by Andrew Michalak
Just a week after the World Fitness Championships in Budapest, Hungary, physique sports fans will focus on the opposite site of Eurasia, on Hong Kong, China, where the next Olympia Amateur will be held. Following events in Kuwait, Spain, Czech Republic and United Kingdom it will be the 5th Olympia Amateur from the series of seven such contests scheduled for this year. Directly from Hong Kong IFBB officials will fly to Sydney, Australia, and then to Moscow, Russia, where the finals Olympia Amateur World Showdown will take place at the beginning of December.
Under the leadership of President Hugo Chan, Hong Kong Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation has become very active, hosting top international events like International Hong Kong Championships or now Olympia Amateur. In recognition of his accomplishments, Mr. Chan was honored with the IFBB Spirit of Courage Award at the latest IFBB International Congress in Benidorm, Spain.
The event attracted over 160 competitors, who will fight for trophies in Men’s Bodybuilding (6 categories), Men’s Classic Bodybuilding (4 categories), Men’s Physique (4 categories), Women’s Physique (2 categories) and Women’s Bikini-Fitness (4 categories). Star Hall of the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre will be the venue site for this event. The date is unusual: official athletes registration will be run on Monday, November 23rd, followed by the competition on Tuesday and Wednesday and departures on Thursday. And the next day, on Friday, November 27th, Olympia Amateur Australia in Sydney will start. Well scheduled by the IFBB.
Currently, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. With population around 7.2 million inhabitants living on the area of 1104 km2 Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated metropolises and one of the most important world financial centers, alongside New York and London. Hong Kong is a member of the International Olympic Committee, IFBB and AFBF.
Most of athletes nominated to participate in Olympia Hong Kong are from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, Republic of Korea but we can also see competitors from so distant countries like Australia, Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Morocco, Norway and some other European countries.
Among the top stars we can see:
– Lee Lap Chi (Hong Kong) – 2014 Arnold USA winner (bodybuilding 70 kg)
– Nelson Totanes (Philippines) – 2012 Olympia Amateur 3rd place winner (bodybuilding 70 kg)
– Myonghun Kim (Korea) – 2000 Asian champion (bodybuilding 70 kg)
– Ariel Guong (Philippines) – 2013 Olympia Amateur and double Arnold Europe winner (bodybuilding 75 kg)
– Jinho Lee (Korea) – 2009 Asian champion and World Games winner (bodybuilding 75 kg)
– Gerald Pangan (Philippines) – 2012 Olympia Amateur winner (bodybuilding 85 kg)
– John Andrew Cifra (Philippines) – 2013 Olympia Amateur and 2014 Arnold Europe winner (bodybuilding 100 kg)
– Seungchul Lee (Korea) – 2014 Arnold USA winner (bodybuilding 100 kg)
– Pavlo Skorokhod (Ukraine) – world champion in the other organization, who will debut in the IFBB (bodybuilding over 100 kg)
– Hassan Taha (Egypt) – 2014 junior world champion (bodybuilding over 75 kg)
– Ingrid Gonzalez Bernal (Colombia) – 2015 Asian champion (bikini-fitness)
– Yi Ming Li (Chinese Taipei) – 2015 Asian champion (women’s physique)
– Kristine Finsaas (Norway) – 2014 Ben Weider Cup top three (women’s physique)