Antoinette Downie confirmed her status as a world-class IFBB athlete with an impressive second place at the 2017 Ultimate Warriors Pro Women’s Physique contest in California over the weekend. The 38-year-old Barbadian had an enthralling showdown with American Natalie Coelho in San Diego that was close and compelling.
Reports indicate that Downie matched Coelho for condition and outgunned her rival for mass and thickness.
Coelho, who hails from Winter Garden, Florida, now qualifies for next year’s Olympia while those placing from second to fifth collected points to boost their chances of stepping on stage at the revered Olympia.
Priscila Cavilha of Brazil was third with Valentina Mishina of Russia, fourth. Melissa Pearo of Oklahoma, US, completed the top five.
Downie told MIDWEEK NATION she was delighted to have been a major contender in the strong field of 20, which attracted 13 Americans, along with entrants from Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden and Croatia.
“My nutritionist and I are happy with the physique I displayed over the weekend at the 2017 IFBB Ultimate Warriors competition. I gave my best on the day and was awarded second place.
“I now have points to carry forward to my next competition as I continue to strive for a spot at the 2018 Olympia. The competition was as I expected, women from across the world with great physiques but I was confident about my gains made in size and condition during my preparation and that I would achieve the win or top three placing,” she said.
Downie, who was the only Caribbean athlete in the contest, paid tribute to nutritionist Gareth Norris and her support team.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me such as Valley Fitness, First Fitness crew, Antoinette from Flawless Performance Centre.
“Much thanks must go to Gareth Norris, my nutritionist, who gave me lots of mental support, and Matthew Pilgrim of Summit Pro Bodies, who continues to put me on stage wearing the best swimwear,” she added.
This was the second contest of the year for the 38-year-old Downie, who cracked the top ten at the high-class Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, in March. On that occasion, she placed tenth in a field of 30.
Last year she had three top ten placings, the highlight being a victory in the Wings Of Strength Puerto Rico contest in San Juan, which qualified her to flex muscle at Olympia.
Downie will guest pose on Saturday at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic and has promised fans a performance to remember.
“I am really looking forward to Saturday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. It is going to be special for me and the fans. It is going to be great to guest-pose before Barbadian fans,” she said.
Downie will guest-pose at an event that will be enhanced by an exhibition from American Phil “The Gift” Heath, the biggest star in men’s bodybuilding for the last decade, and the winner of the last seven Mr Olympia contests.
Only legends Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney, both of whom won eight, have captured more Mr Olympia titles than Heath. (MK)