After consecutive runner-up finishes at her first two Bikini Olympias and a fifth at this year’s Bikini International, Nathalia Melo was probably wondering if her time was ever going to come.
It finally on Friday night, as Melo finally stood atop the winner’s podium on the sport’s biggest stage by winning the Bikini Olympia over two former champions. Reigning champion Nicole Nagrani placed second while India Paulino finshed third.
The knock on Melo had always been about balance – she consistently came in tight (at times too tight) in the upper body, but struggled in doing the same in the lower half, particularly from behind. She solved that problem this time, and was rewarded with the biggest win of her career.
She’s suffered a potential career-ending injury, turned 40 and seen a new wave of competitors come after her title, but Adela Garcia keeps piling up wins at a record-setting pace.
Friday night marked her seventh Fitness Olympia victory but perhaps even more impressive was how she did it – with arguably the most complete physique of her career.
There may be differing opinions on when Iris Kyle moved into a tie with Lenda Murray in the record books for most Olympia wins in history, but there’s no argument concerning who has had the greatest single run in the sport.
On Saturday night, Kyle’s eight Ms. Olympia title moved her into a tie with Murray for the most of all time. But while the Murray’s came in two acts (from 1990-95, 2002-03), Kyle has run off eight straight wins in a streak of dominance matched only by Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman’s Mr. Olympia runs.
Despite missing the first part of the season due to a leg injury, Kyle shows no signs of slowing down. She dominated the contest with a combination of size, conditioning and fullness to earn straight firsts on the judges’ scorecards.
Debbie Laszewski finished second, her highest Olympia finish to date. She also placed second at the Figure International in March.