Brian Bullman's 2009 Europa Show Of Champions Review!

The inaugural Europa Show of Champions turned out to be truly, a show for the fans. Only a couple of days out the line up looked shallow with 11 competitors. Come show time, there were 18 IFBB Pros battling out for the coveted Olympia invite...


2009 Europa Show of Champions Review

The inaugural Europa Show of Champions turned out to be truly, a show for the fans. Only a couple of days out from the contest and the line up looked shallow with 11 competitors. Come show time, there were 18 IFBB Pros battling out for the coveted Olympia invite, including Arnold Classic finalist, Sergey Shelestov, who once again threw off my predictions for the contest!!

It was evident from the onset of Friday night's pre judging, who the front runners were. Fighting it out for the top three spots were Hidetada Yamagishi, Darrem Charles, and the man that silenced all the nay sayers (myself included) by coming sliced and diced, Troy Alves. He proved himself by taking home the winner's check of $10,000, the winner's trophy and that elusive invite to the greatest bodybuilding contest on the planet, that is, Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia. Chasing the top 3 was the big Russian, Sergey Shelestov, who came in a little off and suffered because of it. His sheer mass got him to the posedown.

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I had previously predicted that the Spaniard, Francisco Bautista, would grab an Olympia invite. Although he did bring to the stage his usual, dry, dense and shredded mass, it was just not enough when competing against the balance and shredded symmetry of Charles, Yamagishi, Alves or even the French man, Frederic Sauvage, who made the final 5 for the first time. Bautista brought the best package he could to the stage, but he was found lacking. Bodybuilding is making a change it seems, leaving the mass freaks out in the cold, in favor of the more symmetrical physique.

I also predicted a top 5 finish for Omar Deckard but his balance and symmetry with some really good conditioning were not enough to make it to the posedown. He is in the same place that the 'XMAN' Toney Freeman was a few years back. At over 6 feet tall, he needs to fill out if he is going to be competitive in the IFBB ranks.

So now that I have my excuses for getting it wrong out of the way, let's take a look at the top 5:


5th Place
Frederic Sauvage, France

    I predicted that Sauvage would finish 6th, so I was one place out. Sauvage has a very pleasing physique, balanced symmetry, each muscle flowing nicely into the next. He has no real standout muscle group which is a good sign, however, his back does lack that thickness needed for the Pro ranks.

Frederic Sauvage. Frederic Sauvage.
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Frederic Sauvage At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Frederic Sauvage At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


4th Place
Sergey Shelestrov, Russia

    When I wrote my preview of this contest, he wasn't even in the running, as he was not on the competitor list at that time. But had he been, I would most certainly have predicted a top spot for him to finish. If put under pressure, I would have said 4th, I swear to God! Shelestov is one of the biggest men on the pro circuit right now, and has had issues with conditioning, but when he nailed it at the Arnold we all saw what happened, he got an invite to the big show!

Sergey Shelestov. Sergey Shelestov.
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Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


3rd Place
Darrem Charles, Trinidad/USA

    I had Charles finishing in 2nd place, behind Yamagishi, and that much of my prediction came to fruition. He was off slightly, budded the King of the $10,000 shows, he was missing that edge to pull him into the winners circle for his 9th pro victory in as many years.

Darrem Charles. Darrem Charles.
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Darrem Charles At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Darrem Charles At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


2nd Place
Hidetada Yamagishi, Japan

    What can I say about this guy that has not been said a thousand times already. He came so close to taking home his first pro win, I predicted that he would do just that. He has made serious improvements in his physique and I feel he is at his all time best. He has truly put the misfortune of last year, where he almost ended his pro career through legal issues, to come like a phoenix out the ashes to fight the fight in Las Vegas this coming September.

Hidetada Yamagishi. Hidetada Yamagishi.
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Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


1st Place
Troy Alves, USA

    Troy has been one of my favorite bodybuilders since he turned pro some years back. He has the classic lines and great conditioning of a physique reminiscent of the golden age of the sport, and he consistently qualified for the Olympia, even placing as high as 8th. However, it seemed that father time was catching up with this granddad as he slipped in the placings and found it ever more difficult to bring his legs up to the standard of his upper body. That being said, since a poor finish at the Iron Man in January of this year, Alves must have trained his arse off for this contest. He came to Orlando a new athlete, and at the ripe old age of 43 years young, not only took home the winners check for $10,000, and an invite for this years Olympia, he also earned the first victory of his professional career. I take my hat off to you sir!

Troy Alves. Troy Alves.
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Troy Alves At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Troy Alves At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


The Final Competitor list (In numerical order)

  1. Troy Alves - USA
  2. Francisco Bautista - Spain
  3. Raul Carrasco - Spain
  4. Darrem Charles - Trinidad/USA
  5. Omar Deckard - USA
  6. Oscar Dexter - Tahiti
  7. George Farah - Lebanon/USA
  8. Andy Haman - USA
  9. Milton Holloway Jr. - USA
  10. Don Long - USA
  11. Jonathan Rowe - USA
  12. Fredric Sauvage - France
  13. Daniele Seccarecci - Italy
  14. Sergey Shelestov - Russia
  15. John Simmons - USA
  16. Nathan Wonsley - USA
  17. Hidetada Yamagishi - Japan
  18. Miguel Filho - Brazil