COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dexter Jackson, a four-time winner of the Arnold Classic, will try to win a record fifth title when he leads a field of 14 men’s professional bodybuilders who will battle in the 2015 Arnold Classic, the Arnold Sports Festival announced today.
The Arnold Sports Festival and the IFBB Pro League today announced the invited athletes who will compete in the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, Figure International, Bikini International, Arnold Classic Men’s Physique and Women’s Physique International contests March 6-7 at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival.
Jackson won the Arnold Classic in 2005, 2006 and 2007 before tying Flex Wheeler’s record of four Arnold Classic titles with a victory in 2013. Jackson did not compete in the Arnold Classic in 2014. Two- time Arnold Classic champ Branch Warren and 2013 Arnold Classic Brasil champ Brandon Curry will also compete in Columbus in 2015. Mohamad Ali Bannout earned an automatic invite based on winning the 2014 Europa Phoenix Pro.
In the Arnold Classic 212, Aaron Clark, Hidetada Yamagishi and Jose Raymond lead a field of 10 professionals. Clark finished third in 2014, while Yamagishi was fourth and Raymond fifth. Defending champion James “Flex” Lewis will not compete.
In the Fitness International, defending champion Oksana Grishina and 2013 winner Tanji Johnson headline a field of 14. Grishina also finished first in the Arnold Classic Europe and Fitness Olympia contests in 2014 and has won her last four professional contests. Aurika Tyrgale earned an automatic invite after winning the Arnold Amateur overall title in 2014.
In the Figure International, two-time defending champion Candice Keene is back and will try and join Jenny Lynn and Nicole Wilkins as three-time winners of the Figure International title. She will be challenged by Heather Dees and Camala Rodriquez-McClure, second and third in 2014, respectively. 2014 Arnold Amateur overall winner Andressa Ribeiro earned automatic invitation.
Ashley Kaltwasser will try to become the first repeat winner of the Bikini International, which has had four champions in four years since it was founded in 2011. Janey Layug, who finished second to Kaltwasser in the Bikini Olympia, leads a host of challengers in the field of 15.
The first-ever Arnold Classic Men’s Physique and Women’s Physique International will be held on Friday, March 6 at the Arnold Fitness EXPO. Sadik Hadzovic leads the men’s field, while Juliana Malacarne and Dana Linn Bailey lead the women’s field.
The Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, and Figure International will be held on Friday, March 6. Prejudging will take place at the Arnold Fitness EXPO and final at Battelle Grand, both at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Prejudging and Finals for the Arnold Classic and Bikini International, and final event for the Arnold Strongman will be held on Saturday, March 7 at Battelle Grand.