Kai Greene has made it official. He will be defending his Arnold Classic championship come March and will have another deep line-up to do it against. The two biggest names trying to take his title will be Phil Heath and Dexter Jackson, himself a former winner of the contest.
Co-producer Jim Lorimer said in a statement that this year’s contestants will “astonish fans” with an outstanding show of talent and muscular physiques.
Iris Kyle will also be defending her title at the Ms. International and will have to look over her shoulder for Heather Armbrust, who finished fourth last year but second at the Ms. Olympia. Other prominent names are Debi Laszewski, Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia and Lisa Aukland. Keep your eye on Dena Westerfield, who finished a very respectable ninth last March in Columbus.
Jennifer Hendershott returns as the Figure International champ but a new Figure International winner will be named. Zivile Raudoniene stood in the winner’s circle in 2009 but left the sport shortly thereafter, reportedly to join Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. Looking to jump in and take advantage will be Nicole Wilkins-Lee, who won the Figure Olympia.
A noted omission is Gina Alioitti, the 2008 champion, who has decided to sit this one out. According to a press release from Fitness Management Group, the 2009 runner-up at the Arnold and Olympia is undecided about her plans for the upcoming year. The 25-year-old California resident is not retiring but will be using this time to concentrate on her many business outlets, including her one-on-one coaching of her team of athletes for NPC competitors, her clothing line, recipe book and many others.
For more information, visit the show’s official website, www.arnoldsportsfestival.com.
22nd Annual Arnold Classic
March 5-7, 2010
|2010 Entries Arnold Classic
|2010 Entries Ms. International
Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia
|2010 Entries Fitness International
Regiane Da Silva
|2010 Entries Figure International
Heather Mae French
Nicole Wilkins Lee