FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shawn Rhoden, Victor Martinez and Brandon Curry, who have each won an Arnold Classic international title in the past three years, lead a deep field of 13 men’s professional bodybuilders who will battle in the 2014 Arnold Classic, the Arnold Sports Festival announced today.
The Arnold Sports Festival and the IFBB Pro League today announced the invited athletes who will compete in the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, Figure International and Bikini International contests Feb. 28 & March 1 at the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival.
Rhoden, 2012 Arnold Classic Europe champ, and Martinez, who won the Arnold Classic in 2007 and the inaugural Arnold Classic Europe in 2011, will lead a field that also includes two-time Arnold Classic winner Branch Warren, Cedric MacMillan and Dennis Wolf. Curry won the inaugural Arnold Classic Brasil in April. Ben Pakulski, second in the Arnold Classic in 2013, and Toney Freeman, third last year, will also compete. Defending champ and four-time winner Dexter Jackson will not compete.
Flex Lewis, David Henry and Tricky Jackson headline a field of 10 in the first-ever Arnold Classic 212 contest. Arnold Classic 212 competitor Quincy Winklaar is the brother of Roelly Winklaar, who will compete in the Arnold Classic.
In the Fitness International, defending champion Tanji Johnson, Oksana Grishina, second in 2013, and Bethany Cisternino, third last year, headline a field of 15. Johnson, who won the Arnold Fitness Europe in 2011 and 2013, has won seven professional titles in the past 12 years. In the Figure International, defending champion Candice Keene and three-time winner Nicole Wilkins top the field of 17. Heather Dees, second in 2013, is also expected to challenge for the title. Wilkins, who won in 2010, 2011 and 2012, will try to win a record fourth title. Wilkins did not compete in Columbus in 2013.
India Paulino will try to become the first repeat winner of the Bikini International, which has had three champions in three years since it was founded in 2011. Nathalia Melo, second in 2013; Ashley Kaltwasser, Bikini Olympia winner in 2013 and a former Arnold Amateur champion; and Amanda Latona also highlight a field of 16. Anna Starodubtseva earned an automatic invite into the Bikini International after winning the overall bikini title at the 2013 Arnold Amateur IFBB/NPC Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships.
The Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, and Figure International will be held on Friday, February 28. Prejudging will take place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Finals will be at Veterans Memorial. Prejudging and Finals for the Arnold Classic and Bikini International, and final event for the Arnold Strongman will be held on Saturday, March 1 at Veterans Memorial.