by Andrew Michalak
This is the 7th and the last Olympia Amateur this year, and the 3rd held weekend by weekend, after events in Hong Kong and Sydney. It is not the first Olympia in Moscow but held in a new, bigger and most prestigious place: Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center. This is an international centre for business and leisure. The complex’s infrastructure meets the highest international standards. At different times Sokolniki hosted the largest international exhibitions and conferences. High standard 25-storied Holiday Inn Moscow Sokolniki hotel is an official hotel for the event. This both places create the best possible conditions for staging and running Olympia Amateur competition. The contest is honored by the presence of IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja, IFBB Judges Committee Chairman Pawel Filleborn and AMI Vice-President Robin Chang. Also popular IFBB officials: Natalia Nazarenko-Kiivikas and Armando Marquez. Plus a long list of famous pro bodybuilders: Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson, Rich Gaspari, Shawn Rhoden, Branch Warren. Most of them came to Moscow not only as viewers but to promote products offered by their sponsors or directly by themselves.
Compared to previous year, this year’s Olympia Moscow is much bigger, including four IFBB sport divisions: Men’s Bodybuilding (6 categories), Men’s Physique (3 categories), Women’s Bodyfitness (3 categories) and Women’s Bikini-Fitness (3 categories). Official registration of athletes was run on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015. Semifinals of all categories will be run on Friday, and finals on Saturday.
Men’s Bodybuilding: two last year’s winners from Moscow: Babak Akbarnia and Morteza Oveisi (both of Iran) came to regain the titles and search the possibility to win the overall. But this time Akbarnia came is a glory of the current world champion and will battle in the heavier class – up to 85 kg. He will meet 2014 European Championships runner-up Aleksey Denisov (Russia), 2015 Arnold Europe 3rd place winner Yevgeniy Yakimov (Kazakhstan) and 9 other bodybuilders.
Oveisi won the 95 kg class last year, won Arnold Europe and Ben Weider Cup this year but competes in the heavier class, up to 100 kg. He will meet his team-mate and last year’s runner-up Ayat Bagheri.
Very interesting battle in the super heavyweight class, over 100 kg. Top two from the last year didn’t come. The 3rd place winner, Majtaba Notarki (Iran) was very dissatisfied with his place, so came this year to fight for the title once again. His most demanding opponents: World Championships finalist and Olympia Prague runner-up Ivan Vodyanov (Russia), Olympia Liverpool runner-up Paul Poloczek (Germany) and the current European champion Aleksey Tronov (Russia).
World Championships runner-up (90 kg) and Ben Weider Cup winner Khalil Asadi (Iran) competes in 95 kg this time. His most demanding challengers: current Russian champion Evgeniy Klochkov, Olympia Prague finalist Gabriel Opare (Spain). In 90 kg category last year’s 3rd place winner and former Asian champion Mahdi Pirsarandib (Iran) will battle against 2015 Arnold USA winner Ahmed Elzaiat (Egypt) and 2015 World Champiopnships runner-up (85 kg) Zohir Mihoubi (Algeria).
Women’s Bodyfitness: a couple of top international superstars: current world champion Yulia Ushakova (Russia), World Championships runner-up and Olympia Liverpool winner Angela Derzapf (Germany), Olympia Prague 3rd place winner Nadia Isabella Pettersen (Norway), European Championships bronze medal winner Tatsiana Belavinskaya (Belarus), Nicole Wilkins Championships runner-up Stanislava Ticha (Slovakia), Arnold Europe finalist Olga Shestoperova (Russia).
Women’s Bikini-Fitness: world champion Ekaterina Shokhina (Russia), Arnold USA 3rd place winner Julenoy Dias (Brazil), Arnold Europe runner-up Yulia Khotkina (Russia), Olympia Spain finalist Sara Diaz Rodriguez (Spain), former Arnold Europe winner Kristina Nuut (Estonia), Arnold Europe finalist Alena Yarovan (Russia),
Men’s Physique: Ben Weider Cup winners: Arash Fayazi and Ali Aghabeigloo (both of Iran), World Championships finalist Aleksandr Timofeev (Russia), Olympia Spain runner-up Pontus Koskelainen (Sweden), David Fillol, Olympia Spain winner Miguel Angulo, Olympia Liverpool winner Bader Alsabaa (Kuwait), Olympia Liverpool 3rd place winner Abel Carreno (Spain).
A couple of pictures from the Registration, by Igor Kopcek.
11. Ireland, Rep. of
17. Saudi Arabia
19. South Africa