Candice Keene and India Paulino, newly crowned champions at the Figure and Bikini International, scored repeat victories at the Australian Grand Prix on March 9. In figure, Keene squeaked past Erin Stern to win by a single point, further setting up the drama for season’s end, when the two will meet again onstage, along with former Olympia (and International) champ Nicole Wilkins, at the big show. Erin, you’ll recall, is the reigning Olympia champ and the winner of the previous two Australian Grand Prix.
Thirteen quarter-turners got onstage in Melbourne for this one. Also earning Olympia points in third through fifth, respectively: Candice Lewis, Mallory Haldeman and Australian Rinnah Schmid, who won her class at the Arnold Amateur a week earlier and was making her pro debut.
The point spread in bikini between Paulino and runner-up Nicole Nagrani was wider, but the setup for Olympia intrigue was the same, with current Olympia champ (and International second-placer) Nathalia Melo coming in a couple of points behind Nagrani in third. In the lineup of eight, points also went to fourth-placer Pollianna Moss and another Australian, Rhiannon Harris, who took fifth and was also making her debut.