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Muscle Sport Magazine

2012 Arnold Classic Invite Lists Released; All Four Champions to Defend Their Titles

The Arnold Classic doesn’t need any added incentives. No, the contest held annually in Columbus, Ohio brought to you by the man whose name the show carries – the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger – and his good friend Jim Lorimer can stand by itself just for the prestigiousness it holds. Competitors and fans worldwide flock to this city every March to be a part of the historic event, so there is no necessity for the stakes to be even higher.

But they are this time around, and anything less shouldn’t be expected from The Governor!

All four champions from 2011 will return and defend their crowns, not the most usual circumstance when you factor in a number of reasons why this is a special occurrence, indeed. Many competitors skip the Arnold to concentrate on the Mr. Olympia or have no choice in the matter if they suffer an injury. Take Branch Warren, for instance. The Texas native not only won the title last March, but also the Most Muscular Award. Outside of the British Grand Prix a few weeks later (which he also won), Warren will have not had donned the posing trunks in nearly 12 months when he hits the stage at the Arnold. A freak accident caused him to become injured and have to bow out of the Mr. Olympia.

Warren will have his work cut out for him against a line-up that includes Dexter Jackson (a three-time Arnold champion), as well as Dennis Wolf and Evan Centopani, who both finished in the top six a year ago.

In female bodybuilding, it will be once again the great Iris Kyle looking to monopolize the Ms. International first place prize, something that she has been able to do on six prior occasions. “I just take one year at a time,” Kyle said. “I do my homework and try to come in with the package that (the judges) are looking for.”

Of course, Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia will have something to say about that, herself a four-time winner in Columbus and a frequent runner-up to Kyle here and at the Ms. Olympia.

Adele Garcia will look to add a fifth Ms. Fitness International trophy to her growing collection and will have to fend off the likes of Tanji Johnson and Camala Rodriguez.

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In 2011, the inaugural Ms. Bikini International took place and Nicole Nagrani was named its first champion. “I feel amazing right now; I’m on top of the world,” Nagrani commented backstage following the win.

The 19-year-old again stood in the winner’s circle at the Olympia and will have to watch out for Sonia Gonzales (second) and Nathalia Melo (third), who were directly on her heels last March.

Perhaps the most interesting battle will take place in figure, where Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern have gone back and forth in Ohio and Las Vegas the last few years. Wilkins has tasted victory at the last two Ms. Figure International shows and will also have to keep her eyes on Ava Cowan and Cheryl Brown.

Keep in mind that these lists are just the people who have been invited to the 2012 Arnold Classic and there will be some who decline the invite for one reason or another. But competing here is an honor and most will in fact be up there on the stage at the War Memorial come March 2 and 3.

The official lists are as follows:

2012 Arnold Classic (14)
Fouad Abiad
Gustavo Badell
Lionel Beyeke
Matthias Botthof
Evan Centopani
Eduardo Correa
Brandon Curry
Dexter Jackson
Michael Kefalianos
Ben Pakulski
Shawn Rhoden
Branch Warren
Ben White
Dennis Wolf

2012 Ms. International (15)
Maria Rita Bello
Brigita Brezovac
Kim Buck
Tina Chandler
Alevtina Goroshinskaya
Monique Jones
Iris Kyle
Debi Laszewski
Cathy LeFrancois
Zoa Lindsey
Geraldine Morgan
Yaxeni Oriquen
Kim Perez
Alina Popa
Maria Segura

2012 Fitness International (17)
Michelle Blank
Jodi Boam
Myriam Capes
Regiane Da Silva
Tina Durkin
Allison Ethier
Adela Garcia
Oksana Grishina
Tanji Johnson
Diana Monteiro
Julie Palmer
Kayde Puckett
Camala Rodriguez
Daniella Ruban
Kizzy Vaines
Sheri Vucick
Bethany Wagner

2012 Figure International (16)
Jelena Abbou
Teresa Anthony
Cheryl Brown
Krissy Chin
Ava Cowan
Heather Dees
Alicia Harris
Raquel Hernandez
Candice Keene
Gloria Keplinger Tarpley
Sue Knott
Larissa Reis
Erin Stern
Gennifer Strobo
Latisha Wilder
Nicole Wilkins

2012 Bikini International (18)
Jennifer Andrews
Jaime Baird
Abbie Burrows
Juliana Daniell
Sonia Gonzales
Candyce Graham
Diana Graham
Jessica Jessie
Lexi Kaufman
Nathalia Melo
Justine Munro
Nicole Nagrani
India Paulino
Jessica Paxson
Natalie Pennington
Monique Ricardo
Tianna Ta
Christine Vargas

For more information, be sure to visit the official contest website, www.arnoldsportsfestival.com.

One Comment

  1. bodybuilding

    January 3, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Looks like a great roster of bodybuilders from all around the world.

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