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Bodybuilding and Fitness
beroamerican Championship

Karla outstands from the crowdfitness girlsRafael Santoja raises the arms of Gianina Madrigal

Lima  2000 - October 7 - 8  

>>> clic over the white text to see the related picture

a look at the Convention Center    After more than one decade the greatest bodybuilding event in Latin America came back to Lima, this was an non-miss event for any practicant or just aficionado of the muscle sport  , the best athletes from this side of the world joined in the turbulent Peruvian capital, it is right to say that there were nearly 70 representants from almost every country of the continent congregated in the Convention Center of  Hotel Crillon, a huge place but with the inconvenience of not having descendant seats like theater, which turned difficult the vision of the stage, many back seats were empty, although, a good númber of people attended, not only Peruvians but foreign people who came to cheer for their participant compatriots.

    In general we could see a great diversity of physiques, so much as abysmal distances between contenders, incredible physique stolen from a comic book posing side to side with very inferior level athletes. The tournament counted with the presence of the indefatigable Rafael Santoja, left arm and official representant of the "Master Blaster" Ben Weider, also with the special exhibition of the Brazilian champion Jose Carlos Do Santos, who posed as a guest showing excelent symmetry and a very complete body for someone at his height, although he wasn't more impressive than many of the 90 kgs. mass monsters we had just seen before, it was heard that Nasser El Sonbaty would make a surprise appearance but it was just a rumor.




the Fitness girls    Watching the fabolous colection of bodies over the stage one could see that the polpularity and quality of fitness in this region keeps growing,  the Brazilian team which stood out presenting the most complete squad: Rossana Miller and Giuliana Malacarne, after hearing the surname of the later (Malacarne translated into English means something like Badbread) many guys felt desire to prove if that bread was so bad as it's last name said, sorrily no one had that audacity. "¿Malacarne? ¿where?" was what I head from a observe, Malacarne and Miller looked beautiful and with a wonderful shape, also stood out the very pretty Bolivian Mariel Diamond, owner of an unbeatable symmetry, every one of her bodyparts were developed to perfection and her dynamic routine made her the Fitness Champion. Many people who came closer to this fitness queen from the Andean high plateau had the luck of shooting a I need to know the name of this babephoto with her, she was super sexy and friendly with the fans, nevertheless when you stared closer at her, ouch, it would not hurt her if she could make a time to depilate a little, it was like that diamond one more polish, who offers himself as volunteer to polish her?. Talking more seriously we think this girl and many other have a great potential to reach very high in the sport at world levels.

    One girl with a very well worked body was Berenice Chávez from Mexico, there was another beauty but we don't remember her name. 

     Between the anecdotes there was a moment when a competitor during her routine she performed as a karate girl, she broke a wooden board, but when she knocked the board it flew into the audience hitting one unlucky judge, I think that she could not get a high placing, I supposed a decision made under stricktly sport criteria.

    Back to the state of fitness we can say that there has been a great step forward in this sport and this was confirmed that day.




    Hardly one can object that female bodybuilding has been going through very uneasy times lately with all of the crap we read on magazines and bodybuilding media about the "death of this sport", I frankly wasn't expecting much from this side of the sport, and this is in spite of the fact that I am lifelong admirer of female muscle; that las tournament which I attended was about 4 years ago, where of the very few contestans, only two looked like bodybuilders and both were not spectaular, so I was quite dissapointed since I expected more.

    In this ocassion it was just the opposite, when we saw the FBBs walking into the stage one by one all of my doubts vanished. By the way it was natural to expect that this competition summoned excellent competitors. In general it was surprising to check the level of the female bodybuilders from this part of the world. Like I said before clear contrast were noticed between them, there were women with incredible bodies flexing beside ladies simply in good shape, however the final balance is more farly positive and shows that beyond difficulties and the obstacles that frequently has to confront, female bodybuiling keeps pumping strong and flexing hard in Latin America.



Lightweight Divisionla campeona división ligera Franca Gutierrez

Ladies - under 52 kgs.
Rosa María del Carmen el salvador
Claudia Carrasco chile
Maria Franca Gutierrez venezuela
Mariana Jimenez argentina
Inés Ramirez uruguay

    The first weight category was made up of women physically closer to fitness, there was Rosa Mª del Carmen, an atractive Salvadorean who sadly lacked the volume and definition of the other girls; Claudia Carrasco on the other hand was giving signs that she had followed a very strict diet since she looked very hard, this Chilean woman displayed a good pair of biceps and a detailed back, lately this woman won the Mixed Doubles category.  A stupendous symmetry assuredla uruguaya Inés Ramirez flexionando un lateral de pecho a deserved victory to Maria Franca Gutierrez, although in definition Chile's Carrasco overcame her, as for volume the muscles of the Venezuelan looked fuller and rounded, and her general shape the most appealing to the eyes, this added to her impeccable presentation long and shiny blonde hairdo. Argentina's Mariana Jimenez was more or less in the same note of the Salvadorean contestant, sorrily a full floppy disk caused me to lose her routine while I replaced it.

    One athlete that I liked very much was cute Inés Ramirez from Uruguay,  >>>
who despite her short height exhibited a good muscular development, nicely shaped biceps and triceps, art of work back full of muscles plus a  very sensuous and dynamic routine were the features which made her shine all this mixed with a pretty face with a mischievous girl look. Her weak points lie over genetic factors, her torso is quite long therefore her legs look short which severeky affects her overall symmetry, we expect that with the right training she could hide and overcome this imperfection.



Middleweight  Division 

Gianina optimista antes de subir al escenario

Ladies - under 57 kgs.
Silvia Vasquez el salvador
Lidia Otero ¿...?
Gianinna Madrigal méxico
Jeniffer Rivero ¿...?
¿...? ¿...?

    In the middle weight category the competitive level improved and and here things were very clearer, great looking Gianina Madrigal was the clear queen of her weight class, even flanked by two taller ladies but both less muscular than the Mexican girl who was the center of all the glances, previously she had the kindness to gift us with some beautiful poses, there were many people -cameras in hand-  behind us trying to get some pictures of this beauty, the kind of who you don't see everyday. Well, back to the stage she placed at the center of the line up and her physique commanded over her two rivals:  at her right Lidia Otero showed good shape but needed more muscularity anyway, her biceps are remarkable. At Gianina's left was Jeniffer Rivero, we must say that this lady has a great potential, she has  tiene unas very sensual and feminine lines and with more training we have a future champion on sight, by now she needs more general definition and volume in the upper body, her legs are one the best  with voluminous quadriceps but alas, zero in separation. Her body of svelte lines and her beautiful face made me compare her to Anja Langer, y hope that with time and good preparation our friend Jeniffer could become a muscular queen as fantastic as her German counterpart.

Gianina aprieta sus músculosWell, now it's turn of Gianina Madrigal,>>> 
first it'd be a crime not to mention that she looked so wonderful with this hairdo and that suit, we don't know her exact age but she has a fresh teenager air and a very flirty attitude; regarding her posing, she plays with so much elegance when shoting her poses included the mandatories, about her symmetry she could improve if she could develope more her lats and her legs so she can optically reduce her waist, it is exactly in this point is where she excells posing in a very sensuous way. The muscularity of this young woman is simply spectacular but overall aesthetically very achieved, perfect balance between volume and detail, more than good arms, biceps at full, hard triceps, powerful built torso, prominent cuádriceps shredded and separated like rock when contracted al ser flexionados, calves muscles hard as diamonds, and a nice and hard booty. Every single muscle displayed with fine style,  but (there is always a hateful but) her abs need more relief and the long and playful tails of her hair ocassionally hid interesting parts of her traps on her back poses. Apart from this this bodybuilding girl owns a very complete package helped by an excellente performance and presentation which made her the unquestionable winner of her division.

doble biceps de Gianina Madrigal y Jeniffer Rivero



Heavyweight DivisionSorayda Figueroa, Miriam ?, Marisol Almena, María Meza y Karla Requejo

Ladies - over 57 kgs.
Sorayda Figueroa puerto rico
Miriam ? paraguay
Marisol Almena méxico
María Meza méxico
Karla Requejo perú
Carola Nostas bolivia

    The best part of the show is coming up. As we expected the most impressive women played in the división of more than 57 kilogrmas, but the expectation went thoroughly surpassed when the participant stepped into the stage in front of an impressed audience, we were honestly surprised and astonished after the muscular level of this line up, the most numerous: 7 amazons from 6 countries, some athetles in this category that -I'd dare to say- got few to envy to her U.S. and European iron sisters, you could see the biceps and triceps in their arms, Karla Requejo luce sus bícepsiron thorax boxes, impenetrable abdominal walls and legs like greek columns. This was the first time we witnessed so much female muscle together, and that was very exciting, I couldn't stop shooting the choke of the camera, now, imagine the horror the battery indicator tells me that I just had 10 minutes of battery life, I was just so fascinated with all that I have seen that I didn't care to check the batteries - these are special lithium batts not easy to find in regular stores - so I tried to dose and save fotos for the best scenes, I don't know how did I get it but the camera lasted even after the posedown of the 'heavies', it was a moment of excitation and loads of anguish. Here in Peru, October is considered as the month of the miracles... now I know why.

    But let's better talk about muscles, like we said before with so much overwhelming bodies in this class, the judges must had a grueling and complicted labour, neverthless, by comments we've heard around, an epic battle was seen to come between  the spectacular Marisol Almena from México and 
the surprising Karla Requejo, twice Miss Peru and the only local exponent in female bodybuilding, consequently the ovation she received was tremendous "¡Vamos Karla!" ("Go Karla!"), "¡Aprieta Karla!" ("Squeeze Karla") were yelling that unceasingly  emerged from the crowd. Until them all that I've seen from Requejo was this photo in a local sports magazine last year where she looked with good muscles but nothing else, but the Karla I saw that day pero la  que ví ese día left me perplexed, it is INCREDIBLE how much this woman has beefed up. Karla version 2000 showcased a massive musculature, wonder-power legs the best of the whole tournament with those tremendous quadriceps, protuberant biceps and huge like Andean mountains, tight waist with nice abs, a descent vascularity and striations. One thing that calls my attention is how this country such a hell of an athlete, we who live here didn't know almost nothing about her before. Sorayda Figueroa y Karla Requejo One of the most amazing bodies onstage no doubt about it, it is not  strange that the crowd would not keep quiet after her placing was announced, very sound boos and protests filled the convention center after the judges announced her at third place, at least I was surprised, I was expecting if not the first place though the second, but third? mmm well, it'd be excellent if she had win for her people from a country which dessperately needs a sports victory. Karla herself confessed she was a bit dissapointed with her placing after the competition, we heard that it was because the lack of resources to purchase products to help her to burn fat and water. However this case didn't prevent her to be the more requested by the multitude of photographers and fans, if she keeps improving this way, we think we soon may find her on the major stages of the sport at world level, we just hope she gets the support she needs to reach the higher levels in her sport, because talent is what she has more than enough.

    Another competitor which shone with her own light was Porto Rican Sorayda Figueroa >>>
who clinched the second spot, at first I didn't think she must be over Karla but when I saw her closer posing for the photographers I could see why she placed so high. She displayed muscles with deep cuts traveled by detailed veins. The big amazon from the small island showed a superb symmetry, hard as rocks muscles and a good development in the upper body, specially in the deltoids. We are expecting to get more of her and the bodybuilding activity in the Caribbean. 

    Another outstanding competitor came to be sturdy Paraguayan Miriam ? (sorrily we couldn't check her last name) Endowed with a powerful body, brazos pretty thick arms, full biceps, super ripped and huge deltoidspowerful torax cargado with all the muscles it can carry y una espalda espectacular y convulsionada  incluso en posición relajada, and one of the most protuberant abs in the whole event. Unhappily her symmetry is not the best, we hope she overcome this disadvantage and check her back soon.

    Mexican María Meza was the shortest of the line and one of the thickest, however her lack of detail deducted the quality of her physique and the fact of stading between the fantastic Karla and Marisol made her look like a yatch between two transatlantics, anyway she showed a good muscular development specially in the legs and calves well grown.

Marisol Almena, campeona absoluta en su mejor forma    The last competitor being called into stage was Carola Nostas from Bolivia, who displayed a balanced development and nicely shaped muscles, specially the triceps, but she was under the level of the other women in volume and definition.

<<< Impressive Marisol Almena looked simply spectacular, with incredible definition and stunning presence in the stage, every bodypart perfectly muscled, despite not beign as massive as Karla, she was superior in the definition area, all of her muscles marked as a muscle chart, with deep cuts between them. Imposing Biceps; an  incredible six-pack the best in competition; very well shaped legs, chiseled, long, you could clearly appreciate every head of her quadriceps, we cannot forget her wonderful back full of beautiful muscles, developing a bit more her lats would help tremendously to improve her symmetry, keeping her narrow waist, her muscles in general looked bigger thaks to her small joints.

    This Mexican bodybuilder displayed a fantastic overall shape, we find it close to the shape of the three times Ms. Olympia Kim Chizevsky of the United States, it doesn't hurt to mention that she looked pretty, that hairdo fits her perfectly and her orange bikini charge the stage with electricity.

    Despite the home favoritism towards Karla Requejo, we think Marisol, looked more than enough great to deserve the title in her weight class and specially Marisol Almena  blasted her opponents to win the Overall Champion title, over her compatriot Gianina Madrigal middle weights champ and Venezuelan Maria Franca Gutierrez in the light weights. We think that the judges played right this time, except perhaps for the controversial third place for Karla, but in general they held a less Karla en una de sus mejores posesaccidented work than in the men's category where it was usual to hear protest from the audience while the results were announced.

    We must say that it would have been cool if after the contest she would have come out  to pose for the photographers and the fans. Many people were wondering if the chapion was going to get out. 

    We can proudly say tha many of the girls showed a superb level in fitness and bodybuilding, which shows that the state of bodybuilding in our region keeps getting higher, we just hope that they receive all the help they need in their respective federations, definitely exists a great potential which does not deserved to be no longer ignored. Many of these women may become  IFBB Pros, let's hope to watch them soon flexing between the best female bodybuilders in the world. 





Gianina flexiona para sus fans    One  girl that stole powerfully my attention from a start was Gianinna Madrigal. We present her with the trophy of the COOLEST GIRL of the contest and it goes beyond the sport, she is  super kind and simple and has a great smilees, but there is one detail that I like very much of her, is that unlike her own gender coleagues  who after the show going outside to the streets covered their muscles under their jumpers despite the heat of the afternoon, Gianina went out the street with all the splendor of her muscular body uncovered, ready for every unaware person to surprised and admire, We got to see her outside, she was walking with some other persons, it was funny that she was the center of all the glances in the avenue, the buses and the cars slowed when passing by her side, sure she created a conmotion in the center of the capital city. It seem that this playful gir enjoys altering the traffing of every city she visits, definitely she is extremely self confident.>>> 


    Sorrily not the photographs resulted as we wanted, most of the pictures in this page were taken a digital Sony Mavica, we think it is a very handy and useful in cases like this when the pictures are to be uploaded in the internet inmediatly and because of its simplicity it is indicated to make family shots or in travels,  but in the quality of the shots, as you must have realized is not optimal for our purposes, we would not recommend its use in bodybuilding or fitness contests, beacuse it lacks the necessary definition to show all the details of the muscles, as the sharp contrast they show under the spotlights got dimmed, We'll try to buy the video and get some captures from it. Since the camera was borrowed  it was the first time I used a digital one and I still didn't understand all of its functions, but that day I learned useful tip for the users of this device: when spotting into the stage from far and the zoom is in use you'll notice that image shakes and therefore the photos become fuzzy and with an unwanted movement effect, to correct this is better to select the "PROGRAM" button in the lower side until the golfer icon apears in the upper right corner of the screen, this will make the exposicion time to be slower and therefore the image will result appear clearer. Happily I discovered this feature on time, if not all the pictures would look like this one, if you already seen it now you know what is to be short-sighted. We think that althought it is more expensive is a best choice to take this shots with a more advanced camera and even better it is professional.


    Regarding the delegations even whe it was expected more from Brazil this delegation responded in the fitness division, it was Argentina, a traditional regional power in bodybuiding which this time dissapointed everyone, personally we were eager to see live and direct the monumental argentinean women we had seen in magazines; on the other hand the big surprise came from the other extreme of Latin America: Mexico, the aztec delegation showcased a excellent team specially in the girl side, in fact Mexico received the by far deserved prize of best delegation, besides counting with the most enthusiast supporters. Also  many of the so called "small countries" of Central America and the Caribbean presented good representants it seems that the sport of muscle is going through a good moment in the North of our region.

las fitness brasileras    On a more stylistcal note, due to the explosive popularity of breast implants between female bodybuilders and fitness women, it was strange not to see much girls with evident implants, like for example Denise Masino, not even in fitness where beauty counts more on the qualifications. What we saw  is the growing trend of sporting blonde hair, considering that in our region there are few natural blondes it is easy to deduct the massive use of hair dyes (and not only in female competitors). We think there are ladies who look wonderful in blonde but others would look better with their natural own hair or any other shade. It is curious that the three winners of bodybuilding by weight divisions weared golden hairs, it remarks that also the judger prefer them blonde.

    Once again the media dissapointed with its dismal coverage of the event, most of them plain ignore it while other gave it a few seconds or a footnote, but this was expectable. But we remember the last time this championship was held in Lima in 1989, it was given much more attention, even the state channel which taped it delayed, registered one of the highest ratings in its history, I remeber the day after every one was talking about the contest. 

    We could see for ourselves how flas are the stereotypes of bodybuilding champions of beign egocentric and arrogant, in fact all the participants men and women were excellent and spent a good time posing for the photos, signing autographs and meeting with the fans and supporters, showing that behind those mythological physiques there are normal persons, of flesh (lots of flesh) and bone.

    Finally we enjoyed a high profile show, we were more than happy after the event and we are seriously considering in saving money for the trip to Asuncion, Paraguay next yeart where this same Iberoamerican Championship is going to be held, really it is a great experience and deserves to be repeated. See you in Asuncion.




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