The three athletes – Mr Cook Islands Aaron Enoka, heavyweight Vainetutai David and sole female athlete Nga Bates – did their best to impress the judging panel at the day-long pre-judging event.
Prior to their competition, the athletes, especially Bates and Enoka, had stopped drinking liquids in order to have their muscles defined at their best.
The loss of salt also meant a high risk of cramped muscle.
After a day of strutting for the judges ahead of an evening show for a large spectator crowd – the local trio were still looking well composed and determined to put their best defined muscle forward for national pride.
In her division, sole female athlete Nga Bates held her own against three other equally fit and beautiful women.
Bates’ physique showed much work had been put in to carve her body and she looked like a real contender for the bronze medal as one of her three division contenders lacked the muscle division Bates did.
However the experienced judges thought otherwise with Bates missing out on a medal.
Enoka had a tough pool of musclemen to contend with – and while he looked like the seasoned athlete he is and even looking more confident on stage than in previous tournaments – he too missed out on a medal.
Heavyweight David, of Mauke heritage currently living in Australia, certainly made the most of his time on stage, grinning from ear to ear with every pose and flex – but he faced veteran bodybuilders who certainly knew how to work the crowd and the judges.
Despite the “oh so close” outcome for the Cooks team – they are pleased with their own individual performances.
For Enoka, bodybuilding is a lifestyle choice and is all about being better than he was yesterday.
He said he no longer competes regularly in New Zealand due to the inconsistency of drug tests in the sport allowing “cowboys” to dominate on stage.
The last time the trio were spotted was in the athletes dining hall enjoying large plates of well deserve kai and eagerly eyeing up the ice cream and cakes.