Dexter Jackson Aims For Record-Tying Fourth Arnold Classic Title
Six-Time Champ Iris Kyle, Oksana Grishina, Erin Stern, Nicole Nagrani Lead Women's Fields
Dexter Jackson will gun for his record-tying fourth Arnold Classic title when he leads a field of 13 men's professional bodybuilders the 25th Anniversary Arnold Classic at the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival.
Jackson, who will compete in Columbus for the 14th time, won the Arnold Classic in 2005, 2006 and 2008. A win in March would tie Jackson with the popular Flex Wheeler, the Arnold Classic champ in 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000. Cedric McMillan, making his Arnold Classic debut; Ben Pakulski, fourth in 2012; and Toney Freeman, fifth in the 2012 Arnold Classic Europe, are expected to challenge.
In the Ms. International, six-time champion Iris Kyle returns to the Veterans Memorial stage after sitting out 2012 due to injury. Kyle will be challenged by five-time winner Yaxeni Oriquen, last year's winner, and Deb Laszewski, who finished second in 2012.
Five-time Fitness International champ Adela Garcia will not compete in 2013, leaving the door open for Oksana Grishina, Bethany Cisternino, Tanji Johnson and Myriam Capes to battle for the title among a field of 12. Grishina beat Garcia heads up to win the 2012 Arnold Fitness Europe, while Cisternino (fourth), Johnson (fifth) and Capes (sixth) will look to improve on impressive showings in 2012.
A new champion will also be crowned in the Figure International. Three-time defending champ Nicole Wilkins will not compete, leaving 2012 Arnold Figure Europe winner Erin Stern as the favorite among a field of 18. Candice Keene, Ava Cowan and Heather Dees all return after top six finishes in 2012, while Camala Rodriguez makes her Figure International debut after finishing second in the Fitness International in 2012.
Nicole Nagrani, winner of the inaugural Bikini International in 2011; India Paulino, second in 2012; Jamie Baird, third in 2012; and Nathalia Melo, fifth last year, lead a pack of 18 in the Bikini International.
Olga Puzanova (Ms. International), Melinda Szabo (Fitness International), Olga Gallardo (Figure International) and Ashley Kaltwasser (Bikini International) earned automatic invites in the IFBB Pro League events based on overall victories at the 2012 Arnold Amateur IFBB/NPC Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships.
The 25th Anniversary Annual Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International, Figure International and Bikini International contests will be held March 102 at Veteran Memorial and the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio during the Arnold Sports Festival. Visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com for more information and www.ticketmaster.com/arnold for ticket information.
The Friday and Saturday night shows in Columbus will have a slightly different look in 2013. The Fitness International, Fitness International and Figure International will be held on Friday, March 1, while the Arnold Classic, Ms. International and Arnold Strongman finals will be held on Saturday March 2.
2013 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International, Figure International and Bikini International Official Invite Lists:
Arnold Classic (13)
Ms. International (12)
Fitness International (12)
Figure International (18)
Bikini International (18)
Lacey DeLuca Lieto
Arnold Sports Festival