2010 IFBB PHOENIX PRO PREJUDGING REPORT AND GALLERIES

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2010 IFBB Phoenix Pro prejudging report and galleries

By Zack Zeigler

February 20, 2010

FLEXONLINE.COM

With prejudging for the 2010 IFBB Phoenix Pro Bodybuilding, 202, Figure & Fitness Show in the books, the bodybuilding season is officially underway! There were 79 total competitors that lit up the stage at the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona. There was a lot of excitement and a ton of competition; here's the lowdown on the prejudging:

Melvin Anthony Jr. made a statement Saturday — he's not through yet. Anthony, coming off a disappointing '09 with a 4th place finish at the Atlantic City Pro and a tie for 11th at the Mr. Olympia, came in with noticeable improvement in his hams and glutes. That allowed him to go head-to-head with a super-conditioned Hidetada Yamagishi and Toney Freeman — who appeared to e holding some water — for top honors. However, there's no way to count out or predict where Grigori Atoyan or Troy Alves will land. The judges shuffled the callouts around numerous times before prejudging concluded.

In 202 action, the runner-up at the '08 Europa Super Show, Roc Shabazz, may be one step closer to his first victory as a pro. But there are no guarantees as Sweden's Ahmad Ahmad's condition was strong enough for murmurs in the crowd to declare him a contender.

The winner of the '05 Ms Olympia and '02 and '08 Ms International, Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia, is the mark to beat after displaying great all-around conditioning and size; joining her in the running are '09 Tampa Pro winner Betty Pariso and Zoa Linsey.

The figure division is too close to call between Felicia Romero — the '09 IFBB Border States Pro Figure winner — and new pro Mindi Smith, who won her class and the overall at the '09 NPC Nationals. This is Smith's third show of her career and could spell upset for the favorite Romero — who has three pro victories on her resume. Phoenix resident Amy O'Neil, the 9th place finisher at the '09 Sacramento Pro, made a strong case for a top three finish.

In fitness, Tanji Johnson and Julie Palmer — who placed 2nd and 4th respectively at the '09 Olympia — are poised for a one-two finish unless Camala Rodriguez can manage to bust into the mix.

Check back tonight on flexonline.com for our finals report, and remember the top three in each division qualify for early entry into the 2010 Olympia — the biggest event in bodybuilding!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PREJUDGING PHOTOS!

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