A Tauranga woman has beaten competitors from Europe to place third in an international bodybuilding competition.
The NAC World Championships 2017 were held in Spain last month, with local bodybuilder Tina Merriman competing for the first time.
She says there were nine competing in her class – the ‘Ms. Physique' category.
“I won the New Zealand title in 2014 and 2015 for women's physique, so I decided to do some fundraising and go to the world competition.
“For me to come in the top three was quite an achievement for myself.”
Tina's been competing on stage for five years, and has been training for more than a decade.
She says her involvement in the sport began as a way to beat her alcohol addiction.
“I replaced drinking with exercise.
“My life wasn't that great at the time. But I trained and was encouraged to compete. I won as a novice athlete in 2010, which was a great boost. Four years later I won a New Zealand title.
“It gave me good focus and drive.”
Tina plans on heading to the nationals again in October.
“My training partner and I are doing mixed pairs. We've just competed in Manukau a couple of months ago and won. So we're hoping to do the same again.”
It's a sport that doesn't often get much recognition, but Tina says it's quite tough. None of it would have been possible, either, without the support of her sponsors: Nothing Naughty, X50 Green Tea, and Forever Suntanz.
“It's really hard work, involving your mind as well as your body. It's a lifestyle, as well as the big achievement at the end.”