14-15th September, Kiev
14-15th September, Kiev
Or, to give it its full name, the IFBB Women's Bodybuilding, Fitness and Body Fitness World Amateur Championships. Not the most talked-about of contests, but fans of female muscle could do a lot worse. Apart from a few Men's Fitness classes, there were 200+ female competitors on show in a variety of divisions from Bodybuilding to Bikini Fitness, all (except Bodybuilding) divided into height classes before overall titles were decided. And there's a team contest thrown in for good measure, based on points awarded for individual results and won, incidentally, by Ukraine.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to take you through all the myriad classes and divisions that were on display in Kiev, although it is worth noting that a certain Kateřina Kyptová made her Physique debut in the taller of the two classes, finishing 2nd (is it just me or does she ALWAYS finish as runner-up no matter what contest, division or class she's entering) to the new Overall Physique World Champion, Susanna Mantila of Finland.
There's no better resource for European contests than the German übersite TEAM-ANDRO.com, so if you do want to know who won the shorter of the Physique classes or the mid-height Bikini Fitness class or who was the Overall Athletic Fitness champion, then that should be your next port of call.
Today, FMS will focus on the Bodybuilding division, for the first time at the IFBB Worlds an Open division (ie there were no weight classes). And in time-honoured tradition, we'll do it in reverse order...
Eva Lagerhorn Blom, from Sweden, possibly the world's most facially expressive poser (actually, scratch the 'possibly', she can't help herself, make it 'definitely') was given 6th place, and her compatriot, Deniz Faith, finished 5th. Deniz was completely new to me before I looked into this contest, and one of the reasons I'm glad I did. FMS will certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for her sexy Scandinavian package from now on.
In fourth, another competitor who is new to us, Elena Stasiukyniene from Lithuania, and in third, a place lower than last year but nevertheless picking up valuable points for her country in the team contest, Ukraine's Maryna Alf.
The runner-up (this time) was Jana Purdjakova of Slovakia, a woman whose competitive record in this contest is second to none. Apart from 1999 and 2009, she has competed at every IFBB Worlds since 1997 (when Peggy Schoolcraft won Jana's class!) In that time, she has won her weight class on eight occasions in all, and twice she has gone on to be the Overall winner (2010 and 2011).
But this year, Jana lost out to Russia's Olga Belyakova.
Russia's beautiful Olga Belyakova.
Information about European competitors is not always easy to come by, and unfortunately, that is the case with information about Olga, even though I've been a fan of hers ever since I first came across her a couple of years ago. What I do know is she's in her early thirties (32 on October 25th as far as I can work out). I also know she's from Russia, and that she finished 2nd earlier in the year to Branka Njegovec at the IFBB Europeans. I'm also pretty sure that she won her national title either last year or this year. And, of course, that she's now World Champion!
(I do also know that she's married. To Sergei. But I'd rather not talk about that.)
And the other thing I know about beautiful Olga Belyakova is that just a few weeks after she had won in Kiev, she competed again at the Arnold Classic Europe... in Physique! On the fan forum whose first rule is that you do not talk about it I've seen a rumour that Physique is where 'she sees her future'. Fortunately (if you have the same point of view as me), she didn't do very well at the ACE. Hopefully (again if, like me, you'd rather see more of Olga the bodybuilder) that result might make her rethink her future.
She wasn't the biggest woman on stage in Kiev. Nor was she the best conditioned. In many ways I agree with the fan who commented that 'I think the judging at the Worlds in Kiev was really strange'. On the other hand though, those are definitely World Champion legs. And sometimes the 'wrong' result is the right one. After all, it can't be a bad thing for the sport to have such a young and such a beautiful World Champion.
Check out the IFBB Worlds on the YouTube channels of Vasily Zaitsev and/or Art's Sport Vision, and visit the mighty TEAM-ANDRO website for hundreds more images.