Samson Dauda is your 2023 Arnold Traditional Champion

The 35th edition of the Arnold Classic was held over the weekend of March 3rd at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. Fans watched as seven champions were crowned throughout the weekend, including Samson Dauda, ​​who won the main title, the Arnold Classic men's open championship.

Dauda faced nine of the world's top IFBB Pro League bodybuilders, including two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay, Nick Walker and Andrew Jacked. Current Olympia 212 champion Shaun Clarida was also in that 10-man lineup and placed fifth on that show, despite being outweighed by 50-100 pounds in some instances. At the end of the final, it came down to Dauda and 2021 Arnold Classic winner Nick Walker for the title, and Dauda would be the man whose hand was raised by Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of the evening. He received a first place check for $300,000 with this trophy.

Arnold Sports Festival

1. Samson Dauda

2. Nick Walker

3. Andrew jacked

4. Mamdouh Elssbiay

5. Shaun Clarida

Other men's departments

Three other men's divisions held competitions in Columbus. Erin Banks managed to successfully defend his Arnold Men's Physique title against rivals Diogo Montenegro and Emanual Hunter. The popular Ramon Rocha Queiroz (aka "Dino") held off an attack from Urs Kalecinski to win the Arnold Classic Physique title, and the dominant Harold "King Kong" Kelley claimed his sixth Arnold Wheelchair victory. Kelley has won six of the seven Arnold Championships that division has had.

Arnold male physique

Erin BanksArnold Sports Festival

1. Erin Banks

2. Diogo Montenegro

3. Emmanuel Hunter

4. Vitor Chaves

5.Carlos DeOliveria

Arnold classic physique

Ramon Rocha QueriozArnold Sports Festival

1. Ramon Rocha Querioz

2.Urs Kalecinski

3. Alex Cambronero

4. Mike Sommerfeld

5. Courage Opara

Arnold Pro wheelchair

1.Harold Kelly

2.Tory Jones

3.Bradley Betts

4. Woody Belfort

5.James Berger

women's departments

The women also showed great performances. Two of the three champions participating in the competition were able to defend their titles. On Friday night, Ariel Khadr clinched her second Fitness International Championship, putting her in prime position to compete for the Olympia this fall. Lauralie Chapados also retained the Bikini International title, actually defeating current Olympic champion Maureen Blanquisco, as well as former Arnold and Olympic champions Jennifer Dorie and Ashley Kaltwasser.

The second Wellness International competition was also held and a new champion was guaranteed at this competition as defending champion Isabelle Nunes had to retire due to injury. Angela Borges was considered the favourite, but Kassandra Gillis of Canada was in the best shape of her career. That was rewarded because she was presented with the trophy as champion. Borges became runners-up for the second time in a row.

Wellness international

Cassandra GillisArnold Sports Festival

1. Cassandra Gillis

2.Angela Borges

3. Rayane Fogal

4. Alexis Adams

5.Marissa Andrews

Bikini International

Lauralie ChapadosArnold Sports Festival

1. Lauralie Chapados

2. Maureen Blanquisco

3.Jennifer Dory

4. Ashley Kaltwasser

5. Romina Basualdo

Fitness International

1. Ariel KhadrArnold Sports Festival

1. Ariel Khadr

2.Jaclyn Baker

3. Michelle Freda-Mensah

4. Allison Kramer

5.Tamara Vahn

More information

Four-time Arnold Classic Champion Flex Wheeler was recognized as the 2023 Arnold Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. He and Schwarzenegger shared a moment on stage before Wheeler addressed the crowd.

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the Arnold Classic, many of the past champions were in attendance and graced the stage to be appreciated by the crowd. Schwarzenegger thanked them for the memories they created and for supporting the show and the sport of bodybuilding.

A video tribute was broadcast to commemorate Schwarzenegger's longtime business partner and Arnold Classic co-founder, Jim Lorimer, who passed away in 2022.

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