Thursday, 20 October 2016
Figure Phenoms: Figure UK
Today, we follow the recent fortunes of three of the UK's Bodyfitness stars from the recent Arnold Classic Europe, where two of them competed, via the UKBFF British Championships, to last weekend's IFBB Diamond Cup in Liverpool.
Caroline "Caz" Caine
Arnold Classic Europe: 10th (over 168cm class)
UKBFF British: 3rd (over 163cm class)
Diamond Cup: WINNER (over 168cm class)
A former swimmer and triathlete, Caz runs a personal training business with her beau in Lancaster. She decided to get into the Bodyfitness game in 2012, has been a consistent top 6 finisher at the British championships ever since, and represented the UK at European and world level, with a 4th place at the IFBB Worlds to her name.
At nearly 5'8" (172cm), she towers over many of her competitors on her long (and shapely) legs, and at the British Championships Flex UK editor John Plummer reckoned she was at her "best ever". Turned out her best ever result was just a couple of weeks away. OMG WON my class! gushed an elated Caroline afterwards. To win an international show is literally a dream come true.
For once, FMS got to watch the Diamond Cup live on stream, and was extremely impressed with Caroline's statuesque stage presence, those long legs, and her determination to look the judges in the eye no matter what angle she was coming at them from. It seemed as if she was telepathically demanding they give her the win!
Caz's progress - 2011 v 2016
In his Diamond Cup report, John Plummer, who clearly knows more about these things than I do (and by the way, get used to him, he's the only person reporting these events, and I'm very very grateful that he does, the muscle media in the UK, Plummer aside, is, shall we say, not exactly "on it") put Caroline's improved results this season down to "noticeable gains to her hamstrings and glutes to balance out her physique".
Caroline is on Instagram.
Arnold Classic Europe: did not compete
UKBFF British: 2nd (over 163cm class)
Diamond Cup: 5th (over 168cm class)
Kristina, the only one of our British Bodyfitness stars today to have featured previously on FMS, is, you may recall, a former model who struggled with an eating disorder before she started turning her life around in 2012. She only competed for the first time last year, winning her first ever (regional) show, a runner's-up medal at the Scottosh Grand Prix, and coming 5th at the UKBFF British championships.
As one of her 60,000+ IG followers, I've enjoyed the extra muscle Kristina has packed on for her second season of competition, and the way she's been showing it off as she's grown. I'm especially partial to the occasional video tours she gives us of her abs, glutes and quads, like this example a few days before the British championships.
At the UKBFF British (right) with "partner in crime" Marzena Tkaczyk (aka Ink and Fitness)
I thought she looked amazing before the British finals, and with her deep deep tan and leanest ever look on the day - pictures I've seen anyway (here comes another moan) the UKBFF really does its utmost to make sure you never get to view images of their contests, really goes out of its way to do so - allied to her natural beauty...
In the end, being "the leanest in the class" and her "impressive overall muscularity" (John Plummer) were only good enough for 2nd place, and sadly she wasn't feeling too well last weekend in Liverpool, so she wasn't able to improve on her British finals showing there, but if Kristina comes back next year as improved as she was between 2015 and 2016, I (in my ignorance) confidently predict great things for her.
Join the 60,000 with Kristina on Instagram.
Arnold Classic Europe: 8th (over 168cm class)
UKBFF British: WINNER (over 163cm class)
Diamond Cup: 4th (over 168cm class)
Checking through the images of the British competitors as I prepared the recent FBBUK @ACE2016 post, I was stunned to find Natasha McFarlane among them. I'd never even heard of her before (in spite of John Plummer's best efforts), yet here she was, a British woman with, as far as I could see, all the genetic gifts one usually associates with the very top IFBB Figure competitors. That's quite a chassis she's got to work on there (or something along those lines!), I thought to myself...
A couple of weeks later and there was absolutely no excuse for the UK female muscle fan not to have heard of Natasha - she was crowned British champion. Estate agent Natasha McFarlane knows all about climbing the property ladder, now she knows about climbing the Bodyfitness ladder, reported John Plummer - nice, I see what you did there, John - by rising from second last year to first this time. Eh? She was second last year?! I really do need to pay more attention to the UK scene!
Plummer also revealed that Natasha was a former beauty queen - which was a lot less surprising to me than the fact that she's been competing for so long unbeknown to me. She has always had looks and shape, he continued, but in recent years she has learned how to acquire the necessary conditioning to make her qualities count.
Last weekend in Liverpool at the Diamond Cup it was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show for Natasha, and she placed outside the medals. But, she promises, there is much more to come. I certainly hope so, feel like I've missed so much already!
Natasha is a modest "omgthebody" on Instagram.