HE didn’t win the Mr World title outright, but Limerick model Leo Delaney won acclaim on the double at the event in the UK last weekend, writes Anne Sheridan.
Hosted by Kamal Ibrahim, the previous Limerick winner of the Mr World title, and presenter Myleene Klass, Leo came third overall and also won the Mr World Sports Champion.
The 22 year-old University of Limerick student joined the 48 Mr World finalists in Kent last Friday where they were pushed to the limits and tested on their strength, intelligence and abilities. They attended army bootcamp, performed military drills and tackled an assault course.
“It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life, and I enjoyed every minute. We stayed in a five-star hotel for two and half weeks, with great gym facilities and the best of healthy food, and I was with a group of guys who have the same interests,” he told the Limerick Leader.
One hotel in Kent reported that they had to order an extra 1,500 eggs that week to keep up with their high protein, low fat diets.
After winning the sports category, Leo was fast-tracked into the top 10, but didn’t learn this until the finale.
“I was shocked, but delighted. You are constantly being judged throughout the competition, and it’s not easy to come out of your shell when you’re always being watched, even though you just want to be yourself.”
Leo, who is a model with the Celia Holman Lee and Andrea Roche agencies, moved to Limerick five years ago from Dublin and lives in Castletroy. He moved here to be closer to the high performance centre in UL, having represented Ireland in swimming since the age of 15.
Once he has completed his studies in UL in construction management and engineering, Leo is considering a move to London or New York to continue his modelling career and give it his “full whack”.
He said he has ambitions to own his own business, though it may not lie in construction in the current climate.
Leo was the first Mr Ireland to be crowned since Limerick’s Kamal Ibrahim took the title. The Thomondgate man then went on to win the Mr World title in 2010 and retained it until now.
The 2013 winner of Mr World is Francisco Javier Escobar Parra, 21, from Colombia.