Jonga still going strong

22 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Jonga still going strong

The Sunday Mail

Deputy Sports Editor

VETERAN body-builder Regina Jonga has dismissed suggestions she is about to retire and insists she will challenge for more honours, including the upcoming Arnold Classic in South Africa.

The 45-year-old told The Sunday Mail Sport she had never stopped competing since she took up body-building.

“I wish to clarify that I am not retired.

“I have never stopped body-building, nor have I ever retired ever since I took up the sport,” Jonga said.

The athlete put her career on ice when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

During the period, sport was suspended across the globe.

The former Miss Zimbabwe and Ironman winner indicated that she did her best to weather the Covid-19 storm and remain fit.

Her main struggle was more mental than physical.

“During the pandemic, I did my best to follow regulations and would try my best to routinely wash my hands, sanitise and exercise social distancing.

“Yes, it was difficult for everyone, myself included, but I tried my best doing a lot of home training to keep my mind busy and stay fit.

“I have a skipping rope at home and I would use it regularly, with my routine also involving press-ups, jogging and a few other home-based exercises.”

Covid-19 struck when she was just starting to enjoy the fruits of her toil.

Once a housemaid in South Africa, Jonga initially took up the sport in 2021 for leisure and to escape her daily struggles.

When she got her breakthrough, she started collecting titles on the local, regional and international scene.

Locally, Jonga won competitions such as the Mr and Ms Novice, Ironman and Miss Zimbabwe, while some of her regional accolades include the Arnold Classic (2016 and 2017), LFBBS South African Championship and the Pretoria Classic.

In 2019, she competed in her first international show in China and was awarded a pro card.

But, a year later, her rise was halted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Jonga is now ready to pick up where she left off, as she will be a guest poser at the Ironman Festival, after which she is expected to take part at the 2022 Arnold Classic next month.

The Arnold Classic is one of three competitions Jonga is eyeing this year.

“I have been training hard for the last couple of months and have already started dieting for competitions.

“My body has already started to take shape and should be ready for the Arnold Classic,” she said.

“I am not competing at the Ironman, as I don’t really have competition in my category and will only show up at the event as a guest poser.

“The main goal is the Arnold Classic, and I am not going to accept anything other than gold at the event.”

She said body-building is a very expensive sport, which makes planning and training very difficult.

“Take the Arnold Classic, for example, the registration right now is US$250 but on the day it will be US$300.

“I cannot afford that kind of money working as a bouncer … as I also need money to buy food, pay rent and for my daily upkeep.

“I am currently running around and searching for sponsorship for the Classic and hope to take part in two other events after that.”

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