NZIFBB President Moe El Moussawi has pulled off yet another fantastic event. The NZIFBB International Pro/Am is New Zealand’s most anticipated bodybuilding event of the year and the first ever-international event to take place in New Zealand.
The inaugural International event took place at the Victory Conference Centre in Auckland city on Saturday March 12. It’s the first competition of the year on the NZIFBB annual show calendar and what a fantastic way to kick start the year it was. Athletes from five different countries were in attendance. Top IFBB Pro Athletes and upcoming amateurs graced the stage, totalling 146 tanned and prime conditioned competitors. Amateur categories included Bodybuilding,
Men’s Physique, Women’s Physique, Classic Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini, with the Pro Competitors representing Men’s 212, Figure and Men’s Physique classes. It was an exciting event, from pre-judging right through to the evening show. All athletes had a lot to gain from bringing the absolute best winning package, with judges final decisions resulting in pro cards being awarded to selected amateur class overall winners. Successful pro division athletes automatically qualify for this year’s Olympia competition in Las Vegas.
The pre-judging segment was suspenseful, with athletes battling it out for first call out and for the ultimate centre stage position.
Overall Show Winners
- Men’s 212: Jose Raymond, US
- Men’s bodybuilding: Steve Orton, NZ
- Figure: Myra Rogers, NZ
- Men’s Physique: Fawad Ahadi NZ
- Classic Physique: Omid Safdari, NZ
- Bikini: Esther Walker, NZ
- Women’s Physique: Cath Parr, NZ
- Figure Novice Short (under 164cm): Amanda Turner
- Novice Tall (over 164cm): Sascha Van der Plas
- Open Short (under 164cm): Carissa Ludlow
- Open Tall (over 164cm): Jade Perrin
- Masters over 35yrs: Janna O’Malley
- Men’s Physique Novice Men up To 170cm: Michael Yu
- Novice Men 170-180cm: Jordan Federici
- Novice Men over 180cm: Johannes Sewu
- Open Men Class A: Marjohn Abelardo
- Open Men Class B: Arona Aia Taaloga
- Open Men Class C: Gary Tauialaiua
- Master Men: Jamil Rehman
- Bodybuilding Novice Men up to 70kg: Chester Wei
- Novice Men 80-90kg: Jacob Steens
- Novice over 90kg: Daniel Thompson
- Open Men up to 70kg: Gaurav Taneja
- Open Men over 100kg: Steve Orton
- Bikini Junior Bikini: Emily Waters
- Women’s Physique: Cath Parr
The evening show provided the enthusiastic audience with a beautiful spectacle of posing routines. There were many highlights to the show; from novice amateur categories enjoying their very first moments on stage to witnessing the poise and perfection of the seasoned veterans of the sport, as well as everything in between.
One of those specific highlights was Men’s Amateur bodybuilding over 100kg competitor Steve Orton from New Zealand winning the coveted overall bodybuilding title and with that receiving his pro card status. In addition, Steve received a special invitation from the Arnold Classic Australia event promoter Tony Doherty, to compete in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division at the Arnold Classic Australia in Melbourne taking place the week after the International Pro-Am.
Overall amateur Figure winner Carissa Ludlow from New Zealand also received her pro card status and with that won the right to make her pro debut that night with the eight other pro Figure competitors from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. The pro Figure line-up consisted of some very tough competition, however it was Myra
Rogers from New Zealand who won the International Pro-Am figure champion title and automatically qualified for the Olympia.
Amateur overall Men’s Physique winner Gary Tauialaiua from New Zealand also made his pro debut the same night and with that won the privilege of competing in the pro Men’s Physique line-up. The end result was New Zealand’s Fawad Ahadi taking the win and also automatically qualifying for the Olympia. Men’s 212 competitor Jose Raymond was fresh on stage after placing a controversial second place at the Arnold Classic in the US. “The Boston Mass” won the overall NZIFBB International Pro-Am Men’s 212 title, his second consecutive win at this show. In a recent interview with President of the NZIFBB Moe El Moussawi, Jose mentioned his intentions to travel to New Zealand again in 2017 to defend his title and aim for a third- time International Pro-Am win.
Other countries that joined the winning circle were Australia, with Emily Waters winning first place in the Junior Bikini class, and Costa Rica, with Maria Viquez winning first place in the open Under 160cm Bikini class.