The annual Fitness America Weekend is made up of the following;

– Ms Bikini America

– Model America

– Musclemania America & World

– Figure America

– Fitness America

The annual FAW is now done and dusted for 2012 with history showing the Domination of the ANB Aussie Team. Each and every ANB Aussie athlete stood tall and proud on stage and showed the world how we do things down here in Oz. As all the athletes enjoy and share in each others success, it’s time for them to enjoy quality time with their family and friends and of course tell us all in their own time about their own individual experiences whilst in Vegas. Some may choose and I quote the words of my interview poolside at the nugget with Jacquii Alexander “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Only time will tell just what and how much is revealed 

 Murray doing life guard duties

I will give a brief run down over the three days at The Nugget before I will detail just how our ANB Aussies finished.

Rego & Media Day, Thursday 15th

Each athlete in every division must register, complete compulsory drug testing and collect the mountain of goodies that are provided by the FAW sponsors. From protein bars, books and magazines, t-shirts, there are massive amounts provided for the athletes who will entertain the world. I might add that there should be all of this given to the athletes for what they all have been through with their show prep.

Ryan Laos at the weigh in 

 Murray and Ryan leaving for pre-judge outside their hotel

Old mates from previous shows here get to catch up talk shop. Ryan Laos catch up John Paul (JP) from the USA was one such example. Ryan and I were backstage pumping up for the 2010 show when JP came over and we all started to talk. Next thing you know, Ryan and JP are eating skittles and away in their own world talking shop. Two years later and it was just like yesterday since we all spoke.

Pre Judge, Friday 16th

Here’s where it all went down and all that mattered was what each athlete showed on stage. The athletes’ physiques were incredible and the Fitness America Weekend again lived up to its reputation as to where the world’s finest natural athletes come to compete. Each division had deep line ups and these awesome athletes got worked in true FAW style. As hard as the athletes got worked, the judges were put through the ringer themselves. Experienced judges with “competition eyes” worked hard for all divisions.

Finals, Saturday 17th

Now sit back, close your eyes and think about this. A packed auditorium of over 1000 people, the giant television network ESPN with Musclemania TV streamed live over the web for the  world to see, the party atmosphere with the music cranking like you’re in the Marquee nightclub at the Cosmopolitan, absolutely electric atmosphere that was made even more electric knowing that today was going to be a very special day in the history of the ANB. The athletes were cut and then those remaining went at it. A long day made us all appreciate just how our ANB shows are run at home being the World’s best. Ask the ANB Aussie athletes if you don’t believe me.

PJ Lee in his line-up

After Party, Pure Nightclub, Caesars Palace

Off the hook and let’s just say that all the athletes had fun!!!!!

ANB Aussie results:

Ms Bikini America, Classic Tall

Jacquii Alexander = 1st, from the moment she walked on stage it was clear to all that this bikini America belonged to her. All Jacqui’s preparation showed on stage as what she displayed was awesome. Congrats Jacqui

Jacquii Alexander

Ms Bikini America, Tall

Melissa Darmawan = 12th, great shadowing for Mel in a line up of 35 models with 4 previous winners competing. This class was extremely close and Mel has shown all she can mix it with the best. Great effort and congrats Mel.


 Murray and Mel

Model America, Men Classic

Michael Kay = 3rd, mate you are the man 🙂 For those who don’t know this guy, Michael is part of the Leisure dome crew and has been part of the ANB for years. His first show was the Asia Pacific this year and he shows us that age is no barrier. I have no doubt that he will be on stage again next year

 Ryan, Michael and Murray 

Model America, Men Classic

Ben Handsaker = 7th, a fantastic result for Ben amongst this line of 25 male models. These guys are on the USA fitness covers and the quality is of an extremely high standard. Ben went at it with them and has become the highest placed Aussie in the shows history. Enjoy your rewards mate.

Ben Handsaker

 Ssugar, Jacquii and Michael

$$ugar Shaun = outside top 10, the $$ugar brought his unique style to the Nugget stage and left the ladies wanting more. He hammed it up and enjoyed the spotlight in true “Dome” style. $$ugar certainly enjoys himself up there and like Michael, will be back up on stage again next year having fun.

Model America, Women Classic

Ssugar and Jacquii

Jacqui Alexander = 3rd, another faultless showing from Jacqui with one judge having the say between 3rd and 1st. outstanding result from her with phenomenal stage presence.

Model America, Women Tall

Melissa Darmawan = 6th, another great result for Mel in a deep line up of 25. 3 previous winners were competing and Mel did exceptionally well. Like Jacqui’s class, Mel’s was no different with the judging extremely close and the ladies getting plenty of comparisons.

 Murray and Mel

Figure America, Classic Tall

Trish White = 6th, Trish looked awesome, simple as that. Congrats Trish with this achievement and when you return again to the Nugget stage you will be in the mix; I have no doubt about that. Your physique you displayed showed us all just how hard and what you put yourself through for this show.

Figure America, Medium

Tammie Sarkozy = 1st, Tammie was faultless and showed the world the reason why this year she took out the Asia Pacific Title, Overall Asia Pacific Title and also Australian Title. Her classic flowing figure lines throughout her entire body (looks like she spent some time on the rower with straight legs :p) were on the money along with outstanding conditioning from head to toe had this class hers. An outstanding result.

Figure America, Overall

Tammie Sarkosy took the stage and history will show is the first ANB athlete to do so in the Overall. Tammy was faultless in both Gary Cleggett’s and myself thoughts however the judges saw things differently.

Musclemania America, Juniors

PJ Lee = 1st, “The Freak” that is PJ took this class by storm with a commanding victory. Enjoy this time mate and your rewards for all your hard work. Take in what you have learnt from the more “seasoned” athletes and use all what you have learnt in your future. Great result mate.

Musclemania America, Masters

Bryce Cleary = 2nd, from head to toe Bryce’s years of hard work is evident. Bryce pushed the winner (all 225lbs of him) all the way in a classic battle. A great finish for a great competitive year which saw Bryce never out of the placings. Bryce is what I call the bodybuilders bodybuilder, you will never meet a more down to earth and respected bloke.

Musclemania PRO, Lightweight

Sasho Ogenovski PRO Debut = 2nd, with additional size evident Sasho was at his all time best. His conditioning was incredible and overall presentation was rewarded by the judges. Sasho, mate takes a bow because you have shown us all that Aussies can compete in the PRO’s ranks in the states and do well. You are an inspiration to many.

Musclemania World, Lightweight

Sung Seng Lay = 2nd, winning the pre judge and to be beaten in the finals is a bitter pill to swallow however Sung did so like the great Aussie champion he is. This is an example for everyone that when you stand on the MM stage you must be prepared for whatever happens at any time. Sung was on from the get go and peaked for this show. You name it Sung has it and like Bryce, Sung has had a great year which saw him take out the south coast, Sydney, Asia pacific, Australian titles.

Paul Foote = 6th, a great showing for Paul after stepping up from this year’s Asia Pacific. Talking with Paul after the show, he is taking in all that he has learned from standing on stage with the world’s best in planning his next show.

Musclemania World, Middleweight

Joel Ramintas = 1st, slam dunk. Joel with total domination over this class at both pre judge and finals. Peeled every which way you could imagine. After 3 previous attempts at this title, Joel now claims his Musclemania PRO status and we look forward to that day when Joel stands alongside Sasho Ogenovski and these two go at it in the Musclemania PRO Lightweight class.

Musclemania World, Light heavyweight

This was a battle between two great Australian natty’s in Ryan Laos and Justin Firgaira. They both knew it was between them and the boys went at it showing mutual respect and admiration for each other. A classic battle unfolded and went the following way;

Ryan Laos = 1st, at his all time best and evident to all. Full, hard and grainy this was reward for his years of toil. Ryan now claims his Musclemania PRO status and we look forward to seeing him in the PRO Heavyweight class.

Ryan by the pool at the competition

Justin Firgaira = 2nd, Justin has some crazy wheels that you can’t stop looking at. From all angles he has arguably the best natural wheels in the world. Talking with Justin after the show about his first MM show and he will be back for this class that has his name all over it.

 Musclemania World Men’s Overall

The four Musclemania World class winners were introduced individually as they took the stage. ANB history was made with having two Aussies in the overall in Joel Ramintas and Ryan Laos. These two went at it for the nationals overall some four weeks earlier with Joel 1st and Ryan 2nd. Both the Aussies were at their all time best and had peaked for this show. The atmosphere in the auditorium was electric and these fine athletes gave their all. After the judges pulled their physiques apart, it was Joel Ramintas who was crowned Musclemania World Overall Champion. A fantastic victory for Joel capping off a stellar year.

Joel at the Nationals 2012

Muzz’s wrap up

History will show the 2012 Fitness America Weekend will be remembered, for ANB Domination. The athletes from the Asia Pacific International led by Antonietta and Steve Jones along with the athletes from the Australian Titles all should feel very proud of their individual and team achievements. When on tour all our ANB athletes form a special bond, a bond that unless you have competed in the USA you would not understand just how close and what the athletes do for each other.

When you see these great ANB Aussies athletes of the 2012 tour please take the time to congratulate them and share their international competitive thoughts.

I must give a special thank you to both Gary Cleggett (Joel’s training partner) and Natasha Cossell (Ryan’s sister) who sat with me during both the pre judge and finals. We spoke amongst ourselves, shared similar views and all in all had a blast 🙂

Those of you whom are interested in the 2013 tour, details will be released in January.

It was an absolute pleasure to witness this great event and seeing the ANB Aussies smash it up was an added bonus.


Murray Graham

ANB General Secretary

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For full report look out for the next edition of Natural Bodz Magazine