The 2012 IFBB season opened with a bang on February 18 at the Flex Pro Fitness (and Men’s Bodybuilding) Championships, which were held at Santa Monica, California. The fitness show was killer, with an exceptional lineup that featured four of the top five ’11 Olympia finishers, including long-reigning queen of the sport Adela Garcia. It came as no surprise, then, that everyone’s favorite chica Latina won the show with a perfect score—and a 29-point margin—first in the physique round as well as the routines. It was a clean win, too. Adela looked great and performed her routine with passion and skill, all of which will make her very difficult to beat on March 2 at the Fitness International in Columbus, Ohio. Even sweeter for the Austin, Texas-based athlete was that victory took place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, on the stage where she earned her pro card as the overall winner of the ’99 NPC USA.
Still, there were plenty of surprises in the 12-woman lineup. Coming in second, her best pro finish to date, was Oksana Grishina, fifth at the Olympia, who slipped past Tanji Johnson and Myriam Capes (second and third at the O) into the runner-up spot. The Russian-born Oksana, whose beautiful, dramatic routines are sometimes not fully appreciated by the judges because they’re different from the norm, hit the stage with bopdyparts blazing, showing that she could indeed execute a fast-moving, more traditional routine pretty much better than anyone. (Take that!) She took second in the round, finishing 19 points ahead of third-placer Capes, who landed in third in the performance round.
The routine scores after the top two were all over the place, probably because the quality was so high. Making a cannonball splash in her IFBB pro debut was Canadian Vanda Hadarean, a Romanian-born former gymnast who took a silver medal at the Barcelona Games in 1992 and the overall in fitness at the Canadian Nationals last year. Wow, can that gal point her toes—and I wasn’t the only one to notice. She finished seventh overall, which is pretty impressive considering that the other pro newcomers landed at the bottom of the lineup.
One might wonder, with some many quality athletes earning pro cards in fitness in the last year or so, why only a dozen women brought it to Santa Monica. I have to think that the new Olympia-qualifying rules, by which only the winner gets an invite, had something to do with it. With so many established stars in the show, there was no chance of anyone who was not already qualified achieving that goal. Even Grishina, who didn’t qualify at last year’s O because she was not top four, didn’t make it. I’ve got to think that the IFBB Pro League will be doing some tinkering with those regulations, at least as far as fitness is concerned.
Find the complete results below.
Top photo, from left: Myriam Capes, Adela Garcia and Oksana Grishina.
Above: Vanda Hadarean
’12 Flex Pro Fitness Championship
1) Adela Garcia
2) Oksana Grishina
3) Myriam Capes
4) Tanji Johnson
5) Bethany Cisternino
6) Jodi Boam
7) Vanda Hadarean
8) Camala Rodriguez
9) Allison Ethier
10) Sheri Vucick
11) Michele Mayberry
12) Paula Gulman-Williams