Doughlin moving up

Barbados fitness queen Shakira Doughlin showing off her Arnold Classic bronze medal and trophy
Photo by George Alleyne

She is the queen in her category on the local scene, and Barbados woman’s body fitness athlete, Shakira Doughlin, has shown herself as a force to be reckoned with internationally by medalling in a South American tournament.

The Barbados’ Bikini Fitness queen captured bronze at the 2018 Arnold Classic that ended in Brazil just over a week ago.

What made 27-year-old’s third place finish among competitors across South America even more remarkable was that she leap-frogged from the 15th place finish in the 2017 edition of the competition.

The Arnold Classic in Brazil is part of a worldwide annual series of continental competitions named after global bodybuilding champion turned movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Brazil show sees over 3,500 competitors annually.

Of the Barbados 2018 contingent attending the show, Doughlin was the lone medallist. Four other persons placed in the top eight, and one squeezed into the top 15.

Doughlin said that she built confidence based on the 2017 experience, which made her better prepared when facing the judges.

That spunk was backed by solid training and study of past winners of the competition.

“It took a lot of research to get where I am now today, I had to look at all the winners from the previous categories from this same show and see where they had strong points and see if I could work hard enough to get some of that in my body and presentation.

“You really can’t take anything for granted and you can’t mismanage your time because preparation is what gets these girls to where they are supposed to be,” she said.

“This particular show my focus was just on bringing it on stage. I worked very hard to ensure that my first showing this year would be a stepping stone to summer.

“I feel great to have made the top six, and over the Moon to crack the top three after being only in the top 15 last year.”

But she will not be simply sitting on this year’s glory.

“I can’t be too casual anymore. From the previous year to this year, I found that I had to manage my time well and I could not drop the ball,” she said, adding, “every year as the sport grows … you have to improve, you cannot bring back the same thing at all because they would have gone way ahead of you from the last time you went on stage. So, the next time [the aim] is probably getting more conditioned. That is something I would have to work on.”

Doughlin said that as the reigning Barbados queen she saw a need to take on other competition and further challenge herself, “that is why I felt like let me just go out and see what that experience would do for me, if I’m really supposed to be doing this sport, if I can really make it overseas and that has really pushed me to the point where I am so determined to win or try to.”

Copping a bronze medal at this mega event, shows that she is in the right sport and Barbados can expect more of its queen.

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