Arnold Sports Festival Results 2017: Friday Results, Highlights and Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2017

Professional bodybuilders pose on stage during a competition at the Arnold Classic Brazil 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 30, 2015. The 3rd annual multi-disciplinary sports competition is named after Austrian-American actor, politician and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.   AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA        (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
YASUYOSHI CHIBA/Getty Images

Friday marked the second day of action at the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and it was highlighted by a slew of premier competitions between some of the sport's biggest names. 

Specifically, competitors in the Arnold Classic 212, Women's Fitness International and Women's Figure International groups took center stage at a packed Columbus Convention Center to kick off a jam-packed weekend for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. 

The immediate focus was on the Arnold Classic 212, which was dominated by Ahmad Ashkanani.  

A burgeoning force in the bodybuilding world, Ashkanani added a triumph Friday over a stacked field to a resume that was already among the sport's most impressive, as RxMuscle noted on Twitter: 

In order to take home the title Friday, Ashkanani had to best 2016 champion Hidetada Yamagishi and 2015 victor Jose Raymond, who finished sixth and third, respectively, in this year's competition, per NPC News Online: 

"This is my best moment ever," Ashkanani told Arnold Schwarzenegger after the win, according to the event's official Twitter account

Speaking of career-defining moments, Candice Lewis-Carter pulled off a stunner when she upset 2016 champion Latorya Watts to take home the top prize in the Figure International showdown, per RxMuscle: 

On the Fitness International side, there were no upsets to be found. In fact, a historic run of dominance was sustained as Oksana Grishina took home her fourth straight title in the event. 

Sheronica Henton finished in second and Heather Grace came in third as they sought to apply some pressure, per RxMuscle, but there was no stopping Grishina in her final Arnold appearance. 

With a big day in the books, the attention will turn to Saturday's action when the Arnold Classic, Men's Physique and Bikini International competitions get underway. 

And based on the way upstarts and legends alike split top honors Friday, Saturday's showdowns should be packed with drama. 

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