Discipline and hard work paid off for Mdantsane-born Bulelani Jola, 32, who reached the top six at the recent Physical Culture Association (PCA) Korea Super Series.
The determined athlete competed in the PCA Battle of The Titans VII provincial qualifier in Cape Town in June and in the Nutri-con PCA SA Championships in August in Gauteng.
From there, the athlete was chosen to represent SA in South Korea.
“When they called my name for the top six, I felt like I had won.
“I was not intimidated and I was aware of the high stand of competition around me,” Jola said.
He competed in the under- 85kg men’s bodybuilding division.
His preparation for the competition, however, started in 2018.
“I knew it was going to happen and I had been preparing since 2018 with my diet and training.
“I say one should rather aim for the moon and fall among the stars,” Jola said.
Returning home to fantastic support from his family, had made his hard work and achievement all the more worth it and special, a thrilled Jola said.
“It was the best feeling to see my family, their love and support.
“I was glad they could grasp how much I have sacrificed over the years – this was a dream come true,” Jola said.
He arrived in South Korea days before the SA team to settle in and use the time aptly to prepare for the competition.
“It had not really kicked in that I was there until I saw the venue [of the competition], which was right opposite my hotel.
“My biggest fear was failing and I am quite hard on myself,” Jola said.
However, Jola said funding remained a stumbling block for most bodybuilding athletes chosen to represent SA overseas.
“I had to raise my own funds and I feel our government should step in at this point as you are representing the country.
“There should be more investment in the sport,” he said.