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Women’s Physique Division Back In 2016 IFBB New York Pro
- Updated: February 13, 2016
The IFBB landscape is one that’s certainly hard to figure out. Female bodybuilding has been more or less replaced by the women’s physique division, but as soon as it appeared that the torch had been passed, it was again taken away. The 2016 New York Pro – a show that is looked at as the third most prestigious of the calendar year following the Olympia and Arnold Classic, respectively – originally was not including WPD and it had been bumped in favor of the new men’s classic physique division.
“This is a business and we have decided to go with the new men’s classic physique division over the WPD,” said New York Pro promoter Steve Weinberger on Friday. “It (WPD) is a hard ticket sell and we have to pay for the sanctioning fee (for each category held) and prize money and it just wasn’t there.”
When asked if taking the men’s physique division off the schedule instead of the women’s, Weinberger told us, “We went back and forth on everything…all of the options. There was no dramatic reason why we decided on WPD (removing it). There’s no message there.”
Weinberger further stated that they will review all of this after the contest in May and reevaluate the situation. “I can’t say that it’s permanent,” he explained about the absence of the WPD. “We might bring it back next year.”
A number of the WPD competitors did contact Weinberger with their concerns and questions regarding this decision and he said that they understood the situation once he explained it to them. But after fielding enough calls, Weinberger had a change of mind.
“It’s back in,” he said a day later. “I was getting a lot of calls about it so we decided to include it this year and we’ll see how it goes (with the financial issues described earlier).”
Once women’s bodybuilding was bounced from both the Arnold (Ms. International) and Olympia, it was blatantly obvious that the IFBB wanted to focus on the WPD. But now that it originally had been bumped from the New York Pro, is that an indication that it will go the same way as the division it unofficially took the place of?
If finances are an issue here (the same explanation given by the IFBB and promoters for removing female bodybuilding), then it would seem that the WPD is on shaky ground. Sponsors are not ponying up the money for promoters to include it at their shows and if a large show such as the New York Pro is having difficulty floating it, then the smaller shows may be contemplating it, as well.
Photo by Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo