Reported March 9, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio‘It was a day of playing catch-up for the winners of the Ms., Fitness and Figure International competitions, which were held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday, March 5. Iris Kyle, Adela Garcia-Friedmansky and Jenny Lynn all came to town with something to prove’and left as shining examples of the theme that pervades the megasport gathering of the clan known as the Arnold Fitness Weekend: Through hard work and determination you can achieve your goals’in the gym and in life. This year the big winner in each contest took home a $20,000 “T3” watch, along with a check and other goodies, courtesy of promoters Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer. Here’s how the action of the pro-season-opening women’s physique competitions went down:
Ms. International: It’s Kyle by a Mile
Iris Kyle won the Ms. Olympia heavyweight class in 2000, but she could never manage a win at the International. In fact, she lost this show to Vickie Gates in 2001 while she was still the reigning Ms. O and then lost again to Yaxeni Oriquen in 2002. So it was a long road to her 20-point victory over Oriquen on March 5. Ditto for lightweight champ Dayana Cadeau, who won her class at this event in 2001, came in second to Valentina Chipega in ’02 and then tanked to fifth in the heavyweights at the ’02 Olympia.
For both women at the ’04 Ms. International, you didn’t have to see the score sheet to know that the judges’ choices were clear.
Lightweight. Smaller and tighter than her usual onstage presence, Cadeau had reduced her sometimes-pesky waist to a whisp. Flowing lines and a killer V-taper earned her a final score of 22, 16 points ahead of fellow French-Canadian flexer Sophie Duquette.
Duquette, who showed promise despite an eighth-place finish at this show in 2002, was the surprise of the evening. Also smaller and tighter, with her taper under control, she beat Cadeau in the posing round with a muscle-in-motion rendition of “All That Jazz” from Chicago to earn the right to make her Olympia debut this fall. Denise Masino, who was not smaller and tighter than her recent appearances, took third, with Fannie Barrios, fourth, and Angela Debatin, fifth, rounding out the field.
Heavyweight. Kyle was also not smaller and tighter, but she was sure at her peak, complete with cuts up the sides of her quads and all that (ripped) jazz. She finished with a perfect 20. Oriquen, who earned a perfect runner-up score with 10s across the board, was big but not in the condition that earned her two Ms. I overall titles. An at-her-best Betty Pariso, in third, picked up her Olympia qualification for the year, as the other two had already gotten their stripes at the ’03 Ms. O.
Current NPC National champ Annie Rivieccio made a strong pro debut in fourth in this eight-woman field. Former Ms. I lightweight winner Brenda Raganot moved up in size to take fifth, while Canadian newcomer Christine Roth landed in sixth, and ’03 NPC USA champ Bonny Priest tied for last with a way-off-form Betty Viana.
Kyle, whose physique was more complete than Cadeau’s, took the overall easily to garner the goodies plus the largest share of the $50,000 total purse. Look for a more detailed report on the Ms. International in the June IRON MAN, and get a look at these ladies in action at our contest gallery.
Fitness International: AGF Breaks Through
It’s hard not to be pleased for Adela Garcia-Friedmansky, the pixie Latina from Bloomington, Illinois, who defied the odds and pushed ahead of Kelly Ryan to win the Fitness International by a scant three points. Also hard not to be disappointed for front-runner Ryan, the high-flying queen of the fitness routine, for having started off what was highly anticipated to be “her year” with the loss.
In a lineup marked by practically all the competitors’ being in their best-ever shapes, Ryan finished fourth in both swimsuit rounds. In the long routines, AFG, who picked up perfect fives in the physique comparisons, performed a spirited version of the takeoff on “The Mask” routine she introduced at the ’03 Olympia, where she finished third behind Susie Curry and Ryan. It gave her the numbers to creep past Kelly for the title. Ryan, whose less-than-ideal precontest period included a bad case of food poisoning and vertigo, won both routine rounds but was a point away from perfect in the free-posing event, which didn’t help. Adela, who’s often held up as a shining example of how you don’t have to be a gymnast to be a fitness champ, got her first win at a big-money show and was totally ferklempt when she found herself standing in the spotlight with Arnold, who took time off from his day job as governor of California to make his presence felt throughout central Ohio.
Jen Hendershott, who, like Ryan, earned her lowest physique scores to date at an A-tier show’along with a pair of second-place routine scores’took third. With those three ladies already qualified for this year’s Fitness O, Julie Palmer, ninth at the ’03 Olympia, moved up to fourth and picked up the sliding qualification. Stacy Hylton tied Palmer for points but landed in fifth after the judges’ high and low scores were added back in.
Look for a full report on the $50,000-total-purse Fitness International competition, as well as the Arnold Fitness Weekend edition of Pump & Circumstance, in the July IRON MAN, and check out Bill Comstock’s fabulous photos of the fitness femmes in flight in our contest gallery.
Figure International: Jenny Makes It an Even Pair
Jenny Lynn got a great start in the new pro fitness circuit in 2003, winning the first two contests. She dropped to second at the third show, however, and then slid even further down the pecking order at the Olympia, where she landed in third behind Davana Medina and Monica Brant. What would happen when she faced off again against Brant, whom she beat last year in Columbus? And how much of a factor would Susie Curry be in her celebrated switch from fitness to figure? Those turned out to be loaded questions, after the lovely-to-look-at Lynn acquired her second Figure International title and Monica finished a controversial second once again, losing to Jenny and Susie in the one-piece-swimsuit comparisons.
Of course, it wasn’t controversial to the judges, who crowned Jenny with a perfect score. To many of those in the stands, however, she wasn’t as complete as she’d been at this contest last year, while Mo was arguably improved, her condition and bodypart flow even better than last year’s’but not as hard as she was at the Olympia. The good news for Brant? The prize for taking second in Columbus, seven grand, is bigger than the total purse at most pro figure shows.
Curry, who retired from fitness after four International wins and four Olympia crowns, has beaten Lynn and Brant in physique rounds past. She was solidly in third at this top-three Olympia qualifier, also arguably a controversial decision among fans and commentators. That makes her the second Fitness O champ (after Monica) to advance to the big show in a second sport.
Jaime Franklin, seventh at the Olympia, pushed past D.J. Wallis to move up to fourth, while Wallis pushed past Dina Al-Sabah to move into the top five. Arguably’there’s that word again’the latter two could have finished a little higher, but don’t take my word for it. Visit ironmanmagazine.com’s contest gallery. and see how you would have scored the contestants at this $30,000-total-purse event, and watch for the contest report in the July IRON MAN.
2004 Arnold Classic Women’s Results
’04 Ms. International
Overall: Iris Kyle
1) Diana Cadeau*
2) Sophie Duquette*
3) Denise Masino
4) Fannie Barrios
5 Angela Debatin
1) Iris Kyle*
2) Yaxeni Oriquen*
3) Betty Pariso
4) Annie Rivieccio
5) Brenda Raganot
6) Christine Roth
7) Betty Viana (tie)
7) Bonny Priest
*Qualifies for the Ms. Olympia.
’04 Fitness International
1) Adela Friedmansky*
2) Kelly Ryan*
3) Jen Hendershott*
4) Julie Palmer
5) Stacy Hylton
6) Anna Level
7) Kim Klein
8) Tracey Greenwood
9) Tanji Johnson
10) Stacy Simons
11) Angela Semsch
12) Carla Freda
*Qualifies for the Fitness Olympia.
’04 Figure International
1) Jenny Lynn*
2) Monica Brant*
3) Susie Curry*
4) Jaime Franklin
5) D.J. Wallis
6) Mari Kudla-Donnelly
7) Dina Al-Sabah
8) Elaine Goodlad
9) Sharon Kouvaras
10) Amber Littlejohn (tie)
10) Christina Forlifter
12) Monica Guerra
13) Christine Bergeron
*Qualifies for the Figure Olympia.