2024 Fitness International Preview

The 2024 Arnold Classic weekend will feature four IFBB Pro League women’s divisions. One of those is the popular Fitness International contest, which has become one of the most prestigious titles for the athletes in this category.

The 2024 edition takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday, March 1, 2024. The winner earns qualification to compete at the 2024 Olympia if not previously qualified. The roster of competitors for this event is listed below in alphabetical order:

Fitness International Roster

Jaclyn Baker

Jodi Boam

Abby Bolton

Tiffany Chandler

Danielle Chikeles

Anna Fomina

Michelle Fredua-Mensah

Ariel Khadr*

Minna Helena Pajulahti

Nikolett Szabo

Aurika Tyrgale

Tamara Vahn

*Defending Champion

[Related: 2024 Arnold Classic Men’s Physique Show Preview]

Past Champion

Promoter Arnold Schwarzenegger has presented the winner’s trophy to Ariel Khadr for the last two years. Khadr will return to attempt a three-peat in Columbus. Since the first Fitness International, held in 1994, only two competitors have won three championships consecutively: Adela Garcia (2010-12) and five-time (reigning) Fitness Olympia champion Oksana Grishina, who won this the Fitness International four straight times from 2014-17.

Khadr ranked fourth overall at the 2023 Fitness Olympia, which was seen by some fans as a disappointment since Khadr entered as a favorite to win the title. Khadr can gain momentum and a 2024 Olympia qualification by making history on the Arnold stage.

Top Contenders

Jaclyn Baker finished one spot behind Khadr in the 2023 Fitness International but one rank ahead of Khadr at the 2023 Olympia. 2024 is Baker’s fifth time on the Arnold stage. Baker can enter this show with confidence, knowing she has beaten the defending champion at this level before.

Michelle Fredua-Mensah ranked third at the 2023 Fitness International and fifth at the 2022 Fitness Olympia. The third-year pro will make her second consecutive appearance on the Arnold stage and aim to present the best routine of her career to knock off Khadr.

One of the most experienced veterans in this lineup is Tiffany Chandler, who has been pro since 2013. The sixth-place finisher at the 2023 Fitness International has ranked as high as third twice and could pull off an upset in Columbus in 2024.

Jodi Boam is another longtime competitor returning to the Arnold for the first time since 2012. She won the 2023 Chicago Pro and placed sixth at the 2023 Olympia.

Dark Horses

With two-thirds of the score coming from the routine round, athletes can bounce back from a low placing in the physique round. Tamara Vahn is likely to score big in the second round of competition. She ranked seventh at the 2023 Fitness International.

Another seasoned competitor that could threaten the favorites’ winning chances is 2023 Masters Olympia winner Minna Helena Pajulahti. Even as a Masters athlete, Pajulahti holds her own in any open lineup.

Aurika Tyrgale seeks redemption after a frustrating 2023 season. She failed to win any of the five pro shows she entered and did not compete in the 2023 Fitness International.  

Last but not least is Danielle Chikeles. Chikeles returns to the Fitness International for the first time since finishing 11th in 2019.

Arnold Debuts

There are new faces and physiques competing in Columbus for the first time, including Abby Bolton and second-year pros Anna Fomina and Nikolett Szabo. They may not be expected to podium, but new stars are born every year on the Arnold stage.  

How to Watch

The physique round will be held on the morning of March 1, 2024, on the Expo stage. Fans who have Expo tickets can watch this round live.

The finals will be held in the Battelle Grand Ballroom on the evening of March 1, 2024. Both rounds will be streamed live by ADL Pro free of charge for fans who can’t be in Columbus. Spectators can watch the action live by purchasing tickets on the Arnold Sports website.

Featured Image: @arnoldsports on Instagram

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