By Neto Baptiste
The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Elite Pro, Melissa Seaforth, is expressing both shock and excitement over her top place finish in the Bikini Fitness Class in the Jan Tana Classic World Qualifier held in Stockholm, Sweden over the weekend.
The victory has qualified the Antigua and Barbuda athlete for the 2022 Arnold Classic slated for September 17 in Seville, Spain.
Speaking with Observer media from Sweden, Seaforth said that although she went into last weekend’s pro show in good condition, she was still a bit skeptic after seeing her competition for the first time.
“I know there was a slim chance because I know I was bringing my best package. I knew I was bringing my best me to date but at the same time bikini is just a very competitive sport, and once I go there and realised some of my competitors that I was going up against, one of whom was fifth place from World Championships in 2022 as well as a multi champion, I got a little [skeptical]. I knew I’d be good but I did not think I could really beat them,” she said.
The athlete — who finished just outside the top 10 at the 2021 Arnold Classic World Championship held in Seville, Spain — said having hit the mark in her first professional show for the year, provides her with the necessary time and room to prepare for the bigger stage.
“I wanted to start early to give myself the best chance to qualify so, obviously, I was leaving room for if I didn’t make it from the first show in the year. But it so happened that I made it and got my qualification so I think my focus is going to shift more towards continuing to improve. I did go to the judges to get their feedback because I might have won on that day but … I want to improve on my package for World Championships,” she said.
Seaforth admitted she was fuelled by the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic as she prepared for Jan Tana Classic.
“My drive has been to just always keep improving despite whatever challenges were ahead of me and the fact that the gyms were closed with restrictions didn’t decrease my motivation. In fact, on the 23rd of March is when they lifted the travel restrictions for Sweden, so prior to that I wasn’t even sure I would have been able to enter Sweden. But I really wanted to do the show so I prepped hard for it,” the bikini fitness athlete 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.