by Andrew Michalak
Three top trophies to the US stars, two – for Russian girls and one to Hungarian beauty but the top two place in the overall went to Russia, so they may be satisfied. Unfortunately, last year’s overall winner Fernanda Kunze (Brazil) didn’t arrive despite being registered. Other Brazilian star and last year’s Arnold USA runner-up Joy Zoggia remains in the runner-up position in 155 cm category (Class A), losing the title by 1 point to the local fans favorite Ana Kyle from Columbus. On the other hand, Zoggia may be happy as she was tied 15:15 with 3 rd place winner Malgorzata Flis (Poland). Very tough category!
Other sensation: Cuba is back in the IFBB international circuit! Cuban bikini-fitness star Jessica Suarez Marticorena took the 5 th position and was the first IFBB Cuban athlete after a long, long break.
Two 2016 IFBB World Championships silver medal winners: Karina Gavrikova (Hungary) and Ekaterina Lapteva (Russia) confirmed their top quality. Gavrikova won the 163 cm category (Class C) over new Russian star Yulia Len, while Lapteva dominated the 170 cm category (Class E) leaving behind Bermuda’s star Nicole Tovey by 2 points only. Later on, also with 2-point gap, she won the overall title over her team-mate Tamara Shemetun.
Shemetun placed at the top of the 167 cm category (Class D) with 2-point advantage over Edel Keenehan (Ireland) who moved up from 7 th place last year in Columbus.
The titles in 159 cm category (Class B) and over 170 cm category (Class F) went to US rising stars. Class B was taken over by new, gifted athletes, with Natalie Sena (USA) at the top, Anastasiia Zolotaia (Russia) in the 2 nd position and Josela Bottarelli (Argentina) – 3 rd place. In the tallest class, over 170 cm, top two places went to new faces: Nikoleta Perinova (USA) and Etila Santiago Santos (Brazil), placing ahead of 2014 Arnold USA finalist Sophie Guidolin (Australia) and Arnold Europe runner-up Natalia Lugovskikh (Russia).
So, we could see a couple of new, successful and happy rising stars but who could be unhappy? First of all, 2016 Arnold USA winner, Angie Majeed, who ended in the elimination round of the 163 cm category and Olympia Amateur Spain finalist Szandra Horváth (Hungary) with the same result in Class F. Next start, next chance to improve.