by Andrew Michalak
Photos: Igor Kopcek (www.eastlabs.sk)
With this Olympia Amateur in Torremolinos (Malaga), Spain is entering the Olympia Amateur circle, which has been exploded with nearly 10 contests this year! Torremolinos is not a new place in the world map of the IFBB championships as it hosted the 1st IFBB World Juniors and Masters Championships in 1982 and neighbor Malaga hosted this event in 1983. Then IFBB athletes returned to Torremolinos in historical year of 2000 to participate in the European Women’s Championships. Now the city will host one of the biggest and most prestigious IFBB international event: Olympia Amateur, with its five most popular IFBB sport divisions and over 20 categories.
Olympia Amateur Spain will be attended by the top IFBB and EBFF officials: President Dr. Rafael Santonja, EBFF Vice-Presidents: Pawel Filleborn and Benedetto Mondello, Asian Federation Vice-President Bader Boodai, Executives: Wanda Tierney, Marco Bosco and Dr. Wolfgang Schober. This Opympia Amateur is second it this year’s series, after Olympia Amateur Kuwait held in May. The next will be Olympia Amateur Latin America in Mexico at the end of this month.
In the list of competitors nominated by National Federation we can see athletes from 38 countries and 5 continents. Among them many top IFBB international stars who will battle for the IFBB Pro League Pro Cards. Where the most exciting and spectacular battles can be expected?
80 kg category: the latest Arnold Classic Brazil runner-up Antonio Inacio Santiago (Brazil) will meet the 2010 European champion and 2013 Arnold Europe winner Jonatan Reverte (Spain), who was the 1st Olympia Amateur champion in 2011 in London and will try to recapture the title. Then his team-mate and the next very demanding bodybuilder: the current European champion Alberto Galan. Then 2012 Olympia Amateur winner Mohamed Alrashed (Kuwait). Incredible set of champions!
85 kg category: two-time Arnold Brazil winner Isaquiel Balbi (Brazil) against 2008 European champion and 2015 runner-up (masters) Josep Merino (Spain) and his colleague from the Spanish team Andres Corrales – finalist of the latest European Championships.
90 kg category: very long line-up of 20 athletes. Among them: 2013 Olympia amateur and Arnold Europe winner and 2015 Arnold USA runner-up Ahmed Ashkanani (Kuwait), 2015 European masters champion Manuel Canadillas (Spain) and the next top master: 2013 Arnold Europe winner Marek Vomacka (Czech Republic).
100 kg category: 2014 European champion and Amateur Olympia Europe runner-up Miha Zupan (Slovenia), 2014 Arnold Europe runner-up Kille Kujala (Finland), 2015 Arnold USA 3rd place winner Ludovic Bogaert (France), 2015 Cup of Spain overall winner and European Championships bronze medal winner Marti Pozzi (Spain), 2011 world junior champion Milan Oboril (Czech Republic) and 2015 European Masters Championships runner-up Eduardo Urrutikoetxea (Spain). A mixture of champions where every one of them may emerged as a winner.
Over 100 kg category: also very impressive, with 15 athletes. Among them 2011 Arnold Europe winner and South American champion, charismatic blind bodybuilder Luis Gigena (Argentina), 2014 Olympia Amateur Latin America runner-up Sergio Fernandez (Dominican Republic), 2014 Asian Championships bronze medal winner Sulaiman Altarkit (Kuwait), 2014 Olympia Amateur Europe 3rd place winner David Hoffmann (Germany). Every result is possible!
Men’s Classic Bodybuilding up to 175 cm category looks great, with the current European champion Adil Barini and runner-up Fernando Gornals (both of Spain), who will fight against two famous Italians: coming back after so many years 2006 World Championships overall winner and 2007 world champion Luca Iacobucci and 2013 European champion Gabriele Giansante.
It seems that in the tall class, over 180 cm, the current European Championships overall winner Jack Overberg (Norway) will be a clear favourite.
170 cm class: the next duel of top two international champions from Spain: current world champion Carlos Nunez and Miguel Angulo, who won medals at the continental championships.
174 cm class: top two from the latest European Championships: Juan Faro Barro (Spain) and Robert Berg (Norway) plus 2014 world junior champion Pontus Koskelainen (Sweden).
178 cm class: 2014 Arnold Europe and 2015 Arnold USA runner-up Andrea Mosti (Italy), 2014 World Cup overall winner and 2015 European Championships runner-up Law Shala (Sweden), 2014 World Cup runner-up David Fillol (Spain), 2014 Arnold Europe 3rd place winner Enrique Gutierrez (Spain). The battle will be tough!
Over 178 cm class: 2014 Arnold Europe winner Alberto Hiciano (Spain), 2015 European champion Jorge Sanchez (Spain) and bronze medal winner Francesco Montuori (Italy) plus 2015 Arnold USA top three Abdulaziz Alnajjar (Kuwait) and two finalists of the latest European Championships: Ramses Rodriguez and Pablo Ramis (both of Spain). Also 2014 Arnold Europe 3rd place winner George Luis Estrella and his brother Jhon Albert Estrella (both Dominican Republic). The title may stay in Spain or will go to the East (Kuwait) or to the West (Dominican Republic).
158 cm class: 2014 World Cup winner and 2014 World Championships bronze medal winner Maria Aranguren (Spain), 2014 European Championships runner-up Iveta Kuglerova (Slovakia), 2014 Arnold Europe 3rd place winner Carla Fernandez (Spain).These three already met many times at the top international events. What will be the result of their next combat?
163 cm class: top three from the 2014 World Cup: Sara Diaz Rodriguez, Jennifer Rocio (both of Spain) and Nira Mählmann (Germany). Also the current European champion and 2014 Arnold Europe runner-up Rodika Bodrug (Sweden), 2014 European Championships bronze medal winner Donna Brennan (Rep. of Ireland),
169 cm class: 2014 World Cup winner Flaviana Pereira (Spain) and 3rd place winner Ekaterina Rozemborskaya (Ukraine).
Over 169 cm class: next meet of the 2014 Arnold Europe winner and World Championships runner-up Kristina Nuut (Estonia) and the current European overall champion Kseniia Sheveleva (Russia) should be very spectacular. The challengers: finalists of many continental and world events: Biliana Yotovska (Bulgaria), Reet Reimets (Estonia), Mariella Pellegrino (Italy), Raquel Canton and Soraya Alvarez (both of Spain). This will be the first appearance of Sheveleva after her great victory in Santa Susanna a month ago, but she has to cover a distance of over 10.000 km from her home city of Vladivostok (far East Asia). Will she win the overall title and the Pro Card?
163 cm category: former world bodybuilding champion and current European women’s physique champion Alina Cepurniene (Lithuania) will try in women’s bodyfitness this time. Her battle against the 2012 European Junior Championships overall winner Doina Gorun (Italy), 2014 Arnold Europe runner-up Bienvenida Bevia (Spain) and 2014 World Championships bronze medal winner Margita Zamolova (Czech Republic) might be very attractive. Plus few finalists of some top international events: Roberta Visintainer and Silvia Cecchinato (both of Italy), Maria Bozinowska and Lucia Umpierez (Spain), Caroline Solano (Dominican Republic).
Over 163 cm category: top emotions guaranteed: current world champion Maria Hasselmark (Sweden) vs. current European champion Elena Kirshchina (Azerbaijan).