Kamal Elgargni Wins 2023 Masters Olympia as Contest Returns After 11-Year Hiatus

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For the first time since 2012, a Masters Olympia champion was crowned.

On the weekend of Aug. 26-27, 2023, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) held its first Masters Olympia competition in 11 years. The return of the contest saw competitors appear in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and 51-year-old Kamal Elgargni captured the Men’s Open Masters Olympia championship.

Elgargni previously won the 2019 212 Olympia and has now become the second-ever pro bodybuilder to win titles in two Olympia divisions, alongside 2008 Mr. Olympia and 2012 Masters Olympia winner Dexter Jackson.

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The 2023 Masters Olympia contest was also the first time participants in 10 physique divisions took the stage competing for a Masters Olympia title: Men’s Open, 212, Men’s Physique, Classic Physique, Women’s Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique, Figure, Fitness, Bikini, and Wellness. In prior Masters Olympia contests, only competitors in the Men’s Open, Figure, Fitness, and Bikini divisions competed.

As a Masters competition, all athletes were at least 40 years old at the time of competition, with the exception of the Men’s Open, 212, and Women’s Bodybuilding athletes who were required to be 45 or older.

In addition to their share of $229,000 — one of the largest prize purses in the sport — champions in each division also earned qualifications to compete in the Olympia contest on Nov. 3-5, 2023 in Orlando, FL. Here’s how each division in the long-awaited contest turned out.

Men’s Open

  1. Kamal Elgargni — $20,000
  2. Maxx Charles — $10,000
  3. Phil Clahar — $5,000
  4. Fred Smalls — $3,000
  5. Kenneth B. Jackson — $2,000

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212

  1. Hidetada Yamagishi — $10,000
  2. David Henry — $5,000
  3. Anwar Darwish Ali Al Balushi — $3,000
  4. Ahmed Fawzi — $2,000
  5. Jonni Shreve — $1,000

Classic Physique

  1. Alejandro Cambronero — $10,000
  2. Kelvin Hinde — $5,000
  3. Ross Caeser — $3,000
  4. Luis Garcia Martinez — $2,000
  5. Tom Connelly — $1,000

Men’s Physique

  1. Arya Saffaie — $10,000
  2. Sharif Reid — $5,000
  3. Dajuan Rico Freeman — $3,000
  4. Myron Griffin — $2,000
  5. Andrea Mosti — $1,000

Women’s Bodybuilding

  1. Reshanna Boswell — $10,000
  2. Barbara Moojen — $5,000
  3. Virginia B. Sanchez Macias — $3,000
  4. Donna Salib — $2,000
  5. Silvia Matta — $1,000

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Women’s Physique

  1. Ivie Rhein — $10,000
  2. Caroline Alves Dos Santos — $5,000
  3. Heather Grace — $3,000
  4. Joanna Romano — $2,000
  5. Susan Graham — $1,000

Figure

  1. Jessica Reyes Padilla — $10,000
  2. Donya (Dee) Jackson — $5,000
  3. Gina Palma — $3,000
  4. Corrie Morales — $2,000
  5. Zulfiya Bitiyeva — $1,000

Fitness

  1. Minna Pajulahti — $10,000
  2. Stephanie Jones — $5,000
  3. Tamara Vahn — $3,000
  4. Jenny Worth — $2,000
  5. Debbie Fowler — $1,000

Bikini

  1. Jessica Wilson — $10,000
  2. Janine Herrera — $5,000
  3. Nucia Freitas Samo — $3,000
  4. Kerryne Henich — $2,000
  5. Elisangela Angell — $1,000

Wellness

  1. Nerilde Garcia Strey — $10,000
  2. Simara Walter — $5,000
  3. Oana Marinescu — $3,000
  4. Tania Isabel Cunha Viegas — $2,000
  5. Casey DeLong — $1,000

The last Masters Olympia occurred in Miami, FL in 2012 when Dexter Jackson earned a victory in what was, at the time, the final Masters Olympia competition. The 2012 event was, itself, the contest’s return after not being held since 2003. At the time of this writing, the IFBB has not yet officially announced if the Masters Olympia will remain an annual competition or if it will again take an indefinite break from the contest calendar.

Regardless, the 2023 contest was a prime opportunity for experienced competitors to showcase their physiques as a way to potentially motivate similar-aged spectators and offer current (younger) competitors a look at their long-term potential in the sport.

Featured Image: @mastersolympiaofficial / Instagram

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