New York Pro Final Review
The 2008 rendition of the New York Pro got under way with the inauguration of the Shawn Ray 202lb class on the IFBB's professional calendar, with David Henry and Jason Arntz being the big names amongst a line of 16 IFBB Pro's.
1. Charles Dixon
2. Guy Ducasse
3. Abiu Feliz
4. Dave Henry
5. Roland Huff
6. Tricky Jackson
7. Ken Jones
8. Louis Joseph
9. Roc Shabazz
10. Nathan Wonsley
11. Emro Karaduzobic
12. Daron Lytle
13. Jason Arntz
14. Kevin English
15. Brian Chamberlain
16. Jimmy Canyon
The competitors came out in numerical order to do their individual compulsories with nobody really impressing the fans too much. David Henry was 4th out and it was noticeable from the get go that he was off from his normal shredded self, but still displayed some THICK muscle.
Another notable mention was the one and only Tricky Jackson, who displayed a great package with hard muscle and awesome symmetry, his only let down being that he was holding a little water which seemed to dissipate as the show went on.
The first call out of the show was Charles Dixson, Dave Henry, Jason Arntz and Kevin English. After going through several sets of comparisons; it appeared that it was down to the wire between Kevin English and Dave Henry for the honors of being the first 202lb IFBB Pro NY Champion. Jason Arntz looked his usual self with his broad shoulder development, but lacked definition in the midsection.
The second call out - Guy Ducase, Louis Joseph, Roc Shabazz and Brian Chamberlain. Guy displayed a tight and symmetrical physique, but lacked that thickness required at the pro level, even in the lighter division.
Louis displayed an awesome pair of arms complimenting a great overall package, but he was holding that little film of water which may have been his down fall when it comes to final placings.
Roc displayed great symmetry, a very well balanced physique that is becoming all too rare on the bodybuilding circuit, but again the conditioning is leaving him down, and will probably earn him a 6th or 7th placing.
Chamberlain, probably the thickest guy onstage at 5' 4ish. If he could bring the condition in a little more, this class could really turn into his stomping ground.
Call out # 3: Charles Dixson, Roc Shabazz, Jason Arntz and Guy Ducase
Call out # 4: Abiu Feliz, Tricky Jackson, Nathan Wonsley, and Jimmy Canyon
All in all, the first rendition of the Shawn Ray under 202lb NY Pro was a welcome change to the norm, and it is exciting to have to wait until tonight to see who is going to prevail as the inaugural champion.
The men's open class continued with some of the 202's opting to compete and others refraining from the action, the competitor list is as follows
1. Charles Dixon
2. Abiu Feliz
3. Dave Henry
4. Tricky Jackson
5. Louis Joseph
6. Roc Shabazz
7. Paul Baker
8. Francisco Bautista
9. Elvis Brown
11. Alfonso Del Rio
12. Tarek Elsetouhi
13. Oleg Emelyanov
14. Neset Icli
15. Leo Ingram
16. Martin Kjellstrom
17. Don Long
18. Evgeny Mishin
19. Sergey Ogorodnikov
20. Craig Richardson
21. Ronny Rockel
22. Joel Stubbs
23. Zoran Vejic
24. Ben White
25. Gian Enrico Pica
26. Demetriov Constantinios
27. Kai Greene
Some 27 competitors in all, with 6 withdrawals at the last minute. The one thing I can say about this show is that I have never seen anything like it, I mean Phil Heath blew away the competition at the Ironman, but it is nothing compared to the difference between Kai Green and the rest of the pack.
It was a battle for second place once Kai had came out to do his individual posing. His symmetry was flawless, cuts as deep as the Grand Canyon and cross striations so visible to call them feathers would be an understatement. Kai Green will be the man to watch come the Olympia.
Martin Kjellstrom of Sweden and the USA's Leo Ingram, both of whom had improved dramatically since the last showing. Kjellstrom was at his all time best, and could easily grab an Olympia Qualification, but the line up for the top 6 was tight. The call outs went as follows…
#1: Dave Henry - Kevin English - Craig Richardson - Ronny Rockell - Ben White - Kai Green
#2: Dave Henry - Kevin English - Craig Richardson - Ronny Rockell
#3: Charles Dixon - Roc Shabazz - Francisco Batista - Tarek Elsetouhi
The Final Callout was: Tricky Jackson - Paul Baker - Alfonso Del Rio - Oleg Emelyanov - Don Long - Evgeny Miskhin - Joel Stubbs
With Kjellstrom and Ingram both battling for a place in the top six, the more seasoned veterans Henry and Rockell, both of whom were off their game, battled it out with English and Richardson for those coveted Olympia qualifications. It will be interesting to see where everyone else places after Kai Green takes home the top spot!!!
The competitors all brought their game for the night show and it was evident from the first competitor onstage, Charles Dixon, to the last, Kai Greene, that everyone was ready to show the NY fans what it is to be an IFBB Pro.
To say that the 202lbs class was entertaining would be an understatement. Brian Chamberlain was thick from all angles but lacked the conditioning to make it to the top 5.
The top 3 were called out in no particular order - Jason Arntz, Kevin English and Dave Henry. Henry was a little off his best but had improved dramatically from the pre-judging to cement his position and an invite to the 202 class for the Olympia weekend. English was made for this category, coming down from his usual 225lbs competition weight which was too much for him as he lacked that X factor to move up the ranks, but at 202 he had found it.
The results went pretty much as expected, with Arntz taking 3rd and the battle for the top 2 placings being between Henry and English, with English coming out tops taking home a check for $5,000.00 for his hard work.
The best presentation award, another trend started by Shawn Ray, went to Tricky Jackson who took home the tidy some of $500.00. All in all the inaugural 202lbs Pro show turned out to be pretty competitive, with very little separating the athlete's points wise.
Next up was the women's bodybuilding, which had a line up of 20 athletes, and the top 5 finishers had a battle on their hands for 3rd through 5th as the top two spots were fought out between
Cathy LeFrancois and Jeannie Paparone.
In the prejudging that morning I had Jeannie a nose in front, but Cathy pulled it out of the bag for the finals like the seasoned pro that she is to take the top spot.
3rd place was taken by Miami, Florida's Rosemary Jennings, she was thick and had some serious mass on that small frame of hers, but lack that crisp look to able to compete with Cathy and Jeannie.
Either of whom could have taken the title home, but Cathy wound up in pole position and took home her first major win in the IFBB and moves towards the Olympia on a high note.
The final show of the night was the men's open. There was a massive line up with some 34 competitors on the list, some of whom pulled out at the last minute with 27 actually contesting for the title.
The fans and judges favorite, Kai Greene was last man to pose, and honored the old saying, save the best for last; his size and separation were unparalleled.
His striations on his triceps, let alone his quads looked like they had been chiseled by a mason. His cuts had even more cuts and were so deep that one would be forgiven for thinking a knife was used to shape them rather than training and diet.
Second went to Kevin English. His executive decision to move down in weight paid off in dividends resulting in a 2008 Olympia qualification. 3rd place went to Mr. Symmetry himself, Germany's Ronny Rockel, who was hard but still had a film of water under his skin which could've made the difference in him moving up to 2nd.
He possesses a balanced physique, but seems to lack a crisp look that is required to excel within the IFBB. His tan too could do with some improvement, but still a great finish for the German.
4th place went to the 202lbs runner up Dave Henry which goes to show just how high the standard is in the Lighter division with the top two finishers making it to the top 5 in the open event.
What else is there to say about Dave, he was not at his best but still displayed a thick balanced physique.
5th place went to Craig Richardson who's symmetry and mass combination led to the display of a great package onstage. His placing was not too welcomed by the fans however, just like I predicted his conditioning was the weak link in his chain, that being said he still managed to obtain one of the most elusive invites in the pro bodybuilding world, an invite to the 2008 Mr. Olympia.