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Bodybuilding readies for the first pro show of the year
February 18, 2010
WHAT: 2010 IFBB Phoenix Pro Bodybuilding, 202, Figure & Fitness Show
WHERE: Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona
WHEN: Saturday, February 20
PREJUDGING: 11 a.m. MST
FINALS: 6:30 p.m. MST
FOR MORE INFO: Go to http://strykerx.com/pro_show.html
The 2010 bodybuilding season is set to kickoff this Saturday, February 20, in Mesa, Arizona when the IFBB’s finest athletes dominate the stage for the inaugural Phoenix Pro Bodybuilding, 202, Figure & Fitness Show.
After winning the final contest of last year’s professional season, the Sacramento Pro, Toney Freeman looks to continue his winning ways in AZ, but it won’t come easy. Melvin Anthony Jr., who had an off year in ’09 after placing fourth at the Atlantic City Pro and out of the top ten at the Mr. Olympia, is out for redemption. Troy Alves and Hidetada Yamagishi each have a buzz surrounding them heading into the show as well. In fact, photos on the FLEX Forums show Yamagishi in great form as he gets ready to make a statement in Phoenix. Alves, on the other hand, has remained cagey (he’s not releasing any pre-contest shots) but word on the street is that he’s set to rumble in his hometown. Stan Efferding, the ’09 NPC Masters Nationals super-heavyweight and overall winner and newest AMI/Weider athlete, is slated to make his debut on the IFBB stage.
The men’s open show will also feature the return of Big Quincy Taylor, who was MIA from competition last year, as well as Frank “Texas Tornado” Roberson and the ’92 Nationals light heavyweight and overall titlist John Sherman, who were both last seen onstage in ’07.
Although the 202 division is small just seven competitors the lineup is solid, with the ever-popular Roc Shabazz looking to finally take top honors as an IFBB pro. This division also features a notable comeback that of 1985 USA and World Championships middleweight winner Sean Jenkins.
The figure division could see some of last year’s pro card winners continue their march of success when ’09 Nationals overall figure winner Mindi Smith takes the stage. Kathleen Tesori, who also earned her pro card at the Nationals, will be in contention as well. Felicia Romero who placed 9th at the Figure O and took overall honors at the ’09 Border States Pro Figure will look to play the role of spoiler.
In fitness, Tanji Johnson and Julie Palmer who took 2nd and 4th respectively at the ’09 Fitness O should be battling it out for top honors, although the elegant Oksana Grishina and hard-driving Nita Marquez may have something to say about that.
In women’s bodybuilding, you can’t count out Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia. Oriquen-Garcia has won the Ms. O title (’05) and multiple Ms International titles (’02, ’08) a to try and reestablish herself as the premier female bodybuilder. But keep tabs on Betty Pariso, last year’s Tampa Pro winner, as well. Colette Nelson, Gayle Moher, Dena Westerfield and Jeannie Paparone will also be in the mix.
Then there’s rookie Zoa Linsey, the ’09 IFBB North American overall and heavyweight winner. She’s been looking huge and vascular in precontest photos while fellow newbie Akila Pervis (the middleweight winner at the ’09 USA’s) will be holding up the aesthetic end of the spectrum with her lighter frame and pleasing lines. In the end, the women’s bodybuilding lineup should produce some interesting callouts. Be sure to check back right here, on flexonline.com for breaking news, galleries and reports from Phoenix, Arizona!