2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix: Wolf Wins Big.

A new-and-improved Dennis Wolf storms ahead of the pack to take top honors.

2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix: Wolf Wins Big

It was a case of all predictions proving correct as the new and improved Dennis Wolf stormed ahead of the competition to win the 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix, his first pro victory since claiming the Keystone Pro title back in 2007. While a long time coming for Wolf, his second pro win was well deserved.

Though the competition was not as packed with top tier muscle as with the Arnold Classic a week earlier-where he placed second to Branch Warren-Dennis was still forced to bring his A-game to fend off many well-prepared challengers.

As a curtain raiser for the Australian Pro Grand Prix, the Australian Amateur Grand Prix almost stole the show with over 60 competitors in both the men's (bodybuilding) and women's (figure) divisions vying for pro card honors.

Men's winner, the shredded and well-proportioned Queenslander Luke Timms, fought hard to snatch the 2011 title and a chance to fight it out with the pros in the main event: He went on to place just outside of the top six in his first pro show and did himself proud. He will definitely be one to watch.

Luke Timms At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Luke Timms At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Luke Timms At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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In the women's pro figure, the perfectly developed 2010 Ms. Figure Olympia winner, Erin Stern, outclassed the competition to take yet another pro victory, though she did have stiff competition in the form of Alicia Harris (sixth at the 2010 Olympia) and Darlene Escano, who in her first year as a pro looks to be a potential world beater, and will no doubt be a tough act to follow in future pro figure events.

Erin Stern At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Erin Stern At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Erin Stern At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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All in all the 2011 Australian Pro and Amateur Grand Prix were well contested by the sport's best and expertly run by promoter extraordinaire Tony Doherty.

With Dennis Wolf as new champion and a great deal of fresh talent to have emerged, the 2012 version is sure to be even more competitive. Watch this space. The show most people came to see, however, was the men's pro bodybuilding showdown and this, as per usual, did not disappoint.

Here is how it played out:

6th Place: Adorthus Cherry

Claiming his best ever placement as a pro bodybuilder, Adorthus Cherry, though not shredded, looked to have finally achieved the top form that appears to have eluded him since turning pro in 2007.

Always blessed with great shape and pleasing lines, AD has never quite managed to dial it in. Until now. In 2009-10 he strove for greater size and lost some of the shape he is known for.

Now that he has played to his strengths and began competing with super lean conditioning, his small waist is further accentuated and his lines are even more apparent.

Adorthus Cherry At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Adorthus Cherry At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Adorthus Cherry At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Increased vascularity and a great tan also certainly aided his chances in Australia. With one of the best V-tapers in the pro game today along with excellent thigh sweep and perfectly peaked biceps, all Cherry now needs is greater mass overall to fill out his frame.

Should he gain 10 pounds more muscle while maintaining the same shape that landed him in the 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix top six, Cherry is likely to be ripe for future pro success.

5th Place: Grigori Atoyan

Unlike Adorthus Cherry, Grigori Atoyan does not have the kind of pleasing shape that is spectacular even when not at 100 percent peak condition. Like Cherry, he did however appear to have peaked well for the 2011 Australian Pro.

Demonstrating crisp conditioning comparable to what he presented at the Flex Pro three weeks earlier, Atoyan had made every attempt to break the top six in Australia and he did just that, although his competition was not as high caliber as that noted in the Flex contest.

Grigori Atoyan At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Grigori Atoyan At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Grigori Atoyan At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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To achieve top-tier status Atoyan will need to bring up his lagging back and broaden his shoulders so as to lessen the deleterious impact his wide waist has on his placements.

Perhaps he can borrow some of the heavily distributed size he has on his massive legs and shoulders and slap it on some of his less-impressive groupings.

4th Place: Ben Pakulski

Picked as a definite frontrunner to break the 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix top three, Big Ben Pakulski, though well conditioned, was not at his best. And with an absence of the razor sharp definition he is becoming known for was revealed a less impactful physique.

Still possessing a great structure-one of the best onstage and more impressive compared to eventual numbers two and three, Kefalianos and Jackson respectively-Pakulski, had he been crisp and dry enough to stand toe to toe with the top three, would probably have placed two notches higher to challenge Wolf for the winner's trophy.

Ben Pakulski At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Ben Pakulski At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Ben Pakulski At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
View More Pics Of Ben Pakulski At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.

On paper his best result of the year-having over the past four weeks garnered fifth at the Flex Pro and tenth at the Arnold Classic-Ben, however, still is yet to qualify for the 2011 Mr. Olympia. One has the feeling that making the Olympia lineup will not be too great a hurdle for one of bodybuilding's true prospects once he is back on U.S. soil.

3rd Place: Michael Kefalianos

In placing third at his first pro contest of 2011 there was probably not a happier person within a thousand mile radius of Melbourne's Plenary Hall Convention Center than the career-best Michael Kefalianos. Perhaps it was his unfortunate series of fourth and fifth place finishes in 2010-placements that saw him narrowly miss out on Olympia qualification for that year-which sparked a raging fire within the Greek champion who also calls Australia home.

With arguably some of the best leg development onstage-full, ripped and extremely well-detailed-along with an assemblage of freaky body parts and probably the best coloring and conditioning in the house, third place for Kafalianos was well deserved.

Michael Kefalianos At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Michael Kefalianos At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Michael Kefalianos At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Though he will never be mistaken for Lee Labrada when scrutinizing his shape or Ronnie Coleman for his size, Kefalianos nevertheless does have an impressive physique.

The fact that he is always perfectly conditioned gives him an instant edge in most of the shows he enters, as does his winning attitude and formidable presentation skills. Posing with the best of them and presenting one's development in its most favorable light is an often overlooked quality in today's pro game. Few are those that have fully mastered this ability.

Kefalianos is one who clearly has and it has paid dividends for him when compared to those who appear to be guest posing by comparison. He is able to perfectly highlight his crisp detail while portraying the aura of one who is well-prepared, confident, and ready to win.

He also looks as if he is thoroughly enjoying the process, something that no doubt endears him to the judges.

2nd Place: Johnnie Jackson

Continuing the remarkable success he experienced at last weekend's Arnold Classic, where he placed seventh in a strong field of ultra talented competitors, Johnnie Jackson looked polished and ready to challenge for top honors at the 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix.

As far as quality, stacked muscle is concerned Jackson appeared to be in the running from the outset. With upper body development that, in some areas, was in a class of its own (most notably back and biceps) he was, as the show played out, an obvious candidate for top three.

Johnnie Jackson At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Johnnie Jackson At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Johnnie Jackson At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Though not as sharp as Kefalianos (who was?), Jackson was more muscular, although his leg development was lacking compared with the eventual third place finisher. If Johnnie had the legs to match his gargantuan back, arms, shoulders and chest he perhaps would have won this event.

But second in his first ever Australian Pro event was a respectable result and it is great to see Jackson back on top with his best form to date.

1st Place: Dennis Wolf

Placing second to Branch Warren at last weekend's Arnold Classic (by the narrowest of margins according to many who were there), is likely to have given Dennis Wolf added incentive to claim his first pro victory of 2011, and what a win it was.

Being selective in the number of contests he has entered-he has contested only 14 since turning pro in 2006-has given Wolf a lot of room to train and improve and this was no more evident than when he (though slightly off form) placed fourth at the Flex Pro earlier this year.

Having appeared to have improved his structure-he no longer is routinely criticized for having weak back development and poor calves-Wolf is currently bringing to the stage the kind of balanced shape those who have followed his career knew he someday would.

Dennis Wolf At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI. Dennis Wolf At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf At The 2011 Australian Pro Grand Prix XI.

Categorically one of pro bodybuilding's best as evidenced by his recent run of success Wolf is now well positioned for top-three status in any show he contests, including perhaps the Mr. Olympia where he will again face off against Branch Warren and the big two, bodybuilding sensations Jay Cutler and Phil Heath.

Where he will fall in such a field is, at this stage, anyone's guess, but one thing is for certain: to the end he will be in the mix with and will not suffer alongside the sport's best.

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