Muscle Sport Magazine

Iris Kyle Wins 6th Ms. International Despite Illness

Training for a bodybuilding competition is difficult enough, but couple that with an illness that lasts two months and that is a recipe for disaster – unless you happen to be Iris Kyle. The defending champion won her sixth Ms. International on Friday evening despite being felled with flu-like symptoms the final eight weeks before the show.

“My appetite was nothing,” Kyle said backstage afterwards. “I was eating probably (only) like two or three times a day. My training, I had to scale back a lot. Normally I’m obsessed with training  and was doing only two or three hours in the gym as opposed to four or five hours. It really played tricks on me.”

It was apparent during the pre-judging that Kyle was having difficulty but that didn’t hurt her with the judges. She did not lose any muscularity even with the issues she had to endure, although she did admit that she dropped some weight by not being able to take in as many calories as she usually does.

“I was second guessing myself…I’m not as full, not as tight, but overall the package was winning.”

Once again, Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia finished as the runner-up and appeared drier in the evening compared to the afternoon pre-judging. But that wasn’t enough for her to make up the ground she had lost, finishing 10 points behind Kyle.

A mild surprise with Alina Popa finishing third. The native of Switzerland did very well for herself by squeaking by Debi Laszewski, 34 points to 36. She also brings a more streamlined and symmetrical look that the sport needs to get back to and Kyle surprisingly agrees that this may be a sign of things to come.


“It has a lot to do with your shape and physique,” she said. “The X-factor is most important, not just muscle but condition. Some of the other ladies had better shapes. I think that’s the way it should always go. I was never into big size. I was more into condition and the X-factor.”

Betty Viana-Adkins and Cathy LeFrancois rounded out the top six. The rest of the line-up finished as follows: Jeannie Paparone (7), Tina Chandler (8), Dayana Cadeau (9), Maria Rita Bello (10), Maria Segura (11), Antoinette Thompson (12) and Sarah Hayes (13).


“Chica’ does it again in the fitness category and more familiar names followed. Adela Garcia has become the standard in this division and Tanji Johnson (second) has made some great strides in closing the gap. Trish Warren was beaming backstage with her third place finish and heard her husband Branch cheering her on from the audience.

“I did,” she said with a smile. “I’m really happy with third place. I didn’t want to fall down from the Olympia. I knew that Tanji and Adela were going to come in strong. You have to knock out the champion to win and I’m happy and honored to be here.”


Nicole Wilkins won another here in Columbus and was looking much better than her runner-up, Erin Stern. This sets up an interesting Olympia, where Stern bested Wilkins in 2010.

Ava Cowan took third and looked outstanding, as did Felicia Romero (fourth). Cheryl Brown and Courtney West placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

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