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Can Missy Truscott Repeat at the 2021 Fitness International?
By Roger Lockridge
The Canadian superstar hopes to go back-to-back in Columbus.
On June 15th, the Arnold Sports Festival released the competitor lists for the four contests that it will hold in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, September 25th. Although the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic Physique, and Bikini International are all great lineups, the most competitive field may be the athletes taking part in the Fitness International.
That lineup includes the 2020 winner, Missy Truscott, who also won the 2020 Fitness Olympia title in December. She is the only Arnold winner who has ties to Canada, and she will be competing at this year’s event to defend her championship. Holding both titles clearly makes her the number one fitness athlete on the planet, and pulling off that feat two years in a row could put her in rarified air when it comes to her division. Oksana Grishina, Adela Garcia, and Susie Curry are the only ladies to have won both titles in the same season at least twice. In order to add her name to that elite list, she will be facing two past champions, including one whose name is on that list already.
In short, Grishina is a living legend due to her memorable performances over the course of her career. Her four Olympia titles match up very well with her four Arnold Ohio victories. She won both titles from 2014 through 2017 before retiring on the Olympia stage four years ago. Her return to competition after a three-year absence surprised many fans. At the age of 43, she still managed to place second at the Olympia behind Truscott. With time to fully prepare and a desire to seek redemption, she has made this a highly anticipated matchup.
American Whitney Jones has one Arnold win and two Olympia titles to her credit, and she will be seeking redemption in 2021 after losing to Truscott six months ago in Orlando, Florida. She has a history of toughness, exemplified by her overcoming a serious back injury to win the Fitness International in 2018. She would go on to win the Olympia that season. Her routines show her strength, which is magnified by her powerful-looking physique. Make no mistake, Jones could still win this show. Something as simple as one mistake during their routines could be the difference.
Although the three past champions garner the most attention, there are certainly other contenders to watch out for. Jaclyn Baker is always in the running for top spots when she is in a contest. Ariel Khadr has had memorable performances in recent years, and Darrian Borello was in the top five at this contest in March of 2020. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a dark horse surprising everyone as well. If Truscott is going to be standing at centre stage being interviewed by Arnold Schwarzenegger this year, she can’t sleep on anyone in the field.
2021 Fitness International Lineup (in alphabetical order):
- Jaclyn Baker
- Darrian Borello
- Amanda Ciani
- Oksana Grishina
- Whitney Jones
- Sally Kendall-Williams
- Ariel Khadr
- Minna Pajulahti
- Missy Truscott *
- Aurika Tyrgale