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Yaxeni Rules at the Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Show

I had to laugh on Saturday when someone in the show thread at, where I was following the Phoenix Pro competitions, suggested that Yaxeni Oriquen needed to be tighter. Tighter? I mentally screamed at my computer. If she were any tighter, her bones would be coming out of her skin. To put it another way, the former Ms. Olympia and four-time Ms. International winner, who took fifth at the ’09 Ms. O, was peeled beyond anything we’ve seen from her, at least in recent memory, and while I might question whether that is actually her very best look, the judges at the Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding contest had no problem awarding her first place with a perfect score. Despite my comment above, it’s not hard to see why. With her structure, size and 5’8” stature Yaxeni is an imposing presence onstage. Her condition ensured that no one in the talented 12-woman lineup who took the stage at the Mesa Arts Center could touch her.

The law of the pecking order prevailed at this contest. Second went to top veteran Betty Pariso, sixth at the ’09 Olympia, who brought her solid physique to the stage in excellent shape and got the expected result. The talk of the show, though, and some stiff competition for Betty came from ’09 North American champ Zoa Linsey, a Canadian flexer who lives in Okinawa, Japan. In her pro debut Zoa got onstage sporting that elusive total package we pundits always talk about—muscle, conditioning and shape, shape, shape. Linsey has the ingredients to go far in the sport and in fact was just a point behind Pariso after the judging. The evening show saw Betty’s lead widen to six points. As the judges are no longer scoring the posing round per se—due to a recent rule change—and I wasn’t there, I’ll have to take their word for that. By the pictures it could have gone either way, in my humble.

As I said, it was a good-looking lineup of ladies, many of whom, like Oriquen. Pariso and Linsey, were tuning up for the  big show in Columbus—Ms. International—in a couple of weeks.

Here are the results:

’10 Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding

1) Yaxeni Oriquen*
2) Betty Pariso*
3) Zoa Linsey*
4) Jeannie Paparone
5) Dena Westerfield
6) Colette Nelson
7) Antoinette Thompson
7) Diana Tinnelle-Stanback
9) Gayle Moher
10) Akila Pervis
11) Myriam Bustamente
12) Maria del Carmen Segura
*Qualifies for the ’10 Ms. Olympia.

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