A TONED Bolton lass has found her place on the national stage after showcasing her body before a panel of judges.

Personal trainer Alexandra Richmond said she is "overwhelmed" at her success in her latest bodybuilding competition — Mr and Miss England Toned Figure.

The 28-year-old who lives in Astley Bridge was named the winner of the women's toned category and also clinched the bronze trophy for women overall.

She said: "I cried when I found out I had won. It was so overwhelming.

"Every time you go on stage you get a rush of adrenaline. You forget about the fact you are up there being compared with other girls. It is about showcasing all your hard work and being appreciated.

"It is quite overwhelming. Just before I go on stage I get scared and nervous but as soon as I am on there I don't stop smiling."

Alexandra entered her first contest this February, and had only competed in four competitions prior to the Bodybuilding and Fitness Association's (IBFA) Mr and Miss England Toned Figure.

In April, she placed second in the bikini category at the annual Mr and Miss Bolton after spending 10 weeks in training and working on her diet.

Following advice from the judges, she entered the toned figure category at the British finals, held in Newcastle on June 10, where she placed fifth.

Alexandra said: "I only intended to do the one show but I liked it that much that I decided to carry on.

"It is all about discipline and making sure you get your workouts in and your diet is on point. I think about the end result."

Parents Sharon Richmond, aged 63, and William Richmond, aged 74, attended her latest competition at the South Holland Centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

They attribute their daughter's success to her job as a personal trainer at Kings Gym in Farnworth, and, in part, to her fiancé of 12 years Richard Whittle.

Sharon, who lives in Breightmet, said: "I feel proud as punch. Her dad is over the moon.

"It was a brilliant atmosphere at the competition.

"I cannot believe it. She used to be so shy when she was young. I think her man has given her confidence.

"I'm hoping this will help her career."

Alexandra's success at the national show, held on September 15, secures her a place in next year's British finals.

She said: "I'm working towards taking something bigger and better to the stage next year."