Bodybuilder Samantha in a league of her own

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Bodybuilder Samantha Lawson has her sights set on becoming world champion after scooping the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (IBFA) British title

The fitness fanatic from Bury St Edmunds feels in a league of her own after winning the toned figure category in Gateshead on Sunday.

Her British crown has gained her an automatic invitation to the World Championships in Rome in October.

“You have to be confident, but you don’t know who you are going to come up against,” admitted Lawson.

“I will just go there and give it my best shot. It’s not just about how you look, it’s about the whole package and how you present yourself.

“I’ve only been training for three years. My husband got me into it and ever since then I’ve been hooked.”

Lawson beat nine other finalists after impressing judges during a one-minute routine, which involved incorporating bodybuilding poses into a dance routine.

On her Gateshead success, a delighted Lawson said: “It was always an ambition of mine to win a major title and there’s no better feeling than being top of your tree.

“I’m really over the moon and it makes all of that hard work so much more worth it.

“It has been something which I’ve put three years of hard work into. It isn’t just about going to the gym, it’s about my lifestyle and training too. You have to stick to a strict regime and I’ve had to sacrafice a lot to do what I’ve been doing.”

In preparation for competition, Lawson lost two stone in fat and built up her impressive muscles with gruelling weight and cardio sessions.

Lawson managed to qualify for the British Championships earlier this year, where she saw off girls half of her age in a qualifying round at Aldershot.

“There wasn’t any age specification in the qualifiers and some of the girls were half my age,” she said.

“Some of the younger girls are very sporty and take it very seriously so to beat them and make the British final was a good feeling in itself.”

She trains out of the Fitta Bodies Gym in Bury St Edmunds, which is owned by international bodybuilder Eddie Selsby, who has competed at world level in the past.

Lawson added thanks to her sponsors, Harlequin, for their continued support.