by Andrew Michalak
Congratulations to Brazilian girls! Bravo! Altogether they won 5 categories and three overall titles: Fernanda Duarte Kunze (Bikini-Fitness); Michele da Silva Pinto (Bodyfitness) and Fernanda Gutilla (Women’s Physique). Adding Hygor Ponchet Men’s Physique overall victory, Brazilian fitness team dominated this year’s Arnold. Since da Silva, Gutilla and Ponchet were renown international stars, Kunze provided the biggest sensation, same kind as Aleksandra Kepa (Poland) in fitness. They appeared to be a real revelation of this event and it will be interesting to watch their further progress in our sports.
WOMEN’S FITNESS OPEN
Probably the biggest sensation of the whole event: former children fitness star, now 16 years old junior Aleksandra Kepa of Poland won over much more famous and experienced fitness stars! Aleksandra is not the first former children fitness champion who has been doing very well among seniors. Last June she participated at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, taking the 8th position. And now this unexpected victory over former world champion Vera Egorova (Russia), World Championships bronze medal winner Emma Paveley (United Kingdom) and other 9 competitors. Promising perspectives for the future for this High School student.
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE A) UP TO 155 CM
Master Women’s Bodyfitness runner-up Melanie Girard (Canada) achieved bigger success in this open category than in masters, winning this class. Master champion Maria Lopez (Mexico) resigned from competing here. Then two rising stars: Nelli Mayer (Germany) and Romance Griffin (USA).
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE B) UP TO 159 CM
Top three places for new stars: Eunjin Cho (USA), Canadian champion Mary Valid and the next US athlete Patela Rosas. They outscored more experienced competitors: Maria Mendes (Brazil), Canadian champion Mary Valid and Michelle Bailey (Trinidad & Tobago).
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE C) UP TO 163 CM
Three international stars were fighting for three top trophies. Two from Brazil: last year winner Wagna Vargas Savietto and last year’s 4rd place winner Michele da Silva Pinto as well as 2013 World Championships runner-up Iaroslava Nikolaeva (Russia), who came to Columbus to improve her position from 2014 edition (3rd place). While Nikolaeva remained in 3rd place, Brazilian girls exchanged their places. This time da Silva was unbeatable, moreover, later on she was declared the overall champion. Wonderful performance!
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE D) UP TO 167 CM
The longest category with 22 competitors. 2015 Arnold Brazil 3rd place winner Claudia Galhoti (Brazil) was measured exactly 167 cm tall and moved to this class but received the next 3rd place. Last year Arnold USA runner-up Zuleica Rezende (USA) dropped to the 5th position. At the top two new faces: Hye Yoon Kim (USA) ans Nikolett Vasvari (Hungary). First bigger international competition and first win. Only to congratulate and wish further success! European junior champion Una Heimisdottir (Iceland) in the 4th position what confirms her beg potentials. South American champion Lina Herrera (Colombia) didn’t come, CAC champion Dekel Nesbitt (Bahamas) in 13 place, North American Championships runner-up in 7th place.
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE E) UP TO 170 CM
A real match Canada (7 athletes) vs. USA (5 athletes). At the top Jessica Hubbard (USA), followed by 5 Canadian athletes but the last year winner Barbara Molyneaux (Canada) not in top shape, taking the 8th position. North American Championships 4th place winner Kelly King as a runner-up and last year’s 5th place winner Marcia Olsen moved up to the 3rd position now. Displaying perfect body condition and harmonized figure, Hubbard won both rounds with perfect scores.
WOMEN’S BODYFITNESS (FIGURE F) OVER 170 CM
Close combat of three girls: Tiffany Szumila and Jaslyn Antonini (both of the USA) and Angela Eramo (Italy). Antonini placed 5th at the 2015 NPC Nationals, Szumila in the semifinals of the Team Universe, Eramo in the semifinals of the European Championships, so all of them are riding stars hungry of success. This success came to Szumila this time, who unanimously won the final round. But in the semifinals Eramo was only 1 point behind her and Antonini 2 points behind her.
Michele da Silva Pinto (Brazil) dominated the overall battle, leaving behind Hye Yoon Kim and Eunjin Cho (both USA) and Melanie Girard (Canada).
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS A) UP TO 155 CM
Big category of 21 competitors and it was easy to be lost in this crowd. Last year’s runner-up Mary Carriedo and 4th place winner Karen Pham (both of Canada) experienced this ending in the elimination round. But last year’s winner Sherry Junsay Espera (Philippines) remained at the top, showing perfect body quality and physique once again. Brazilian new star Joy Zoggia places 2nd, three points behind her and then last year’s 3rd place winner Stephania Andrade (Mexico) who duplicated her achievement. In 4th place new face from the United Kingdom Krishna Kataria, ahead of Arnold Europe runner-up Yulia Khotkina (Russia). A group of very nice, top quality athletes!
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS B) UP TO 159 CM
Big category with 26 athletes and many stars among them. Third place winner at the 2015 NPC Nationals, Angie Majeed (USA), exploded with body condition and outscored her main opponents. She was measured 159 cm sharp and decided to compete in this class. Flor Maria Romero (El Salvador) moved up from 5th place last year to the runner-up position. South American champions Magdalena Vazquez (Paraguay) jumped to 3rd position, what is her best achievement. Megan Petty began her sport career in the best possible style, winning her very first contest: NPC Lee Haney Games. Now, taking the 4th position, only confirmed that she has been gifted with perfect physique. She placed ahead of a group of renown champions: last year’s 3rd place winner Julenoy Dias (Brazil), Olympia Amateur Moscow runner-up Elena Gomulina (Russia) and last year’s Arnold USA runner-up Danitza Espino (Mexico). It counts.
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS C) UP TO 163 CM
Nearly 40 athletes entered the stage and it was a really impressive moment. Last year’s 3rd place winner Julie Royer (Canada) and Soutyh American star Kim Gutierrez (Chile) couldn’t go further than elimination round. Last year’s winner Sabina Plevakova (Slovakia) was dethroned, dropping to the 3rd place. Who was able to do that? No one else like the World Championships bronze medal winner Alexandra Kocsis (Hungary) who is progressing very quickly, and 2015 Arnold Europe winner Anastasiia Volkova (Russia). The real clash of the IFBB superstars but only one could win!
Behind them, new US star Rose Scarborough and the South American hope, well-promising Giannina Lujan Ripoll (Peru).
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS D) UP TO 167 CM
Still nearly 40 athletes on the stage and probably the biggest bikini-fitness sensation: 2015 South American Championships runner-up Fernanda Duarte Kunze (Brazil) not only won over so big stars like 2015 Arnold Europe winner Ekaterina Krasavina (Russia) and World Championships finalist Madelen Myhr (Sweden) but later on was declared the “champion of the champions” – the best bikini girl at this year’s Arnold! Great step in her sport career. Good luck!
The next sensation: 2nd place for new face from Hungary, Anita Herbert. Behind her Krasavina, Myhr and the best US girl, 3rd at the NPC Nationals Camila Caicedo.
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS E) UP TO 170 CM
The next category where we the former champion was dethroned. Mimi Macias (USA) won last year but now took the 4th place only. Who was better? Two Canadians: 5th at the National Championships Adriana Gentile and personal trainer from Ottawa Torrence Petit. Moreover, former CAC fitness champion from Bermuda Nicole Tovey. Then Macias, new rising star from Slovakia Jana Milova and the next star, 2015 Arnold Brazil 3rd place winner Sarah Reis (Brazil).
WOMEN’S BIKINI-FITNESS (CLASS F) OVER 170 CM
Jil Bunny (Canada) regained the title won last year but failed to grasp the overall trophy. She was closer, moving up from 3rd position to 2nd place but Fernanda Kunze was scored definitely better. Then two US competitors. Emily Duncan started as a competitive dancer and came to the gym for therapy purposes to strengthen her strained hip muscles. And stayed till now. Still very young and dreaming about a great sport career. After this success she is much closer to make her dreams true. Courtney Wicks has made a big progress advancing from 11th place last year to the medal zone. Then Arnold Classic Europe finalist Helga Stibi (Ireland)
Six champions from 6 categories entered this class fighting for the “best of the best” title and the Pro Card. This battle was tough but the winner was clear: Fernanda Duarte Kunze (Brazil)! She won 9:15 over Jil Bunny (Canada) and the next Canadian, Adriana Gentile.
Pictures: by Igor Kopcek