by Andrew Michalak
Yesterday was the arrival day for all national teams, so international stars from over 20 countries are coming to Johannesburg and the Official Athlete Registration will last till 18:00 hrs. “The city of gold” will change to “the city of fitness” during the upcoming weekend, when nearly 400 competitors will meet at the Sandton Convention Center to display the human body perfection and to fight for the Pro Cards.
South African Federation and its President Wayne Price did their best to prepare every detail with special care and with the highest standards. Taking into account the number of sport divisions and categories it will be the biggest ever physique sports event in Africa and a great impulse for more dynamic development of the IFBB sports in the central and south parts of this huge continent. Most of African countries have now a very convenient opportunity to participate in the big IFBB international event without the necessity of a long-distance and expensive travels.
And they used this opportunity, entering bigger teams, included female athletes also. Female physique sports are very popular in South Africa and we will see many their top stars performing on the stage during this weekend.
Women’s Bikini-Fitness up to 160 cm: 2013 World Championships finalist and 2014 Olympia Africa winner Lizelle Horn seems to be a clear favorite. Up to 163 cm: 2015 Olympia Africa finalist Alex-Maud van der Westhuizen will meet Swedish Nationals runner-up Linda Illerstam, who will debut internationally. Up to 169 cm: fully international or even intercontinental group of stars: 2015 World Championships bronze medal winner Caroline Devaux (France) from the not-so-far located Reunion Island on the Indian Ocean will meet the 2016 World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Inc. show in Los Angeles winner Vania Sanchez (Bolivia) called in her country “magnifica” and top European junior Frida Paulsen-Stern (Sweden). Plus 2014 Olympia Africa runner-up Carmen Botha (South Africa). Up to 172 cm: the next top international star, 2015 World Championships runner-up Marina Krause (Germany) will meet South African star and 2014 Olympia Africa finalist Irna Eichorn. Over 172 cm: the top three from 2014 Olympia Africa: Angela Howden, Candice van der Merwe and Leana Viviers (all of South Africa) will meet once again. After 2 years the result of this meet may be different.
Women’s Bodyfitness: we will see many of the 2014 Olympia Africa top competitors. Up to 163 cm category: 3rd place winner Odette de Winnaar (South Africa). She will meet former top South American bikini-fitness star Kim Gutierrez (Chile), who will debut in bodyfitness now and the 2015 World Championships 8th place winner Michelle Guest (South Africa). Up to 168 cm category: Olympia Africa 1st place winner Annelize Dohne and 3rd place winner Louise Scholtz plus 2015 World Championships participant Chantel Swart (all from South Africa). In the tall class, over 168 cm, the top 2 from 2014 Olympia Africa: Cianda Nel and Marcelle Collison (both of South Africa). In 2015 Collison advanced to the top 10 at the World Championships! In 158 cm class: last year’s World Championships top 10: Karen de Beer (South Africa).
Women’s Physique: in the short class, up to163 cm, a nice group of international competitors: Ivelina Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Mona Saleh (Egypt), Monica Adah (Israel)
and Regina Jonga (Zimbabwe). Plus top two from the 2014 Olympia Africa: Tiana Flex and Lungi Plummer (boyt of South Africa).
In the tall class interesting debut of the former bodyfitness star Margita Zámolová (Czech Republic) who entered the finals of the last year’s World Championships.