'It is just so addictive' - Dereham woman wins multiple bodybuilding titles
PUBLISHED: 08:52 04 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:59 04 August 2019
A young bodybuilder is riding the crest of a wave after enjoying a string of recent success.
Katie Da Silva's whirlwind year of competition got off to a flyer as she triumphed in the junior bikini category at the UKBFF Classic Championships in St Albans in June.
And it became a day to savour for Miss Da Silva, 21, as she also came out on top in the women's category - in which she was the youngest competitor by six years.
The Dereham-based social media influencer went on to compete in the International English Grand Prix in Reading, featuring entrants from across the globe.
On her 21st birthday she once again emerged victorious, returning home from Berkshire with a first-place in the junior women's bikini-fitness category.
Miss Da Silva says she never could have foreseen such success when she started bodybuilding three years ago.
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"I was watching my boyfriend doing a show and the bikini girls came out beforehand," said Miss Da Silva. "I remember thinking 'I want to do this!'
"I was already into fitness but thought this would be a really good way of challenging myself. The following year I got myself a coach and made it to the British finals, but this year has been crazy.
"I'm really happy with how things have gone, but shocked because competing in the women's at the UKBFF Championships was something I'd never done before. Being the youngest was quite daunting - I didn't think I even had a shot."
In addition to winning multiple titles, Miss Da Silva's recent performances have opened the door to a number of other esteemed contests.
Double success in St Albans meant an invite to the British Finals in October, while leading the pack at the English Grand Prix resulted in qualification for the European edition of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic in Barcelona.
But, as proof of her unrelenting ambition, Miss Da Silva has opted against competing in the juniors at the Arnold Classic and will instead turn her attentions to next year's women's classification.
"At the moment I'm keen to make some improvements and want to really push myself," she added.
"Bodybuilding is just so addictive and I love putting in the work. It's helped me in life as well, to show me you're capable of achieving anything if you put your mind to it."