by John Plummer

Photography by Kevin Horton

You can view and buy photos here https://www.ukbffphotos.com/2019/ENGLISH-GRAND-PRIX-INTERNATIONAL

To order all your images as a package, email ukbffphotos@gmail.com

UK athletes dominated on the concluding day of the IFBB English Grand Prix International.

A total of 68 athletes take to the stage, after 58 competed on day one.

The bodybuilding battle was, for many, the highlight, featuring four outstanding weight class winners going head to head. After a memorable posedown, James Watts was the last man standing to earn an IFBB Elite Pro card.

Fellow UK athlete Ashleigh Jackson had the same distinction in bikini fitness to end a rollercoaster week on a high – read her remarkable story below.

This was the first big IFBB competition in the UK for a few years and for many of the home athletes it was a first taste of international competition. With so many doing well, let's hope they're encouraged to have a go at some overseas events, like Diamond Cups and Arnold Classics, where more pro cards will be available.

Next up is the Welsh Championships in Newport on Sunday.

James Watts is congratulated by UKBFF president Bill Tierney (right) and event co-promoter Sean O’Reilly.

James Watts is congratulated by UKBFF president Bill Tierney (right) and event co-promoter Sean O’Reilly.


James Watts doesn't smile often but he did make an exception when he won the up to 90 kg class and then when he was named overall champion.

James is one of the most successful British amateurs of all time, having won the national title at 80 kg and 90 kg but he is now a pro. He did it in style: showing sick hamstrings and glutes, his trademark triceps and a ton of shapely muscle, with a tight waist too.

Everyone knew an in shape James would be hard to beat but this was no gimme: the overall featured three other outstanding physiques, including rising star Besjan Osmani, who defeated defending champion Mickael Boinot in the over 100 kg class. Mickael packs a ton of muscle and looked the winner when the class walked out but Besjan has a phenomenal shape that comes alive when he poses and as the judging wore on he got stronger and it was clearly going to be a close call.

Besjan Osmani, over 100kg bodybuilding winner.

Besjan Osmani, over 100kg bodybuilding winner.

Spain's Juan De Las Heras had a bit too much muscle for Brits Lee Swinhoe and Matt O'Reilly in the up to 100 kg class. Lee had to settle for runners-up spot for the second year running. His hamstrings were through, and with his thick, dense muscularity, and spectacular most muscular, he pushed Juan hard. Bronze medal winner Matt O'Reilly had exquisite shape and pulled off a vacuum pose but looked a little light.

Spain's Maximiliano Rodriquez Jimenez proved too tough a nut to crack in the 80kg class, combining rock hard conditioning with a lot of balanced muscle to overcome a strong challenge from the UK's Yasser Farhat.

Ashleigh Jackson, overall bikini fitness champion.

Ashleigh Jackson, overall bikini fitness champion.


Despair turned to joy for Ashleigh Jackson, who dislocated her knee less than a week before this competition. Ashleigh was left lying in agony on the gym floor after lunging and feared she wouldn't be able to compete but she showed great courage and tenacity to get her reward – an IFBB Elite Pro card. With her attractive shape and good presentation, Ashleigh has been swirling around the top spots for some time and it was great to see her finally land the big one on an international stage. She was awarded her trophy by Dibsy McClintock, who is being featured on TV tomorrow night for losing 16 stone. Ashleigh and Dibsy share the same coach, who is clearly a versatile guy.

Ashleigh overcame fellow UK athlete Victorija Ruminaviciute and Iceland's Kristjana Kristiusdottir in the overall. Victorija is another one who has been threatening to do something special for a while – she has fantastic stage presence and a top quality package.

Icelandic beauty Kristjana Kristiusdottir relegated the UK's Tereza Sukova to silver in the tall class. Tereza nevertheless enhanced her reputation with a classy display of sculpted bikini muscle.


Katie Da Silva followed up her double gold at St Albans a fortnight earlier with another impressive victory, combining beauty and shape with the right level of conditioning for this class. Runner-up Paige Garner, pushed Katie hard, showing great conditioning and balance to excel in the rear poses. Bronze medallist Sarah Burdock probably had the best lower body, with her impressive hamstrings, a testament to her years of gymnastics, prominent in the side poses.


Brett Stephens followed his victory in the masters over 40s at last year's British Championships with another first place. Brett packs a lot of muscle on his tall frame and now has the opportunity to compete in the IFBB's new pro division for masters. Fellow UK athlete Keith Nimo continues to tantalise – he probably had the best shape in the class, performed a brilliant routine but wasn't sharp enough and had to settle for fourth, one spot higher than Emi Roberti, who most certainly was in shape but was slightly outsized. Ayo Johnson, who had 25 years away from the stage, rounded out the top six.

Masters bikini fitness over 163 cm: 1 Katerina Jakubcova (centre) 2 Becky Goodall (left) 3 Yvette Geary.

Masters bikini fitness over 163 cm: 1 Katerina Jakubcova (centre) 2 Becky Goodall (left) 3 Yvette Geary.


It was little surprise to see a strong UK contingent given the fierce competition in this class this year in the UKBFF but no one could stop Spain's Kamila Pardamkova from winning the overall title. Kamila brought a fantastically complete and streamlined package to the stage with particularly terrific legs. Her calves were unreal. Kamila also finished third in her open class. Meg Lawrence, fresh from her victory in St Albans, completed another impressive display with silver, ahead of fellow UK athlete Daniela Blazheva, in the short class. Katerina Jakubcova won the all-UK affair in the over 163 cm class. What a top three this was, with Becky Goodall and the Amazonian Yvette Geary, both high quality champions, pushing her hard. Kamila took the overall, but both class winners were awarded masters pro cards.

Muscular Men's Physique

There was little debate about the top two. The only question was, how could you separate them? The question applied in more ways than one because Marcel Feber and Fabian Feber are identical twins. The two Germans dominated the class with fresh good looks and high quality physiques, with top spot going to Marcel.



James Watts - UK


Ashleigh Jackson – UK


Kamila Pardamkova – Spain

Masters Bodybuilding over 40

1 Brett Stephens - UK

2 Juan Martin Munoz – Spain

3 Rafael De Pedro Redondo - Spain

4 Keith Nimo – UK

5 Emi Roberti – UK

6 Ayo Johnson - UK

Junior Bikini Fitness

1 Katie Da Silva – UK

2 Paige Garner – UK

3 Sarah Burdock – UK

4 Greta Supinaite – UK

Bodybuilding up to 80 kg

1 Maximiliano Rodriquez Jimenez – Spain

2 Yasser Farhat – UK

3 Juan Martin Munoz – Spain

4 Emi Roberti – UK

5 Jonathan Whitehead – UK

Masters Bikini Fitness up to 163 cm

1 Kamila Pardamkova – Spain

2 Meg Lawrence – UK

3 Daniela Blazheva – UK

4 Szilvia Babinszki – UK

5 Rocio Pedrero – Spain

6 Alison Fernandes - UK

Masters Bikini Fitness over 163 cm

1 Katerina Jakubcova – UK

2 Becky Goodall – UK

3 Yvette Geary – UK

4 Pamela David – UK

5 Natasha Arkley – UK

Bodybuilding up to 90 kg

1 James Watts – UK

2 Jorge Fernandez – Spain

3 Peter Schwarz – Germany

4 Rafael – Spain

5 Jody Hopwood – UK

6 Calvin Boparan – UK

Bikini Fitness up to 160 cm

1 Victorija Ruminaviciute - UK

2 Brigitta German – Ireland

3 Kamila Pardamkova – Spain

4 Paige Garner – UK

5 Sarah Burdock – UK

6 Petya Yordanova – Bulgaria

also competed: Polina Hubavenska, Rocio Pedrero and Daniela Blazheva

Bodybuilding up to 100 kg

1 Juan De Las Heras – Spain

2 Lee Swinhoe – UK

3 Matt O'Reilly – UK

4 Kemal Topaloglu – Turkey

Bikini Fitness up to 166 cm

1 Ashleigh Jackson – UK

2 Mariana Semchii – UK

3 Martyna Derlat – Poland

4 Szilvia Babinszki – UK

5 Heather Smith – UK

6 Rosa Svenn – Finland

Bodybuilding over 100 kg

1 Besjan Osmani – UK

2 Mickael Boinot – UK

3 Brett Stephens – UK

4 Keith Nimo – UK

Muscular Men's Physique

1 Marcel Feber – Germany

2 Fabian Feber – Germany

3 Rosario La Marca - Belgium

4 Aitor Rodriguez – Spain

5 Martin Jez – Czech Republic

Bikini Fitness over 166 cm

1 Kristjana Kristiusdottir – Iceland

2 Tereza Sukova – UK

3 Dominika Korzen – UK

4 Becky Goodall – UK

5 Noora Kesti – Finland

6 Greta Supinaite – UK

also competed: Yvette Geary