|2008 Australian Grand Prix Bodybuilding Contest Report
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REVIEW OF THE CONTEST
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1st - Dexter Jackson
Dexter looked pretty well as good as he ever has. Dexter had peaked for the Ironman, but he is the type of bodybuilder who always peaks for contests, so maintaining a peak for Dexter doesn't appear to ever be a problem for him. I have seldom seen Dexter come into a contest off, although sometimes he does look better than other times, although he also does bring a high level of conditioning to the stage. In this contest, and pushing 40 years of age, Dexter has still managed to come in shredded. His glutes were hard and shredded and his delts were reminiscent of Andreas Munzer's ultra striated delts. Dexter is one of the few bodybuilders who can be compared to Andreas in terms of conditioning and not look watery or even fat by comparison. This was Dexter's tenth pro win, and by most accounts, it was well deserved. There was very little controversy with this placing.
2nd - Melvin Anthony
This was a good placing for Melvin who bounced back nicely in the ranks after placing eigth at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. There were some complaints about his high ranking on the message boards, however. People did not feel that he was the second best conditioned pro bodybuilder on stage and think he should have been relegated to a position lower than second place. He did not have shredded glutes and his glutes and hamstring tie-in was not sharp, but he did seem improved since the 2008 Arnold and the competition was not exactly the same. I am happy to see that Melvin achieved a qualifying spot for the 2008 Mr. Olympia contest as I do feel that he is of the caliber to compete in it.
3rd - Mohamad Moussawi
It should be no surprise for those making predictions that Mohamad Moussawi placed as well as he did at this contest after finishing third at the 2008 Ironman Pro. That said, I think Mohamad was supremely conditioned at both of the previous contests and maintained his peak at this contest, although with drastically different lighting it is hard to exactly compare the caliber of conditioning he brought into this show. No matter what, this was a good showing for Mohamad and he qualifies once again to compete at the 2008 Mr. Olympia contest.
4th - Toney Freeman
Toney is always the biggest man on stage, but then again, he is 6'2. Toney finished a disappointing eighth place at the 2008 Ironman and followed it up with an improved seventh place finish at the Australian Grand Prix (which is also a tougher contest), and moved up again to fourth place at this contest, albeit with a weaker lineup. At 41 years old going on 42 this year, it is hard to say exactly how many more years he has at being a viable threat in the pro ranks, but he still has a relatively young and crisp looking physique, sans the tear in his right pec which may never fully recover, but is also only noticeable when looking closely for it. I think Toney would have placed in the top three had he brought just slightly better conditioning to the stage. For example, if his glutes were a little more conditioned, I think he could have managed his way into the top three and a qualifying spot at the 2008 Mr. Olympia contest.
5th - Troy Alves
Troy is also Toney's age and will be 42 this year. Like Toney, Troy still maintains an incredibly fresh and clean looking physique even at a relatively "advanced" age (although in bodybuilding terms, 41 really isn't all that old). I think Troy looked fantastic and I would not have lost any sleep with him placing higher at this contest. Like the champions described above, I think Troy is definitely worthy of the Mr. Olympia stage and I hope he qualifies this year at another contest and finds his way on it.
6th - Ronny Rockel
This was an improvement for Ronny since his thirteenth place finish at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, but Ronny is the type of bodybuilder who needs to really bring his conditioning 100% to place in the upper tier of a contest. The reason for that is because he lacks stature and a 5'5 Ronny Rockel next to a 6'2 Toney Freeman needs to really be shredded in order to be seriously considered. Ronny has amazing delts, but if he had brought his conditioning in just a little bit better, combined with superior oil, I think he could have placed a little higher. Ronny is another champion who I think is deserving of the Mr. Olympia stage when he is at his best.
7th - Sergey Shelestov
I saw Sergey Shelestov compete at the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest, and while he did not place, he was definitely a very imposing bodybuilder, standing somewhere between 5'11-6'1 and packs on a great deal of mass which he carries very well. Being a taller bodybuilder, he will need to put on more mass still to get a fair shake by the judges. I think he looks very good and as far as my ideal is concerned, I think just bringing the muscle he currently has to the stage in great conditioning and with good colour and oil should be enough. However, next to guys who are 5'9 and look like cartoon characters, I know this is unrealistic. A good pro nevertheless - it should be pointed out that Sergey's first pro contest was the 1997 Grand Prix Russia, which Ronnie Coleman won.
8th - Jaroslav Horvath
Jaroslav has good proportions and symmetry and looks particularly good in the front double biceps pose with his wide and flaring lats and tiny waist. That said, he did not enter this contest in his best condition, and was relegated to a deserving eighth place as a result. Jaroslav did compete in the Mr. Olympia contest in 2002, where he came third last at the contest, but did manage to beat Gustavo Badell. I think Jaroslav could potentially qualify for the Mr. Olympia again, but conditioning would be an absolute must in order for him to do so. Like other shorter bodybuilders, he does not have the stature to be a little bit off when he enters shows. As far as conditioning goes, it needs to be all the way or no way. It should be noted that in 2002 when Jaroslav did qualify for the Mr. Olympia contest, he did so by placing third at this very contest.
9th - Martin Kjellstrom
Martin is a beast at 6'0 and 1/2 and 265 pounds! However, a beast in real life is not always the champion on a bodybuilding stage. Martin was definitely a little doughy from behind, with improved conditioning needed in his back and glutes/hamstrings tie-in. He is a monster with decent proportions for sure. I would think he would be a more viable threat to higher placings in bodybuilding contests if he improved his quad sweep and brought better conditioning to the stage. Realistically, I think his best bet would be to come in more shredded and see where that takes him. His waist seems wide in the front lat spread, but again, this is something that bodybuilders have great difficulty ever improving since shape and structure is not something you can train or diet for. No matter what, Martin is a beast for sure.
10th - Oscar Tua Dexter
Oscar is the type of pro who has a little of everything, but unfortunately not enough of anything to place higher in a pro bodybuilding contest such as this one. His structure is good, but not great. His conditioning is good, but not great, and the mass he carries is good, but not great. What this means is that he doesn't have quite enough of a combination of these qualities in order to succeed at the top levels in bodybuilding. He definitely had a respectable showing though.
11th - Constanties Demetrious
I'm not exactly sure what Constanties was doing at this contest since the only other contest I can see on his record at www.musclememory.com is the 2008 Arnold Amateur contest where he placed eighth, so I don't even know how he would have the requisite pro status to compete at this show, unless there is something in the IFBB rulebook that I am missing. He had a great most muscular pose and carried good mass, although I would say his conditioning was definitely off and would need to be taken up a notch or two in order to do well in any future bodybuilding contests he competes in.
12th - Michael Kingsnorth
Michael Kingsnorth is a professional bodybuilder who I can say that I have never heard of before. After reviewing his pictures, I think he has a fantastic physique! At 5'11 and a competition weight of around 200 (according to an online interview of his I read), he looks amazing. However, of course in the pro ranks it is a different story with some pro bodybuilders who are his height and as heavy as 260 pounds being and still having critics say they need to fill out more or put on more mass! Also, 5'11 is almost "too tall" for a bodybuilder, if that makes any sense! It takes more time to fill out a taller frame. Michael looked awesome, but of course, he will need more size in order to be a viable threat in the professional bodybuilding ranks.
13th - Oliver Adzievski
Oliver was another bodybuilder who had a respectable showing at 5'9 and 220 pounds. He had a great physique, but like some of the other competitors described above, he does not possess enough qualities to shoot up higher in the ranks. His arms in the front and rear double biceps poses look good, but look smaller in the most muscular pose. I think dropping 5-10 pounds would result in a substancial improvement in his conditioning and result in a better placing.
14th - Bola Ojex
Bola lacked conditioning in his quads and overall. He did not have the size nor conditioning to place higher at this show, but would definitely be a beast and a god in the gym. As with all bodybuilders who do not have enough mass to compete against the larger bodybuilders, Bola should focus 100% on conditioning and see where that takes him. Although I do not think he would be qualifying for the Mr. Olympia even with those improvements, I do think he might be able to make a dent at bodybuilding contests of this caliber and others like it.
15th - Salah Ibrahim
Salah is no doubt another beast in the gym and bodybuilding god in his local community. That said, he has a few areas which he will need to improve on to achieve success in the professional ranks. One example is his small arms which are reminiscent to me of King Kamali's arms in some ways. What I mean by this is that they lack both length and peak. Where some bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva or Frank McGrath do not peaked biceps, they do have long biceps. Other bodybuilders such as Arnold, have shorter biceps, but great peak. Lacking both is a problem, and I have this same problem with my arms. It is a genetic shortcoming but a way to get around it as best as possible would be to get your arms as big as possible. Salah would be wise to use the priority principle to improve his arms for future bodybuilding contests. His abs and overall conditioning was good, although Salah lacks deep cuts and separation in his legs. Overall, I can foresee him making improvements and placing higher in the ranks as time goes by.
Overall, this contest is typically not of the same quality as the Ironman and Australian Grand Prix competitions which are within close proximity time wise to the Australian Pro and this year was no exception. The quality of the lineup was good, just not quite at the level of the two aforementioned contests, as well as the New York Pro (upcoming). That said, it was a nice contest overall with a solid top six. I was pleased to see Melvin Anthony place second at this contest after a disappointing eighth place at the Australian Grand Prix. I know that he was not pleased with that result and I'm sure he felt some redemption at this contest. Overall, this was a good contest and I would like to thank Tony Doherty for going through all the time and effort to put on such a good show for the bodybuilding industry. Tony is one of the most respected promoters in the industry and you will seldom hear of competitive bodybuilders with a bad word to say about him. All in all a good bodybuilding contest, and I look forward to the 2009 version.
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