Great to see some of the big beasts of Women's Bodybuilding finally unleashed last weekend in Toronto, with Kim Buck taking first prize to book her place at the 2017 Rising Phoenix. Great also to see four British women (in three different divisions) competing in such a big international pro show. It's all about those four today.
Her third show in three weeks, the unplaced Karina neither was, nor felt, at her best. The package you can see on stage is not what I wanted to show, she said afterwards, obviously disappointed. Sometimes we want to do more than our body can handle. With her Scitec UK sponsorship and ambition though, I'm sure Karina will be back, wearing yet another one of her own magnificent Sparkle Bikini creations.
Her pro debut and 6th place. I think it's fair to say Russian-born Alla won't need too long to go where only Nina Ross has gone before and represent Britain at the Olympia. UK BB sage John Plummer (who would be the UK's Steve Wennerstrom if he paid less attention to the men) noted Alla's potential a couple of years ago, and she has since gone on to represent the UK at the Arnold Europe Amateur, finishing 2nd in her (tall - she's 1.72m, 5'6") class. I don't follow Bikini but WOW! I wrote at the time. In Toronto she wowed both me, and more importantly the judges, once again.
Strangely, Alla's social media seems presence seems to have all but disappeared - with the exception of a Facebook page which was last updated in 2016. Instagram, her website... gone. Perhaps she was getting a bit too much attention, there's certainly no shortage of men (and women) waxing lyrical about her on their fitness blogs.
Celebrating after the show with Karina and Alla was Maria Scotland, who, in an ultra-competitive Figure line-up, was awarded 13th. She's becoming something of a veteran these days is Maria, who won her pro card back in 2014 at the Arnold Amateur. She has good memories of Toronto - in 2015 she placed 4th here, her best ever as a pro. It's the experience and the cameraderie though, rather than the placings, that she seems to cherish most. The best thing about the last 6 years has been meeting so many amazing strong independent women, she says. I'm sure they feel exactly the same.
By far the most exciting British result of the show though was Wendy McCready's in the Bodybuilding class. This was her first show for three years, and surrounded by women who looked to be at least three or four times her size, her ultra-conditioned package punched well above her weight and secured her a top three placing.
It was her best result since she placed third in Toronto all the way back in 2012, and the smile as she showed off her medal afterwards says it all. Congratulations Wendy!
Wendy will be competing again in Chicago at the end of the month.