Some of Pridnestrovie's women are flexing their muscles - and bringing home gold medals as a result. In the regional bodybuilding finals in Odessa, PMR took first prize for female body fitness. In May, Tiraspol will host an international bodybuilding tournament.By Karen Ryan,
Strong female participation in international bodybuilding championships is bringing the gold back home to Tiraspol
TIRASPOL (Tiraspol Times) - Returning home victorious from Odessa, some of PMR's strongest women brought gold medals back with them.
Local-born female bodybuilders Viktoria "Vicky" Valikova and Nadezhda "Nadia" Gospodar - both from Tiraspol - shared 1st places in the Body Fitness category. The judges found them to be top of their game on 14 April when regional bodybuilding competitions were held in Odessa, Ukraine, under the auspices of the Odessa Open Cup.
Pridnestrovie, or Transnistria, as it is also known informally, was represented with eight contestants. All of them were selected as representatives of the Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation, and between them, the team took home nine medals: 3 Gold Medals, 4 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.
Among all CIS teams, Pridnestrovie finished second overall, putting the small and unrecognized country solidly on the map among followers of this sport.
" - Not bad for a country with just over 500,000 in population," said Fyodor Volkov, acknowledging that the team was up against much larger countries in the competition.
Both from Tiraspol: Contestants number 35 and 36 in the Odessa Cup bodybuilding competition.
The PMR team, named "Tiras" after its hometown Tiraspol, competes in between five to ten different international competitions each year, funded by the local body building federation and private investments.
First place finish for veteran Semerenko
The chairman of the Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation (and would-be local politician) Anatoly Semerenko participated on the men's side for Pridnestrovie. In the Veteran's Classics, Semerenko placed first, while he took second place in the 85 kg category.
Tiraspol-born Vladimir Granevski took second place in the under-100 kg category.In the 75 kg category, PMR's Alexander Evtukhov finished third and Sergey Makalich - also from Pridnestrovie - finished second.
Now back in Tiraspol, the capital of Pridnestrovie, the team is preparing for two upcoming competitions: The Ukraine Cup and the Eastern European Cup.
Both events are held from 27 April to 30 April. To show the flag in both places, Pridnestrovie's bodybuilders decided to split the team. Half of them will go to one competition, and the second half to the other. Both of them plan to bring back the gold to their new and emerging country ... again.
On 8 May 2007, Tiraspol will host the International Tournament of Body-building and Body-fitness “Tiras 2007” with more than a hundred participants and press from all over Eastern Europe. Flexing their muscles at home and abroad, the bodybuilders hope that the international recognition of Pridnestrovie in sports will spill over to the diplomatic field as well. The country declared independence in 1990, during the breakup of the Soviet Union, and is currently seeking international diplomatic recognition of its independent statehood.
See also:» Is Pridnestrovie's Semerenko the next Schwarzenegger?
The female bodybuilders of the PMR now compete internationally.Backstage, strong girls from PMR's warm up while their male teammates are changing.Earlier performances brought championships to several of PMR's female bodybuilders(Photos: PMR News / Lenta PMR and The Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation)