By Andrew Michalak
Exactly 50 countries entered their national teams to 2016 World Fitness Championships, which just started in Bialystok, Poland. Five continents are represented by nearly 420 competitors: 147 men and 270 women. The most popular categories are: Women’s Bikini-Fitness (152 athletes), Men’s Physique (108 athletes) and Women’s Bodyfitness (79 athletes). Women’s Fitness as usual not so big but with many champions (Kristina Koroljak, Evgeniia Mishchenko, Dominika Multanova, Emma Paveley, Nikolett Szabó, Endla Vaher, Aleksandra Kepa). Men’s Physique with three world champions: Nazar Kharkhun, Oleg Anissimov and Tomasz Pietras).
Shao Zhong Zheng (China) is the only 2015 world Men’s Physique Champion who came to regain the title. The same role in Women’s Bikini-Fitness will play Oksana Brygidyr (Ukraine) while Sabina Plevakova (Slovakia) came to regain the title won in 2013 and lost. Interesting situation in Bikini-Fitness over 172 cm class: Olivia Pohankova (Slovakia) finished 2nd in 2014 and 2016 behind Olga Putrova (Russia). Putrova didn’t come to Bialystok, opening the door for Pohankova to win her first world title. Will she use this opportunity?
The best 2013 World’s Mixed Pairs: Blanche Coppola and Ralph Decelis came to regain the title after their absence last year. There are many World Championships runner-ups and bronze medal winners as well as continental champions who came to battle for the top trophies this time.
IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja arrived yesterday and celebrated his birthday in the fashionable, old-style restaurant in Bialystok, accompanied by other IFBB Executives. Saturday will be the first day of the battles on the Podlaskie Opera stage, which already hosted the World Fitness Championships in 2012. The Saturday program includes all Women’s Bodyfitness, Women’s Physique and Men’s Physique categories, as well as Women’s and Men’s Fitness semifinals. It will start at 10:00 Central European Time (GMT + 1 hour). Unexpectedly, light winter with small snow came to Bialystok, so you can competitors dressed with coats. After long trips from different continents most of them were tired and dreaming to go to bed as soon as possible to regenerate before the Saturday’s performance. Others (bikini-fitness) will have one day more of relax.
A couple of pictures from registration by Igor Kopcek
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