Nine winners walked away as champions at the 2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro!
Written by Doug Murray
With the 2023 Mr. Olympia show in the rearview mirror, athletes are setting their sights on qualifications for next year’s edition. The 2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro took place on November 11-12 in Bucharest, Romania, and featured 9 divisions, including Men’s Open, Men’s 212 Bodybuilding, Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Bikini, Women’s Bodybuilding, Figure, Women’s Physique, and Wellness.
It’s been an eventful month in the world of bodybuilding. At the beginning of November, the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest concluded with Derek Lunsord taking home the Men’s Open title in a showdown against his teammate Hadi Choopan.
With that in mind, athletes are now qualifying for the 2024 Mr. Olympia show, which will head back to Las Vegas, Nevada for its 60th anniversary next year, set to take place in the Las Vegas Convention Center. With time running out, talent brought their best to Romania in one of the very first qualifiers of the 2024 season!
2023 Romania Pro Winners
- Men’s Open: Samson Dauda
- Men’s 212: Ahmad Ashkanani
- Classic Physique: Wesley Vissers
- Men’s Physique: Miroslav Juricek
- Women’s Bodybuilding: Leyvina Rodrigues Barros
- Bikini: Alice Marchisio
- Figure: Tereza Linhartova
- Women’s Physique: Raluca Raducu
- Wellness: Gisele Machado
2023 Romania Pro Results Breakdown
It was a thrilling night in Bucharest, Romania, especially for coach Milos Sarcev, who trained finalists Samson Dauda and Behrooz Tabani. Meanwhile, Marcello De Angelis was making his highly anticipated Open debut. During prejudging, the shape, overall mass, and back detail of Dauda saw him command center stage for most of the evening. Having just taken third place at the 2023 Olympia, Dauda entered this event as a huge favorite.
This was a special one for defending cham Behrooz Tabani. He was denied entry to the US due to visa issues despite qualifying for 2023 Olympia. Tabani also took gold at the 2023 Arnold Classic South America show. After being pushed, Samson Dauda came out on top. Tabani settled for second place with Marcello De Angelis and Nathan De Asha finishing third and fourth.
- Winner — Samson Dauda
- Second Place — Behrooz Tabani Abarghani
- Third Place — Marcello De Angelis
- Fourth Place — Nathan De Asha
- Fifth Place — Mohamed Foda
- Sixth Place — Andrea Presti
- Seventh Place — Alfred Chiriac
- Eighth Place — Volodymyr Byruk
- Ninth Place — Jan Turek
- Tenth Place — Kevin Brucher
Men’s 212 Bodybuilding
In the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding division, contenders Christian Zagarella and Ahmad Ashkanani were looking to take control of the stage early, having presented impressive posing routines and conditioning. Ashkanani entered this event with considerable momentum after taking fifth place on the 2023 Mr. Olympia stage just a week ago. He looked to have brought a different package tonight and was arguably tighter from the back.
Against the Olympia finisher was Christian Zagarella. Following his solid third-place showing at the 2022 Yamamoto France Pro, fans have been blown away by his rapid progress since. Sporting a pronounced X-frame and capped shoulders, Zagarella isn’t an easy out for any 212 competitor. In the end, Ahmad Ashkanani clinched the victory. Christian Zagarella and Radoslav Angelov claimed second and third-place honors.
- Winner — Ahmad Ashkanani
- Second Place — Christian Zagarella
- Third Place — Radoslav Angelov
- Fourth Place — Alexandru Vasile Uta
- Fifth Place — Lucas Garcia
- Sixth Place — Dawid Cnota
- Seventh Place — Daniel Vasilica
- Eighth Place — Vincent Alliot
- Ninth Place — Junior Pagula
- Tenth Place — Morad Zahir
The crowd was on their feet for talent from the Classic Physique category, especially when Wesley Vissers made his entrance. His shape and structure carried him throughout the show. Vissers was last seen in action at the 2023 Mr. Olympia competition, which saw him claim seventh place. This time out, he seemed more in control of his posing and displayed a stronger stage presence.
Aside from Vissers, Ruben Lopez Reyes was in the running to take gold. He brought an aesthetic, balanced physique to the table, and the judges took a closer look at him. Reyes competed recently at the 2023 Logenix Spain Pro and slotted in fourth place. Ultimately, Wesley Vissers pulled off the big win. Ruben Lopez Reyes finished second with Alexander Westermeier earning bronze.
- Winner — Wesley Vissers
- Second Place — Ruben Lopez Reyes
- Third Place — Alexander Westermeier
- Fourth Place — Sebastien Theurel
- Fifth Place — Ali Shams Ghamar
- Sixth Place — George Achampong
- Seventh Place — Nicolas Alberto Concepcion
- Eighth Place — Mehmed Mehmedov
- Ninth Place — Chris Pistolas
- Tenth Place — Pekka Kotipohja
Men’s Physique competitors brought some impressive looks during prejudging. Immediately, it was clear Miroslav Juricek had made substantial changes to his upper body since his last competition, which came at the 2022 EVLS Prague Pro in fourth place. He stood out during comparisons and ultimately found himself fighting for center stage most of Sunday.
Aside from Juricek, Caike DeOliveira was on the hunt for gold, having proven himself as a Men’s Physique contender from season to season. DeOliveira’s back shots were top-notch and he posed with conviction. However, it was Miroslav Juricek’s night after the final posedown. Caike DeOliveira claimed second place and Furkan Er took third.
- Winner — Miroslav Juricek
- Second Place — Caike DeOliveira
- Third Place — Furkan Er
- Fourth Place — Mohammad Ali
- Fifth Place — Jeffrey Darko
- Sixth Place — Alessandro Cavagnola
- Seventh Place — Mauro Fialho
- Eighth Place — Alexandru Panek
- Ninth Place — Alessandro Colacchi
- Tenth Place — Andrea Amato
It was an intense battle between top athletes residing in the Women’s Bodybuilding division. The judges put contenders through the rounds, calling for several different poses. Anastasia Korableva, a known threat in the category, emerged as a frontrunner during the prejudging and finals. Korableva’s last show came at this event
in 2022, where she carved out a seventh-place finish.
Leyvina Rodrigues Barros was another top gun aiming to cement her standing among a group of hungry contenders. Barros has an impressive shape but enough muscularity to hang with the best of her class. She last competed at the 2022 Olympia in 15th place. While it was close, the judges favored Leyvina Rodrigues Barros for first place. Anastasia Korableva finished second and Tiana Flex took third.
- Winner — Leyvina Rodrigues Barros
- Second Place — Anastasia Korableva
- Third Place — Tiana Flex
- Fourth Place — MayLa Ash
- Fifth Place — Barbara de Freitas Moojen
- Sixth Place — Hagit Seindlis
- Seventh Place — Jacqueline Fuchs
- Eighth Place — Viktoria Knysh
- Ninth Place — Gemma Lancaster
- Tenth Place — Ivana Dvorakova
In Bikini, it didn’t take long for the crowd or the judges to figure out who was really gunning for a qualification for 2024 Olympia. Valerya Fedorenko, a popular name in the category, brought a balanced and symmetrical look to the stage. Fedorenko was last seen in action at the 2023 Fitness Authority Poland Pro, where she took first place with one of her best looks to date.
In Fedeorenko’s way was Alice Marchisio, whose poise, on-stage abilities, and aesthetics have earned her an impressive reputation in the league. Marchisio recently competed at the 2023 Italian Olympus Pro and placed second. This time out there was no doubt, Alice Marchisio pulled off the win. Valerya Federenko and Giuditta Taccani finished second and third.
- Winner — Alice Marchisio
- Second Place — Valerya Fedorenko
- Third Place — Giuditta Taccani
- Fourth Place — Dorottya Zoe Toth
- Fifth Place — Kerry Sexton
- Sixth Place — Rania Stamatiadou
- Seventh Place — Irene Iravedra Cunarro
- Eighth Place — Violeta Palamarchuk
- Ninth Place — Lorena Blanco
- Tenth Place — Andrina Scharli
Figure competitors shined in Romania, with Stefana Sandu asserting herself as a title contender early. Boasting great muscle tone and separation, Sandu has remained a standout in the busy division. In her last show, Sandu earned 10th place at the 2022 Romania Muscle Festo Pro.
Meanwhile, Tereza Linhartova brought one of her best looks to the stage. After clinching 11th on the Olympia Figure stage, Linhartova has done her best to shore up any weaknesses in her physique. Ultimately, her best efforts paid off with a big victory! Sefana Sandu and Rejoice Godwin claimed second and third place.
- Winner — Tereza Linhartova
- Second Place — Stefana Sandu
- Third Place — Rejoice Godwin
- Fourth Place — Jennifer Reece
- Fifth Place — Jennifer Zienert
- Sixth Place — Sonja Ivanov
- Seventh Place — Daiane Aparecida Freitas
- Eighth Place — Zulfiya Bitieva
- Ninth Place — Veronica Gallego Garcia
- Tenth Place — Anna Kohckar
Women’s Physique athletes were looking to make pitstops in Romania to ensure their 2024 Olympia qualifications. One physique that stole the show was Caroline Alves Dos Santos, who brought great conditioning, fullness, and a slender waist. She last took to the stage at the 2023 Europa Pro, where she picked up a second-place finish.
Another athlete looking to dominate the stage was Raluca Raducu. An established Pro, Raducu brings clean, detailed muscle volume and never shies away from a battle. She last competed at the 2022 Olympia but placed outside the top 15. Although Dos Santos gave her a run for her money, Raluca Raducu won the show. Caroline Alves Dos Santos and Sahar Rahmani claimed second and third.
- Winner — Raluca Raducu
- Second Place — Caroline Alves Dos Santos
- Third Place — Sahar Rahmani
- Fourth Place — Natalia Bystrova
- Fifth Place — Silvia Cuartero Martinez
- Sixth Place —Julia Glazycheva
- Seventh Place — Jo Kelly
- Eighth Place — Modesta Halby
- Ninth Place — Marina Kassinopoullou
- Tenth Place — Emilija Martic
Wellness athletes stormed the stage on Sunday ready to compete. In the running for gold during the prejudging rounds were Paula Dominguez and Gisele Machado. Dominguez has a dense lower body and her upper body flows seamlessly with her physique. In her last outing, Dominguez picked up a fifth-place finish at the 2023 Iogenix Spain Pro.
Riding high, Machado was on a mission for another title after claiming the victory at Steve Weinberger’s 2023 New York Pro. Once again, it was Machado’s night as she was the last woman standing. Paula Dominguez and Sandra Colorado Acal took second and third place.
- Winner — Gisele Machado
- Second Place — Paula Dominguez
- Third Place — Sandra Colorado Acal
- Fourth Place — Klaudia Vanessza Csuri
- Fifth Place — Dainora Dvarionaite
- Sixth Place — Lexy Oliver
- Seventh Place — Valentina Mabrouk
- Eighth Place — Houda Hmini
- Ninth Place — Rosa Benadero Munoz
- Tenth Place — Laleska Bruschi
2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro Scorecards
That wraps up all of the action in Romania this weekend. We at ARISTIMUQOH congratulate the winners on their big victories!