DIAMOND AMBITION

One of Britain's best juniors just missed out on an IFBB Elite Pro card last weekend – and another one will attempt to earn his this weekend.

International newcomer Natalie Liu-Roach, 21, finished second in junior bikini fitness and third in her up to 169 cm height class at the Diamond Cup in Portugal.

Diamond Cups, which are often staged alongside IFBB Elite Pro events, give amateur athletes the chance to compete for Elite Pro cards.

Natalie, who made her name by finishing second at this year's English Grand Prix, was the highest placed British athlete at the event, which attracted almost 200 competitors. 

“It was an incredible experience and the most fun event,” says Natalie. “I was so happy with the result considering I only started lifting a year ago and pride myself on being a natural athlete and competitor.”

Mariana Semchii was seventh in bikini fitness up to 164 cm and Nicola Rungo lined up in the up to 170 cm class in men's physique.

Isaac Francis, 21, who won the juniors and his height class in men's physique at this year's UK Nationals, is amongst the Brits taking part in this weekend's Diamond Cup in Luxembourg.

 Mahmoud Elmawardy hopes to win yet more silverware in muscular men's physique. PHOTO: by Christopher Bailey

Mahmoud Elmawardy hopes to win yet more silverware in muscular men's physique. PHOTO: by Christopher Bailey

The UK team also includes Mahmoud Elmawardy (muscular men's physique), Billyana Topolova (bikini fitness) and Theo Ojideh (bodybuilding).

Domestically, the action moves to Dundee this weekend for the UKBFF Scottish Championships, which is being promoted by Harry Ogg and Michelle Morris.

Good luck to everyone taking part!