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Sonia Soars Again at the Muscle Contest Pro Bikini

Sonia Gonzales proved her win in New Zealand last week—and her successful transition from figure—was no fluke, model-turning her petite, 5’ package to the center spotlight at the ’10 IFBB Muscle Contest Pro Bikini. Coming in second and third—and earning invites to the first-ever Bikini Olympia—were a couple of contenders who got a lot of play in the precontest buzz, Monique Minton and Amanda  Latona. Not sure why Momo got the nod for second. It’s possible Amanda’s midsection was a bit too conditioned from the front (see comment below).

Stacey Oster-Thompson and Natalie Pennington rounded out the top five.

With 15 gorgeous gals onstage the contest was the first real test for the brand new pro-bikini division—as well as for Sonia. The upgrade in presentation, a.k.a. polish, in the competitors, especially when compared with the many newbies in the accompanying NPC shown, was major.  Conditioned abs were not the order of the day—as Thompson, one of the first bikini winners to turn pro, having earned her card almost a year ago at the ’09 Junior USA, learned the hard way. Neither were unconditioned abs. Sonia seems to have gotten the right balance down, and it was easy to see why the judges favored her with the win.

Gonzales’ victories notwithstanding, the success rate of athletes switching from pro figure is so far not that high. (Did you ever think you’d see the day when Sherlyn Roy had too much muscle?) All of a sudden there’s a new category of female physique athlete: women who are too small for figure but too big for bikini.

Is it entertaining? An edit of my competition photos suggests that the women got way more model-turn-to-the-back time than turn-to-the-front time, but that was after I threw out the bad shots, so maybe I just imagined it. If you like that sort of thing, it would be very entertaining. It did seem, though, that each contestant is developing her very own turn-to-the-rear variation—and the peekaboo over the shoulder is this year’s stride ’n’ snap. Or this month’s. I found that pretty entertaining.

I have to admit: moves like those described take agility and practice along with the ability to project personality while you’re doing them. Easier to photograph than do, as far as I’m concerned.

Photos (from top):

Sonia Gonzalez.

Medal shot: Stacey Oster-Thompson, Monique Minton, Sonia, Amanda Latona and Natalie Pennington.

Sherlyn plays peekaboo.

Here are the complete results for the second-ever IFBB pro bikini competition, the first held in the United States:

’10 Muscle Contest Pro Bikini

1) Sonia Gonzales

2) Monique Minton

3) Amanda Latona

4) Stacey Oster-Thompson

5) Natalie Pennington

6) Alea Suarez

7) Dianna Dahlgren

8) Michelle Gullet

9) Sherlyn Roy

10) Leigh Lingham

11) Jennifer Dietrick

12) Zhanna Rotar

13) Michelle D’Angona

14) Carol E. King

15) Christie Marquez

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