Malta’s own Leanne Bartolo placed fourth in the Bikini category at the recent World Fitness Federation World Championships. This year’s competition, which welcomed hundreds of athletes from all over the globe, was held between 9-10 November in Mexico. Ms Bartolo, a schoolteacher who is currently on sabbatical to focus on her training, currently holds the coveted title of WFF European Bikini Champion having won first place in the 2018 competition.
Asked about the recent contest and her placing, Ms. Bartolo said, “placing fourth is amazing, especially considering I was less prepared than usual for this competition, as I had to fit the whole preparation process into seven weeks instead of the usual 12 or 13. I’m glad I pushed myself and am thrilled with the result. I was also given some excellent individual feedback by one of the judges.”
The World Fitness Federation (WFF) was founded in 1968 as an international fitness, model and bodybuilding association. Its competitions promote athletic figures, and different categories have their own standards of aesthetic quality and shape beyond just muscle mass.
The WFF Bikini Model category is focused on proportion and shape above muscularity. Aside from great stage presence, which is an essential factor, the WFF stipulates that Bikini models should have good definition through their abs, shoulders and back, with less leg definition, especially between hamstrings and quads. Ms. Bartolo commented, saying, “I like being fit – I love running – but I tend to focus less on heavy lifting. One of the judges advised me that a bit more weight training, especially in the lower body, could earn me the winning spot in this competition. This piece of advice was really helpful and a huge psychological boost for me to keep pushing harder.”
As European champion, Leanne is automatically entitled to WFF Pro status meaning she can compete in future international competitions. Preparation for these events involves intense training, and she says that, ultimately, it’s the support she gets back home that makes it all worth it.
“Returning from the World Championships, I received lots of positive feedback from friends and family, ex-students and trainees. For me, having this love and support is the biggest prize anyone could ask for. All in all, I’m incredibly proud of myself, and excited to move forward and achieve more success.”
For more information about Leanne and her on-going journey, follow her on Instagram.