by Andrew Michalak
2015 IFBB World Juniors and Masters Championships hosted national teams from 44 countries from all inhabited continents. In total, 28 sets of medals were distributed. They went to representatives of 28 countries what means that 64% of participating countries won medals. This shows how the sport quality of competitors has become equal all over the world. Gold medals went to 18 countries, included 6 to South America. This continent has become more and more powerful in the IFBB global activity. Massive participation of competitors from Central America shows further vigorous development of physique sports in this region. First medals went to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador. Europe still wins most of the medals, having very strong masters section. Due to the extremely long distance and costs of travel, Asia was less represented this time.
Spain won 10 medals, including 4 gold’s, and was an unquestionable leader in the best teams classification (130 points). Then Germany and Poland with 81 points each. What impressed me most were strong teams from Norway (6 medals, including 2 gold’s) and Colombia (2 gold medals and 2 overall titles!).
Junior Women’s Fitness open
Big changes at the top: nobody from the last year’s medal winner and two former children fitness champions who recently turned to the junior group took the top two places: Dorottya Agoston (Hungary) and Tatiana Kozuchova (Slovakia). Both were the runners-up at the 2015 European Championships (in different categories). The bronze medal went to the next Hungarian rising star Gyöngyi Kis, then two South American gifted girls: Valentina Rodríguez (Uruguay) and Karina Alvarez (Mexico).
Junior Men’s Fitness open
Lucian-Constantin Popa (Romania) has dominated the junior men’s fitness, winning last year’s Worlds as well as 2015 European junior title. Dario Molina (Ecuador) was the runner-up last year and was in the 2nd place after the routine round this year. But was scored last in the quarter turns round and dropped to the 4th position. The next Romanian star Mihai-Bogdan Moruz stayed at the 3rd position, while a new face from Hungary, Krisztián Gyulai, took the silver medal, doing well in both rounds.
Junior Men’s Classic Bodybuilding open
Last year’s champion Erik Halaska (Slovakia) came to regain the title but met a very demanding challenger Simon Bergfors (Sweden) and lost the title as Bergfors received perfect scores in all rounds. He showed fantastic, wide and thick lats and deeper separated leg muscles. Judges were unanimous. Halaska clearly second and the bronze medal went to Pavel Koukal (Czech Republic), then Olli Kemppainen (Finland).
Junior Men’s Bodybuilding up to 75 kg
The longest line-up in the history of this category at the World Championships: 18 young bodybuilders on the stage! And many well-known stars. Last year’s bronze medal winner Cedric Shelton (South Africa) dropped to the 4th place but… after being tied 53:53 with a new star from Egypt: Mohamed Khaled Ismail and being better in two rounds. What a lack of fortune! Top two places went to new stars: Tomasz Marzec (Poland) and Daniel Delgado (Spain). Marzec won the first two rounds but lost the routine round to Delgado and his total was only one point better. The 5th place for the South American champion Otto Beata (Brazil) and then Gustavo Chotan (Guatemala).
Junior Men’s Bodybuilding over 75 kg
Also long line-up, with 16 athletes. At the top a tough battle between Alexis Delobel (France) and Esteban Fuqueme (Colombia). In the first round a tie 8:8. In the second round a big advantage of Fuqueme (14:22) but in the third round Delobel showed his top quality again and won it 7:9. Anyway, it was not enough to win the category and gold medal was presented to Fuqueme. Moreover, later on he easily won the overall title over Tomasz Marzec (5:10). New star was born!
Bronze medal went to new Polish star Mateusz Zagorowski, who placed ahead of William Alves (Brazil) and the next Polish competitor Kamil Tanwic. This giant (122 kg at 194 cm) will have the next two years in juniors category and a great chance to reach the top. In the 6th place we can see the Russian giant Pavel Kotlubaev (112 kg), who had to travel from Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk (12 hours time difference!), so had some problems with maintaining top body conditions.
Junior Men’s Physique up to 170 cm
This junior division has been growing: last year only 3 athletes from Mexico were fighting in this class, this year 8 athletes from 6 countries and 3 continents. Brazil entered one of its greatest stars, 2015 Arnold Brazil winner Hygor Ponchet. He won both rounds and took the gold medal. Moreover, later on he also won the overall title. European Championships bronze medal winner Marius Varzaru (Romania) won the bronze medal in San Slavador as well. Fourth place for South American champion Felipe Bermudez (Chile). But the 2nd place went to a new face from Norway, Jose Lucero.
Junior Men’s Physique up to 175 cm
Two competitors from Europe: continental junior championships runner-up Rafal Zabawa (Poland) and 5th place winner Mert Gürler (Turkey). And the latter one made the biggest surprise winning the world junior title now. Zabawa finished in 4th place, behind Juan Abadia (Panama) and CAC Championships bronze medal winner Jorge Panameño (El Salvador).
Junior Men’s Physique up to 175 cm
South American Championships bronze medal winner Max Perales (Peru) won the world title while Cosmin-Constantin Mucedu Romania moved up from 13th place at the European Championships to the 3rd position now. Between them, as a runner-up, Leonardo Varela (Costa Rica). In 4th place Jonathan Nikander (Finland) and 1 point behind him Roger Ortez (El Salvador).
Master Women’s Physique over 35 years open
Eight athletes last year and 8 athletes this year but all of them new. Gabriele Zimmermann (Germany) was the only European competitor and European Championships runner-up but finished in 6th place in San Salvador. One place higher we can see former Japanese bodybuilder Eriko Shimizu (6th place at the 2013 Master Worlds). Fourth position for Canadian champion Evgenia Govas, bronzes medal to the local audience favorite Maite Galeano (El Sallvador). At the top a very close combat of Patricia Peña (Chile) against Adriana Bernal (Colombia). First round went to Bernal 7:10 but in the next two rounds they were tied and finally the gold medal went to Peña. Both girls met at the latest South American Championships where Peña was the winner while Bernal finished in the 3rd position.
Master Men’s Physique over 40 years open
This category was introduced last year in Morelia but there was one competitor only. This time the number of athletes have raised to 13 and their quality was very impressive. The unanimous winner was the current European master champion Rui Ferreira (Portugal). The next competitor from the European Championships finals Jean Philippe Cesari (France) was the runner-up the bronze medal winner from European Championships Ricky Bedford (United Kingdom) won the same medal in San Salvador.
Master Men’s Bodybuilding 40-49 years, up to 70 kg
Expected close duel of the top two from the last year: Miguel Angel Lopez (Spain) and Daniel Luna (Ecuador) was not so exciting as Lopez came in a fantastic body conditions, with peak definition and “to the bone” separation. Judges didn’t hesitate awarding him only “number 1” notes in all rounds. Luna as a runner-up but after close battle against Sergio Reyes (Guatemala), who was better scored in the routine round. Then Alex Carranza of Honduras and the 5th place winner: bodybuilder from far-east Asia Yukihiro Muramatsu (Japan).
Master Men’s Bodybuilding 40-49 years, up to 80 kg
2014 European master champion and Arnold Europe winner Oscar Marin (Spain) was a favorite and didn’t fail. Receiving perfect scores in all rounds he was unbeatable. Then Patrick Hunt of Germany, who at the latest Arnold Europe placed 7th but showed much better condition in San Salvador and finished in the 2nd position. Bronze medal went to Alderino Alves (Brazil), then Jacob Ramagaga (South Africa) and Carlos Artica (Honduras).
Master Men’s Bodybuilding 40-49 years, up to 90 kg
Three superstars were fighting for medals: Luis Ricardo Plata (Colombia), Fausto Caicedo (Ecuador) and Josep Merino (Spain). Arnold Europe 3rd place winner, Merino, needed sharper definition, so couldn’t challenge the top two this time, being satisfied with the bronze medal. The battle at the top was tough: Plata won the first round and the second round but with only four-point gap. Current South American champion, Caicedo, attacked him in the routine round but all he could do was a tie 8:8, so the gold medal for Plata. He has had a series of very promising successes earlier this year, including Arnold USA victory and Arnold Europe silver medal. Now the world title and even more: he won the overall category as well and the title champion of the champions. Congratulations!
Master Men’s Bodybuilding 40-49 years, over 90 kg
Last year’s world champion Horst Wetterau (Germany) was nominated but didn’t come, so the titke was waiting for a new owner. There was a couple of the most serious candidates: like 2014 European Championships runner-up Leif Hestad (Norway), Arnold USA 3rd place winner Mikhail Iusev and former bronze medal winner Jorgen Corneliussen (Norway). Iusev surprised his opponents with his top condition, won all rounds with clear advantage and got the title. Corneliussen and Hestad finished in 3rd and 4th places respectively but less successful Roberto Herranz (Spain) jumped into the 2nd position. His previous best were 6th places won at the European Championships and Arnold Europe.
Pictures by Igor Kopcek