By Neto Baptiste
International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Elite Pro, Melissa Seaforth, believes the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda is fast making a name for itself on the professional scene and that athletes are fast becoming targets for other top competitors from across the world.
Seaforth’s statement comes following her triumph in the bikini fitness class of the Jan Tana Classic World Qualifier held in Stockholm, Sweden last weekend, qualifying her for the prestigious Arnold Classic slated for September 17 in Seville, Spain.
“Antigua does have a little bullseye on its backs and when countries hear we are traveling, I think they are going to be asking who is coming because they know we have top athletes. When I was backstage [the Jan Tana Classic World Qualifier held in Stockholm, Sweden] getting ready to leave, and I admire these girls so I follow them on social media and I am in awe of how they look, how they go about their training and carry themselves and they are coming to me and asking what show am I doing next, and I am saying that I am a nobody and they are asking me what I am doing. It’s actually to me when I think about it, but definitely, Antigua has made a statement,” she said.
The athlete, who finished just outside the top 10 of the Arnold Classic in 2021, said the journey as a professional has been interesting thus far, adding that it demands a mammoth sacrifice both from a financial and physical standpoint.
Seaforth added however, she is willing to stay the course.
“I know I don’t get back what I put in, and in no way shape or form could give back to those who assisted me like my trainer and my coach or my family that was basically covering most of my ticket in terms of airfare, so I am grateful for that, but by no means does it equate to whatever it really takes to prep an athlete like sending them away, the accommodation and everything in between like Covid tests to transfers and everything. I have been dieting for several months and that has a cost to it, and my bikini so it’s not comparable, but I truly love the sport so it doesn’t deter me from competing,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda is set to be represented by three professional bodybuilders at the September Arnold Classic.
Melissa joins twin sister and 2021 Arnold Classic third place finisher, Michelle Seaforth and 2021 champion, Ambassador Kimberly Percival, as the qualifiers thus far for this year’s event.