Ladies Contests Wow Crowd at Arnold Classic

Photos and story by Brad McFarlin

In spite of tough economic times, the annual Arnold Classic once again drew thousands of rabid fans to Columbus, Ohio on March 6-8. As usual, one of the highlights was the womens Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Contests.

Going in, the hottest competition had to be in the Ms International, which featured four time winner Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia taking on three time winner Iris Kyle. Jim Lorimer, the Arnold Sports Festival Co-Producer was quoted as saying, "The match-up between Yaxeni and Iris will be a great one, because both are at the top of their game and finish consistently high in international competition."

Pre-judging for the three women's contests was held at the Arnold Expo on Friday afternoon on the stage of the Arnold Fitness Expo, while finals were held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Jennifer Hendershott, the top contender in the Fitness Contest, did it again... as she was named Ms Fitness International ... much to the crowd's delight, as Jenny is a Central Ohio native. 2nd place went to Julie Palmer.

Ms Figure International was won by Zivile Roudoniene, narrowly edging out Gina Aliotti.

And in the main event, Iris Kyle regained the crown she last won in 2007, beating Oriquen, who placed third. Debbie Laszewski took second.