till I die,” said Mujuru.
“Yes, when I left 7 Arts I said I was quitting but when I got home I had time to reflect. I realised that quitting was not the best way to react to the disappointment.
“I realised that I needed to make a statement and there is no better place to make a statement than the Arnolds where the judges are seasoned professionals.”
The build-up to this year’s Arnolds saw Mujuru dieting earlier than he had done in 2016 when he finished fifth at the competition which is hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And those who are in this game will tell you that dieting is the hardest part — not squats.
“I just wanted to make sure that I was in the best possible shape and I am happy with how things shaped up at the end of the day,” said Mujuru.
“I proved myself at an international competition and showed the judges who robbed me at Mr Zim that I am still the man, you can never put a good man down.“I went to the Arnolds in the best shape of my career but I know that the sky is the limit. I can certainly get better shape. Soon I will be back in the gym, working even harder so that the next time I take to the stage there will be little debate on who the real champion is.”
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