Tuesday, 5 December 2017
NPC Nationals 2017: Figure Phenoms
Whatever else you might think of the Figure division, there's no denying how competitive it is. These four fine figure physiques left Miami with a total of zero pro cards between them, and yes, one of them is Kelsey Haas, who busted into your Hot and Hard 100 this year at #50, and who we're much more used to seeing flexing those muscles for our viewing pleasure in the gym, or even more often, in the car.
Recognise her now?
Anyway, in total, there were 116 Figure competitors this year, spread out among six different classes. In classes "C" and "D" alone there were 26 and 25 women respectively. Little wonder they give out pro cards to the class winners and the runners-up.
The big (Overall) winner on the day came from that most oversubscribed class of all, the "C" class. And while others (in this and other divisions) slug it out for years before joining the pro ranks, this was only rookie Martina Harris' fourth ever show.
She was, even to my untrained eye, a class apart from all the other women, and looks (and talks) like she knew it, too. Not that long ago she was finishing way down in 10th in her class at the IFBB North Americans, so if she continues improving at that rate she'll be a-scaring the pro tan off some top Figure ladies next year. She's not lacking in ambition either, telling Dave Palumbo in her RxMuscle interview that she's planning to make that modest little contest known as the Figure International her pro debut!
Plenty of self-confidence from Martina then, but when faced with Ms Figure Olympia herself, she did seem to have a little bit of trouble maintaining eye contact.
I fully understand.
Remember this image?
I'm pretty sure we posted it here, and it's about five years old now. I never forget up-close sweaty ripped abs, nor the name that goes with them. Or at least, I don't if the name is as memorable as Capucine Leconte, which is exactly what it is in this case.
And here she is again, five years and a considerable change in image later, winning the "A" class at the Nationals. Good to see Capucine's abs are still very much on the impressive side, though sadly not quite as sweaty on this occasion. Nor below.
Runner-up behind Capucine in the "A" class and also going home with a pro card was the Kessia Mirellys, who may well be familiar to readers due to the fact that her own brand of "sexy crazy gorgeous" - especially her line of selfies involving a bit of a flash of her 8-pack - has gained her quite a large and devoted following on the fan forums.
Over a quarter of a million Instagram followers she has - and surely they can't all be the likes of us. Oh, and Kessia is originally from Brazil, in case you weren't aware.
Unlikely this is the last you will hear about her, here or elsewhere.
2018 Hot and Hard 100 New Entry perhaps?
And at the other end of the fame scale (up to now, anyway...)
You won't find Brittany Miller, runner-up in the "D" class, on GWM or even the forum whose first rule is... However, she is notable for a couple of reasons, well, three if you like - and you may well have spotted two of them already ('cos I know, being FMS readers and all, nothing escapes you) - Best in Show rear view by a mile!!!
She is also notable for the woman who trains her - none other than the legendary Debi Laszewski, who has taken Brittany from being "a 20-year-old with an untrained body that was 32% body fat" all the way into the IFBB pro ranks. I cannot even describe the opposition I've faced from friends and family day in and day out, says Brittany. This sport was taboo and unfeminine in their eyes, an embarrassment you could say. But despite the lack of support from the majority of the people in my life, I've always had the full and utmost support from the person I've looked to the most: Debi.
And with that happy ending we leave you for today. Almost.
Check out the other 100+ women from the Figure division on NPC News Online and/or RxMuscle and tell us who you think we should have spotlighted a little more.
Here's a bit of inspiration to get you going...