I was shocked—shocked—to discover on Sunday morning that Sonia Gonzales had won the New Zealand Pro Bikini contest, first ever IFBB pro-bikini event, which I’m sure you know means I would have been shocked if she hadn’t won. What was really shocking was the fact that only three competitors made the trip to enter the event, and so all three qualified for the first ever Bikini Olympia, which will be held next September in Las Vegas. Now that I think about it, that shouldn’t have been so surprising either, considering that bikini is still purely an American phenomenon and the cost of airfare to the South Pacific isn’t exactly going down. Also making the effort and reaping the rewards were Natalie Pennington, who earned her pro card at the Team Universe, and Khang Nguyen, who is the ’09 Masters National Bikini champ.
As for the New Zealand Pro Figure, six ladies hit the stage in Aukland to quarter-turn. Heather Mae French, coming off her third-place finish at the Figure International a couple of weeks ago (and her third-place landing at the ’09 Olympia last fall, took top honors, while Australia’s Rosa Maria Romero nailed the runner-up spot, and Patricia Mello rounded out the top three.
The rest of the lineup included Sesa Tomuli of New Zealand, fourth; Finland’s Lizbeth Halikka, fifth; and Teneka Hyndman, also of New Zealand, sixth.
Photos: Sonia Gonzales (top) and Heather Mae French.