Reported July 3, 2003
Lineups: Is Murray Calling Off the Rematch?
Rumors out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, suggest that Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray is thinking of skipping the rematch against Juliette Bergmann, Yaxeni Oriquen, Iris Kyle, et al., which is set for the Mandala Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on October 24. The 41-year-old Murray, who held the title for six years before losing to Kim Chizevsky in 1996, injected a megawatt charge into the proceedings when she rocketed out of retirement in 2002 and blasted the crown off ’01 Ms. O Bergmann’s head without so much as stopping for breath. Given some of the economic realities of women’s bodybuilding, is it possible the lady hasn’t found her rewards for recapturing the top title to be worth the price of doing it all again? Stay tuned. There’s one more contest on the female-flexer circuit before the big show, the Jan Tana Classic on August 14’16, where the three weight-class winners will be the last ladies to get their names on the bodybuilding roster for the ’03 Olympia weekend.
Olympia-speak: Rule Changes Do Not Apply to the Women’s Sports, Plus Other Essential Info
Those concerned about the fact that only five women so far have qualified for the first-ever Figure Olympia can breathe a sign of relief. The IFBB Pro Division has announced that the top five finishers, rather than the top three, at the upcoming New York Pro Figure on August 9 and the Jan Tana on the following weekend will receive invitations to the O. Considering that both Jenny Lynn and Davana Medina are expected to meet onstage again in the Big Apple, maybe the P.D. should think about letting in the top seven or eight.
Speaking of evolving big O qualifications. The IFBB’s new rule changes regarding who gets an invitation to compete for the sport’s biggest title apply to men’s bodybuilding only. They were enacted to solve the problem of cutting the extra-large Mr. Olympia lineups of recent seasons down to size’25 guys could potentially show up onstage in Vegas this year’a problem that doesn’t usually occur in the women’s sports (see the item above). So for the ladies who flex and quarter turn in the pro-physique arena, the regulations will remain the same in 2004: The top five at the Fitness and Figure Olympias and the top three in each weight class at the Ms. O are automatically requalified for the following year. And the sliding qualification at other competitions remains in effect as well; that is, if, say, the top-three finishers are already qualified, the fourth-placer gets the nod. As for eliminating the two-year qualification for the second- and third-placed finalists at the O, well, that doesn’t exist in the women’s sports anyway.
Regarding the Financial Ins and Outs of Women’s Physique Sports
The recent Night of Champions women’s extravaganza finished in the black, according to promoter Wayne DeMilia, although that milestone came courtesy of sponsor Bodyonics Pinnacle. Even so, the 750-plus paid admissions’in a crowd of about 1000’were “definitely encouraging,” said DeMilia, who confirmed that he, partner Charles Blake and Pinnacle are bringing back the Friday-night festivities next year.