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Bodybuilding |16 September 2023


Mekdachi posing down in the 2013 Mr Seychelles' line-up

IFBB pro Mekdachi takes time off to re-assess his posing future

Seychelles and Indian Ocean’s only professional bodybuilding Ziad Mekdachi has announced that he is taking a break from the sport to assess his current situation in relation to his career, to see whether it is worth carry on, or if he should end it all together.

Mekdachi, now 43, won his elite pro card after winning the 100kg category and the overall prize at the 4th Arnold Classic Africa 2019 IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) pro qualifier organised by the IFBB Europe inside the Sandton Convention Centre in Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Altogether he has dedicated 15 years of his life to the sport after making his official debut at the 2009 Saba Open competition where he topped the six-man line-up, pushing Jacques-Alain Hoareau into second place, with veteran poser Joelen Valentin finishing third.

In that same year, Mekdachi won the Mr Regatta title, before clinching the Mr Seychelles title which he went on to win a record six times – 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 – before turning pro in 2019, making him ineligible to take part in amateur contests.

Still in his inaugural year as a poser, Mekdachi also represented Seychelles at the World Championships in Dubai where he finished fifth.

It is worth noting that police officer Mekdachi has never lost a single local competition since stepping on the stage in 2009.

In his inaugural professional competition, Mekdachi finished fifth at the 2023 International Federation of Bodybuilding Elite Pro Bodybuilding – Arnold Classics, held at the Ruimsig Stadium, Roodepoort, Johannesburg, South Africa, from May 19 to 21.

Speaking to Sports NATION, Mekdachi explained that after 15 years of sacrifices, he has reached a point in life where he must decide whether to carry on, or let go.

He said being a disciplined bodybuilder is not an easy task, especially when it comes to dieting and supplements.

The IFFB pro said it costs him a lot financially as he needs to buy supplements, follow a good diet, pay registration fees for competitions, along with airfares and accommodation.

He said the decision was not a quick one, but was taken after a lot of thinking, and consultations with his family.

Mekdachi explains that getting sponsorship is rare nowadays, especially now that he is performing at a higher level, thus the preparations require more in terms of supplements and other crucial required elements.

He said despite approaching several potential sponsors, he had been let down, showing that Seychelles is not ready to cater for a professional athlete.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic has also greatly affected his motivation and performance.

“After 15 years of sacrifice, I feel that it is time to take a break and re-think my future,” said Mekdachi, who added that on many occasions he went to parties and gathering, bringing his ‘boiled food’ since he believed firmly in self-discipline, especially dieting.

Having chosen bodybuilding over kick-boxing which was his initial sports, Mekdachi said his 15-year journey has been great, despite some difficulties along the way, but now with his new level of competition, the bar has been elevated, and that is why he needs a break to re-assess his situation and future.

The IFBB pro said he is ready to share his know-how with anyone who wishes to take up the sports, however noting that he will be upfront with them regarding the difficulties and hassles involved.

Sports NATION wishes Mekdachi all the best in his future endeavours, regardless of his final decision.

Roland Duval

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