UK BODYFITNESS STAR OLGA IN POLE POSITION FOR $9,000

Olga has been on fire this year, winning trophy after trophy.

Olga has been on fire this year, winning trophy after trophy.

UK bodyfitness athlete Olga Upelniece is in pole position for a $9,000 cheque in the 2019 IFBB World Ranking.

At the end of the year, the IFBB will award $300,000 to the 10 competitors in each division that accumulate the most points at international amateur events, such as the World Championships, European Championships, Arnold Classic Europe, Arnold Classic Africa and Diamond Cups.

And at the halfway stage, Olga ranks number one in bodyfitness. First place in this division will receive $9,000, second place $5,000, third place $3,000, four place $2,500 and fifth place $2,000, with the amount gradually decreasing down to 10th place.

Olga, who so far this year has won the Diamond Cup Hungary, the Panatta World Cup in Italy and the English Grand Prix International, is on 23 points, four points ahead of Finland's Hanna Saario and Spain's Rocio Araujo Carrasco.

She has turned down the chance to become an IFBB Elite Pro in order to see how well she can do in the world ranking.

Now, after a busy first half of the year, she plans to take a short break over summer before returning to the stage in the autumn.

“From September I'll try and do as many shows as I can,” she says.

“Seeing myself at the top of the list motivates me even more to keep going. I will do whatever I can to stay there!”

The scale of Olga's achievement is reflected by the fact that no other UK athlete currently ranks in the top 20 in any other category.

Lisa-Marie Graham and Mariana Semchii are just outside the top 20 in bikini fitness.

Stefanie Griffin is the UK's highest ranked wellness competitor, at 36th in the world.