2016 UK & International Championships
Photography courtesy of AllSports Photography.
Sunday 16th October saw the culmination of a ground breaking season for the association as over 140 athletes took to the breath taking stage of the Butterworth Hall in Coventry for what had been touted as one of the most anticipated events in UK Bodybuilding history. With spots on Team UK for the World Championships in Los Angeles to play for, challengers from 6 overseas nations ready to take on the newly crowned champions in the International and a history making 3 divisions of WNBF Pro athletes battling for the titles on offer, this contest was without a doubt our finest hour as an association and testament to how far we have come in our 6 years after a collective effort of all of those who have supported us.
The results were as follows...
1 Jack Richardson (Stoke on Trent). Northern Counties Champion Jack presented the best overall package of size and condition today, fending off a strong challenge from the other men in the class. Jack now goes on to compete on the biggest stage of them all and will stand his ground against any teen in the World.
2 Aaron Batchvarov (Lightwater). Southern Counties Champion Aaron bought his heavily muscled and classic shaped physique to the stage and posed it with the expertise of a veteran of the sport. He needed to be a little harder and sport a darker tan to overturn Jack today, but with another year left in the teens will be one to watch next year.
3 Jason McEwan (Glenrothes). Caledonian Classic winner Jason was the hardest of the three and posed well, but needed more size to push the others. Jason now moves up to the Junior division and can do so on the back of a fantastic competitive career as a teen in which he has achieved great things.
UK Junior Men
1 Daniel Park (Coventry). In an absolutely nip and tuck battle for top spot, Daniel just edged out the win against some stunning opposition. He is near perfectly balanced and was rock hard from top to bottom with density to spare. He will be hard to match at World level and is an asset to the team.
2 Scott Cunningham (Livingston). Huge and lean, with good presentation. Scott pushed Daniel so close for the title, and could have won without any complaints. If Scott was as impressive from the back as he was from the front he would have in all likelihood lifted the title and this is now where he needs to focus his attention as he moves up out of the Juniors.
3 Chris Roche (Aylesbury). The 2 time UK teen champ has made great progress in his two year break from competing and bought a mature and conditioned physique to the stage. A little more lower body development to balance out his physique is now the order of the day as he too leaves the Junior class to battle with the big boys.
4 Jorge Darkadas (Greenhithe). Vastly improved in terms of conditioning since his qualifier, Jorge looked great and was very happy to match his 4th place finish from 2014. A little attention on thickening the torso now to match his massively developed limbs and Jorge will have a real impact on the open divisions in years to come.
5 Bertie Davison (Caterham). At just turned 20 years old, Bertie looked incredible and was thicker and fuller than his USN Classic win with no loss in condition, being hard and vascular with a very striking overall appearance. A little more mass on his long legs and he will cause some serious issues in this division over the next few years.
Also competed Jack Julier, Kurtis Fergusson, Finn Macnamara, Ronnie Cai, Liam John, Simpi Mpofu. Jack, Simpi and Ronnie needed more condition to challenge the placings today whereas Kurtis, Finn and Liam were all in amazing shape but needed more overall size to move into the trophies on this occasion.
International Junior Men
1 Daniel Park (England). Just too complete for the others in the class, Daniel bagged his second title of the day ahead of the defending champion and further cemented his World level status.
2 Jay Robinson (Ireland). Well balanced and a little bigger than last years win, but slightly down on hardness and fullness and looking a little jaded onstage, Jay battled bravely to attempt to retain his title and produced one of the best free posing routines of the day. These 2 men will now go on to battle each other in L.A. where Jay will look to turn the result around.
3 Lasse Skovsgard Jensen (Denmark). Heavily muscled and well balanced, Lasse just needed to be a little harder to challenge the top two men but has made incredible improvements over the last few years and can look forward to a bright future in the sport.
4 Jack Richardson (England). UK Teen winner Jack held his own against the older men and just lacked the maturity and conditioning to place higher today but had his first taste of International opposition as he prepares for the Worlds.
UK Grandmasters Men
1 Richard Walker (Aldershot). Richard was respectfully jubilant with his win, as he capped off what has been the most successful of his 15 plus year career which has seen him so close so many times before. Extreme conditioning was Richards edge today as he sported striated glutes, prominent hamstrings and upper body detail unrivalled by almost anyone in the contest. Richard now takes his second crack at the World title that eluded him in 2014.
2 Rick Waters (Rayleigh). The 2013 World Champion was on incredible form, hard, heavily muscled and full with his trademark polished presentation. More than good enough to lift the title on any other occasion, the only thing that kept Rick from the winners spot today was the fact that Rich was just simply untouchable.
3 Wes Clarke (London). The best weve seen Wes for some time, with hardness and separation to display his heavily muscled and well-shaped physique to its best. Wes needs to just bridge the conditioning gap between him and the two who placed above him today to lift the title.
4 Anwar Ghaith (Epsom). Anwar was overjoyed to crack the top 5 with a compact, muscular and conditioned physique which he displayed with energy and enthusiasm. In only his first year of competition and at over 60 years old, Anwar has done himself proud.
5 Danny Sloniowski (Bury). A best ever Danny looked incredible in his national level debut and enjoyed every second onstage. It was a real close battle for 4th with Anwar, which could have gone Dannys way with no complaints at all. Well balanced and hard, Danny just needs to keep doing what he is doing and he will climb the ranks sooner than he thinks.
Also competed Brian Hill, Paul Thorpe and Simon Woodham-Owen who all needed more conditioning to challenge the places and Courtney Smith who was close to his best condition wise but was up against it size wise in this class.
UK Masters Men
1 Paul Douglas-Waller (Barnsley). Edging out the reigning champ in a close contest, Paul was big and hard with great pecs and quads and deep conditioning. A little more attention to the back, especially in how he presents it will serve him well beyond this level. An amazing debut year in the masters for this humble and honest family man which now ends with a well-deserved chance to lift that World title in L.A.
2 Ian Scammell (Bristol). Only just losing the tooth and nail battle to hold onto the title he won in 2015, Ian was in great shape and bought everything he could to the contest. Ian could probably not have been any better than he was on this day and now looks forward to moving up to the Grandmasters division in search of his next UK title.
3 Chris Chapman (Sheffield). Chris was once again better than ever, and lifted the final top 3 spot with his trademark aesthetics displayed once again in impeccable condition. Chris has his sights set firmly on climbing the final few steps of the ladder to lift this title and betting against him to do so in the near future could be a foolish move.
4 Michael Boyle (Bury). His absolute best ever, with shredded conditioning throughout his thickly muscled upper body and his quads and hamstrings being hard and cut to match which has previously been an area in which Mick has struggled. He was elated to crack the top 5 but thoroughly deserved to and earned every bit of the admiration he received from the crowd as he showed his joy at his placing.
5 Billy Duthie (Dundee). The huge and balanced Billy took the final trophy position today with thick, full and shapely muscle on every part of his body. His tan and presentation were vastly improved from the qualifier and had he matched the condition he achieved there, it could have been lights out for the rest of the field. Unlimited potential from one of the sports nicest guys.
Also competed William Wilson who was rock hard but needed a little more size and fullness in this class as did Paul Harradine who was his best yet. Mark Dick, Adrian Hampton and Mo Basith all had fantastic physiques but needed more condition to challenge today.
International Masters Men
1 Richard Walker (England). Richard pipped Paul for the title by virtue of his slightly superior balance and muscle clarity as the two men showed incredible camaraderie in celebrating each others successes. It was an amazing moment to watch as Rich was finally unable to bottle up his happiness and displayed emotions like never before as he was crowned the winner.
2 Paul Douglas-Waller (England). So close to the title but respectful to his conqueror and just as happy as he would have been for himself, Paul is just an out and out class act and it is a privilege to have him on our Worlds team.
3 Martin Portner (Switzerland). The 8 time Swiss and 4 time World Champion made his UK debut in one of the toughest classes hed ever faced and met the challenge head on with his heavily muscled and distinctly shaped physique which he presented with one of the best posing displays of the day which was indicative of the vast experience this amazing athlete has in the sport over the last 4 decades of competition.
UK Ladies Bikini
1 Meg Smith (Glasgow). In a huge and talent rich class, Northern Counties Champion Meg took a close win with a striking upper body shape and taper and great top to bottom balance. Another athlete who was visibly overjoyed with her win, she will fare well at World level.
2 Billie Roberts (London). Just pipped to the finish line by the winner, Billie could well have turned the result around if she had been in her USN Classic shape which had eluded her by just a few percent today.
3 Kerry Sexton (Worthing). Another lady who could easily have taken the win in a tough battle for the title. With a great overall balance and superb upper body shape, Kerry has excelled herself in her first year of competition and will claim top honours in no time if she chooses.
4 Pearl Davison (Leeds). Tall and shapely, and just as good as her qualifier, Pearl looked superb and fully deserved her top 5 spot. With a little more upper body development she can challenge for the win.
5 Louise Cochrane (Glasgow). Leaner than her runner up spot at the Caledonian, Louise just pipped the winner of that contest for the last trophy spot and was overjoyed to have made the podium. A beautiful shape and great balance, she just needs to be slightly tighter to climb the placings further.
Also competed Debi Mackay, who just missed a top 5 slot in a close battle with Louise. Chandni Ravalia had an amazing overall shape but needed to be a little leaner to show it off and Ashleigh King, Jade Burt, Tara Goodwin, Jessica Lowe and Lauren Standbridge who were all in good shape but need a little more development and shape to excel at this level.
International Ladies Bikini
1 Elisabet Vang (Faroe Islands). A little fuller in the upper body than Meg, giving her a slightly more striking shape and edging the win today was an overjoyed Elisabet. The Faroese contingent were overjoyed to have taken on of the titles back to the Islands with them today and deservedly so.
2 Meg Smith (England). As good as Meg was, there was no stopping the lady from the Faroe Islands today. Meg now looks forward to a possible rematch at the Worlds as the two fight it out for the biggest title in the sport.
3 Marlene Hinterberger (Switzerland). Lean and perfectly presented, but without the development and shape to place higher, Marlene looked amazing as she took the bronze medal in preparation for her attack on the Swiss title the following week, which she won in style.
4 Maria Byrne (Canada). Like Marlene, a little more muscle was required to give her the shape to challenge the top 2 ladies in the class, but she looked great all the same with the correct level of leanness and polished presentation.
UK Novice Men
1 Julian Chapman (Purley). The pre contest favourite took a clear and conclusive win in this class with a rock hard conditioning to match his well-muscled and balanced physique. The detail in Julians lower body was staggering and on this form is almost a certainty for National honours in the open classes in subsequent seasons.
2 Michael Sheun (Sheffield). Hard and balanced with great pecs and delts in particular and a superb most muscular pose, Michael pushed the winner hard and would have been a worthy winner any other day.
3 Tesfa Beckford (Birmingham). The absolute best hes been, with conditioning much improved from the Northern Counties which showed his leg separation clearer than ever before. Tesfa has made great progress through the season and was deserving of a top 3 finish.
4 Nathan Nelson (Luton). The Heart of England winner came to the stage today just as impressive as he was on that day with massive quads and great conditioning. More upper body mass, particularly from the rear is now needed as he moves up to the open classes.
5 Musa Dilek (Kingston). Shredded, vascular and balanced. Musa too has improved tremendously as the season has gone on and will be a force in the lightweights in future. Today, he was simply out massed by the bigger frames guys in the class and could have done no more than he did to look his best.
Also competed Jonathan Dunn, Chris Jones, Tassos Yalanopolous, Tom Atkinson and Zachary Watson. Tom was in great shape but needed more size for his frame where the other men all needed to be a little harder to crack the placings today.
UK Mens Physique
1 Kieran Kevan (Kettering). A solid win for the reigning champion with a picture perfect physique which boasted wide shoulders and back, well-shaped chest and arms and a tiny waist with prominent abdominals. Kieran was untouchable today and will feature strongly at the Worlds.
2 Rohan Verma (Maidenhead). Vastly improved from the Heart of England in terms of condition and in a shape that would have seen him win there at a canter, Rohan showed ideal levels of development with a great shape. A UK Champ in waiting, no doubt.
3 Simon Gooding (Vale of Glamorgan). The Southern Counties winner had clearly taken his feedback on board and grabbed the bronze medal slot with a fuller, harder physique than at the qualifier. Just a relative gap in muscle size and fullness remains to fill now after which Simon too can fix his sights on the title.
4 Wallace Wilson (Glasgow). The Caledonian Champion was equally good here as he was in July with ideal conditioning and a great midsection. Wallace could have done no more today in his quest for the title and looked superb.
5 James Hart (Hitchin). Just edging the last trophy spot was James, who was lean and wide shouldered with great pecs and abs. A little more fullness and size in the upper body will stand him in good stead for future contests.
Also competed Luke McLellan, Devere Payne and Gareth Bicknell were very close to cracking the top 5 and unlucky to land the hard side of a tough call. Adewale Balogun was a little fuller than his qualifier and in reality was probably too heavily muscled for the discipline when judged in a line-up of this depth and would benefit from a move to Bodybuilding. Tom Kenny, Minash Joshi and Jack Higgins were all in great shape but were just up against an incredible standard today and Oliver Sait who had bought his condition in too hard since the qualifier and was a little too hard and flat for physique as a result.
International Mens Physique
1 Kieran Kevan (England). Kieran continued his onslaught in lifting the International title against some strong opponents.
2 Brestir Mikkelsen (Faroe Islands). Ideally proportioned with a good shape and ideal conditioning, Brestir was just incredibly unlucky to come up against such amazing opposition as Kieran today but was every bit good enough to challenge for International honours.
3 Lasse Lund Iversen (Denmark). A tall man with a great shape and optimal condition, Lasse needs to fill out a little to display the shape required to make more of an impact today but looked fantastic and should be proud of what he bought to the stage.
4 Mads Hentze (Faroe Islands). Mads would have been ideally suited to the Junior Bodybuilding class, where at 20 years old he would have no doubt challenged for the title with his mega thick upper body, and huge calves indicative of a set of thighs to match. The former powerlifting record holder has unlimited potential for success in the correct division.
Pro Ladies Figure
1 Annalisa Ghirotti (Italy). A worthy winner in this history making first ever WNBF Pro Figure event in Europe, Annalisa was picture perfect in terms of her level of muscularity and conditioning, her breath taking symmetrical shape and impeccable stage presence which one would expect from one of the Worlds premier Figure Professionals.
2 Lucy Walton (England). Making her debut in Pro Figure after her bronze medal at the 2014 Worlds in Pro Fitbody, Lucy was ideally structured for the class with an amazing shape and level of muscle development. The slightly harder condition she will achieve in the time between this contest and the Worlds will make her a strong challenger there.
3 Genevieve Guggisberg (Switzerland). In her first Pro contest, Genevieve could not quite match the shape of the first two in the class but was in ideal condition and was presented perfectly.
4 Daniela Camboni (Italy). In amazing shape for a lady who gave birth only 11 months before the contest, Daniela too just needed a little more development and shape to climb the placings and just missed the bronze medal in a tough battle with Genevieve.
Pro Ladies Bodybuilding
1 Charlotte Torp (Denmark). An incredible physique which was worthy of the win today, Charlie was ripped and ready with deeply etched abs and a separated back on her wide shouldered frame. When she adds the necessary mass to her lower body, she is a future Pro World Champion for sure.
2 Jorun Larsen Morkore (Faroe Islands). Last years runner up and current WNBF Universe Champion was much improved with a notable improvement in size and balance since last year. It was only Charlies statuesque overall package and deep conditioning that kept Jorun from the title today and she could not have done any more to look any better than she did.
3 Jane Carter (England). With the most aesthetically pleasing physique of the three and with ample muscle on her near perfectly proportioned frame, Jane just needed to be a little harder today to tip the odds in her favour. Her free posing was the most polished of the three as she literally lit up the stage with every move.
Pro Men Bodybuilding
1 Richard Gozdecki (England). Winner of a titanic battle for the Mens title was the returning 2 time World and 3 time European Champion Richard who took a unanimous victory with a massively muscled and perfectly proportioned physique that was just too developed and complete for the rest of the line-up. Rich brought the house down with his trademark perfect posing once again and with another few weeks to bring the last of his condition in will challenge for a third World title in L.A.
2 Adrian Grey (England). The reigning champion came to the stage bigger and more complete than last year, and had clearly done his homework in preparing for this challenge to his crown. Harder than Richard, but not quite as much so as last years win, Adrian pushed the winner really hard but didnt quite have the size to topple him today. Adrian is rightly regarded by many as the future of the sport, and is so close to the pinnacle of his division where he will no doubt one day reign as King of the Hill.
3 Gordon Adam (Scotland). Big Gordie was over the moon to clinch the bronze medal and was in his best shape yet. Bigger across the upper body with his trademark shredded condition, Gordie was more than good enough to see off the rest of the field and not quite heavily muscled enough or aesthetic to topple the first two, was genuinely World class.
4 Sebastian Stitz (Switzerland). One of the most pleasing physiques on the Pro circuit belongs to Sebastian, a former 3 time Swiss amateur champion and 2013 World Amateur champ who brings a breath taking taper, full pecs and shoulders and sweeping thighs to the stage. A pleasure to watch as he executes his posing with power and grace, Sebastian needed only to be harder today to challenge for the medals.
5 Cristian Guastella (Italy). A compact but complete physique in good condition and posing with style and finesse, Cristian found it tough to challenge his heavier and taller opponents today, as is understandable in an open division. However, the former World medallist gave as good as he got in the comparisons and fought all the way.
6 Derek Brettell (Scotland). Returning to UK competition for the first time since his Pro card win in 2014, Derek looked to have gained muscle and thickness all over and showed a lovely shape and balance. Had Derek have hit his peak condition today, he could well have challenged for the medals.
UK Ladies Figure
1 Leanne Hurst (Preston). The Caledonian Classic winner was possibly the favourite for this title, but won by the closest of margins after a tough battle with the runner up. Lean, balanced and appropriately muscular Leanne was spectacular and with a few tweaks to her presentation will look flawless at the Worlds.
2 Tanya Staleva (Camberley). Improved from her win at the Southern Counties, Tanya looked incredible. It was only a relative lack of shoulder width and the resulting taper of her upper body that kept her from the title today but even then there would have been no real complaints had she have taken the class.
3 Emma Walsh (Liverpool). Featuring strongly in the comparisons and pushing the first two hard was Heart of England winner Emma who too was appropriately muscular with a great balance and shape. Again, a touch more width would serve her well in future but she too is close to taking this title and is good enough to challenge at International level.
4 Joannie Newton (Hexham). Last years novice champion had improved her condition from the qualifier and has made some real progress in development over the last year. One of the more compact frames in the line-up, Joannie now needs more size to climb into the top 3 and eventually target this title.
5 Helena Winter (Bury). Capping off a fantastic first competitive season with a finals trophy was Northern Counties Champion Helena. Optimally conditioned with an amazing shape and structure, she too needs a little more muscle to climb towards the winners circle but has incredible potential for future success once she does.
Also competed Laura Ensor and Justalina Soverall who were both to cracking the top 6 and Paula Brereton, Clare Rafferty, Antonia Carboni, Georgina McCarthy and Chloe Lake who all looked amazing but were just up against it today in a class of this quality.
International Ladies Figure
1 Leanne Hurst (England). Taking her second razor thin decision of the day, Leanne just fended off her strong opponent in the closest of calls.
2 Stephanie Murray (Ireland). A little heavier muscled than Leanne with a breath taking shape, Stephanie was unlucky not to take the decision with her slightly fuller and almost picture perfect development. A touch leaner condition wise and she would likely have taken the win and the title today.
UK Ladies Bodybuilding
1 Yvette Arthur (Huddersfield). The rookie sensation Yvette continued her tour de force of the UK Bodybuilding circuit and stamped out a dominant win in the class with a near perfectly balanced and heavily muscled physique which was displayed in rock hard condition. Untouchable in the amateurs without doubt, Yvette can now sink her teeth into the best the World has to offer as she moves up to the professional ranks.
2 Danni Terresa (Exmouth). As clear a winner as Yvette was, Danni was equally as dominant in the runner up spot. Massively muscled and well balanced, she did not quite have the condition and detail that Yvette did but was truly International class and would not look out of place in the Professionals. An amazing athlete who was simply just unlucky to come up against the best amateur female bodybuilder the country has seen in some years.
3 Karen Gunson (Scunthorpe). In a tight decision for the third place spot, Karen won out by virtue of her slightly harder overall condition and balance. A little more fullness would have secured the spot more dominantly for her, but she was a deserved bronze medallist none the less and looked her best ever.
4 Tia Blowman (Glenrothes). Pushing Karen hard for the top three, Tia looked amazing and was much improved over her runner up spot at the Caledonian. Her upper body boasted a shape, balance and condition with ample muscle to challenge for the title at this level and beyond and if she can add the required size and resulting detail to her lower body, this title is well within her reach.
5 Lynn Wilson (Glasgow). Locked in a three way tussle for the final trophy position and winning it by the tiniest of margins, Lynn looked fuller, more confident and posed more fluidly than her qualifier appearance. If she can gain more size and maintain the condition she presented today she too is capable of climbing the placings.
Also competed: Nicola Joyce and Alison Todd were the other two athletes pushing for the fifth place and just narrowly missed out. Nicola was improved in terms of overall size and balance from her last showing and had she reproduced her best ever conditioning could have challenging the first two quite comfortably. Alison was rock hard and well balanced but appeared to have sacrificed a little size since earlier in the season which cost her today. With more fullness she would have been looking at a top 5 slot. Emma Grzona was in great condition and posed superbly, and with a little more overall mass will climb the placings. Eve Cooke and Caroline Oliver completed this amazing class. Both had well-muscled and strikingly shaped physiques but required a little more size and condition to challenge the placings today.
UK Mens Open Lightweight
1 Stuart McCulloch (Galston). The returning 2014 UK & International Champion sent a clear message as he came onstage vastly improved with notable gains in overall size and thickness since his last outing. Conditioning wise, Stu was rock hard and separated as is his calling card and he presented himself like the World class athlete he is.
2 Peter Garay (Shrewsbury). Offering a strong challenge, but not quite hard enough to topple Stu was a best ever Peter, who since dropping down from Middleweight is close to being as conditioned as he needs to show off his amazing, huge and well-shaped physique to its best. One of the best free posers of the day to boot, Peter did himself proud today.
3 David Old (Newton Stuart). The Caledonian Classic Champ was razor sharp, possibly more so than in July when he qualified and had incredible quad sweep and separation. Tall for a lightweight, but with ample muscle on his frame overall, David continues to improve.
4 Mark Inglis (Edinburgh). His best yet, being fuller and thicker looking than the qualifier and with equally hard condition, Mark looked incredible and thoroughly deserving of his placing. As he gains more muscle on his distinctly and pleasingly shaped physique he can set his sights on this title in due course.
5 Lee Booth (Wolverhampton). Just squeezing into the last trophy spot was Lee in only his second contest. He was fuller in the upper body without a loss of condition and posed more efficiently since his qualifier and too can realistically expect to shoot for higher placings at this level once his legs reach a balance with his upper body.
Also competed Steven Cheng and Yikai Shao who were both in great shape but needed a little more size, and Charles Olutola and Daniel North who were slightly less conditioned than required to crack the placings today.
International Mens Lightweight
1 Stuart McCulloch (Scotland). Taking the double and reproducing the result of 2014, Stuart now looks to the Worlds and to attempt to take the title that narrowly eluded him two years ago.
2 Daniel Glutz (Switzerland). Giving Stuart a challenge for this title was Worlds top 5 finisher of 2015 Daniel, who had improved considerably since then with more overall size and better conditioning.
3 Cillian Keane (Ireland). The recently crowned Irish National Champion is another man who could be considered relatively tall for a lightweight, and despite his very impressive physique and hard condition, he was not heavily muscled enough to place higher today.
4 Maik Bernhard (Switzerland). Massively muscled for his diminutive frame with wide shoulders and huge legs, Maik was not where he needed to be condition wise to challenge for a higher placing. If he had been, things would likely have been very different today.
UK Mens Open Middleweight
1 Ben Howard (Coventry). The 2014 Novice UK Champ and recent Overall Heart of England winner lived up to expectations today, and then some as he came onstage complete, massively muscled and in rock hard condition. This was a dominant win for Ben who from the moment he stepped onstage looked like the winner of this class but the most impressive of the class winners we had seen so far and a forerunner for the overall later on.
2 Dominic Haley (Leeds). The most improved athlete of the entire contest, after finally embracing the fact that he belongs in this weight division was Dominic. One of the most impressive structures in the UK, with ample muscle on all body parts, Dom was close to the condition that had previously eluded him until now with a vascular and detailed upper body. Although the hardest they had been, his legs were still just a few percent away from being rock hard and once this last detail is addressed, Dom has the potential to win at any level.
3 Gordon Greenhorn (London). Taking a decisive third place was a complete and hard Gordon, who looked slightly fuller than his qualifier and a little improved as a result. Structured similarly to the winner, but slightly less heavily muscled and conditioned, it is easy to picture Gordon climbing to the top placings in the near future.
4 Craig Martin (Nottingham). Pushing the top three hard with his best package to date, Craig was rock hard and had a striking profile. His upper body was possibly a touch ahead of his lower in terms of development and this is where Craigs focus should now lie as he seeks to crack the top three.
5 John Paul Bryce (Coatbridge). In a tough scrap for the final placing, John Pauls superior shape and balance gave him the nod. Although John Paul did not quite manage to reproduce the conditioning and fullness he showed at the Caledonian, he posed well and is another man with potential for further success.
6 John Dasilva (Nottingham). Southern Counties runner up John found himself in tough company today, and as impressive as he looked he was a fraction down on his qualifier appearance when he needed to exceed that shape to challenge today. A great first year for him though which indicate bright future prospects.
International Mens Middleweight
1 Ben Howard (England). Ben continued his onslaught by taking another solid win in the International class against good opposition.
2 Patrick Bosshard (Switzerland). Last years bronze medallist and Swiss national runner up Patrick was big and balanced, but not quite hard enough to challenge Ben for the title, and understandably so with the Swiss Championships a week away and where he was obviously looking to peak.
3 Sandro Whittwer (Switzerland). Last years Junior runner up was shapely and well developed but not in the condition he produced last year, which cost him today in a class of two such high quality opponents. He enjoyed every second onstage though and put on a great posing display and much the same as all of the Swiss athletes was a pleasure to host at the contest.
UK Mens Open Heavyweight
1 Sam Watt (Leeds). Widely recognised as the number one amateur heavyweight in the UK currently, Sam was at his best ever for todays contest and became the other man who most assumed would fight it out for the overall along with middleweight winner Ben in a rematch of their Heart of England battle 4 weeks prior. Today, Sam was harder and drier than at the qualifier and was a conclusive winner in this talent rich division.
2 Daniel Mucha (Leeds). The Northern Counties Overall winner capped of a great first season in the sport with a thick and proportionate physique. A former Polish national team Greco-Roman Wrestler, Daniels dense and powerful looking physique was indicative of that past sporting career. Once he nails down the fine detail required in terms of conditioning, he has the ability to climb the highest heights in the sport.
3 Alan Mack (London). Notably bigger overall than his 2014 UK win, with conditioning that matched that appearance, Alan still has a slight developmental need in terms of back thickness and lower body size which if addressed, will see him reclaim his title and shoot for International honours. As always, Alan produced a slick and competent routine.
4 Solomon Onaola (Coventry). Much tighter than his qualifier and displaying increased overall detail and separation as a result, Solomon has made the transition from novice level admirably this year and has made himself known as a force to be reckoned with at open level.
5 Pete Bullard (Shanklin). The narrow winner of another immense battle for the final trophy slot, Pete pipped the other challengers to the post by virtue of his airtight conditioning, which was of a level rarely seen on a heavyweight. If Pete can maintain this level of detail as he gains size, he too will be tough to beat.
Also competed Clifton Morais who was vastly improved from the qualifier with just a little more condition required in the legs, Steven Walker who looked incredible with great condition and huge pecs and legs and Nick Adams who was just as impressive as at the qualifier. In reality, any of these men could have made the top 5 without complaint and were just unlucky to have been standing in such a phenomenal line-up, which represented possibly the best heavyweight class ever seen in the UK.
International Mens Heavyweight
1 Sam Watt (Leeds). Too big and conditioned to be challenged in this class today, Sam saw off a great challenger but clearly showed the absolute elite level of his physique in picking up his second title of the day.
2 Kim Carstensen (Denmark). Danish National Champion of 2015, the Natural Beast was heavily muscled and hard, and with a distinctive shape and thickness to his upper body and would win International honours anywhere in the World on any other day. Had it not been for an opponent of Sams quality, he could have been vying for a pro card today without doubt.
As the class winners lined up, it soon became apparent that this would be the greatest ever standard we had seen since our inception in 2011. But, as good as the contenders were it soon became apparent with the title today would be decided in a re-run of last months battle in Leamington Spa between Middleweight winner Ben and Heavyweight winner Sam. As they were moved into the centre of the line-up, the tension both onstage and in the crowd could be felt as they began their comparisons. After a hard fought round of mandatories though, it became clear that the extra conditioning that Sam had achieved in the month following his narrow defeat at the qualifier had added an extra dimension to his amazing physique and would leave him untouchable today.
With a unanimous vote from all 7 judges, the 2016 Overall UK & International title went to an incredibly happy Sam Watt, as he became the latest man to have the coveted title belt strapped around his waist and receive his WNBF Pro Status as his peers congratulated him on his win.
And there ended a contest which we will never forget, as we finally realised after a very nervous 9 months of planning that We built it and they came.
Thank you to all who have supported our ambitious 2016 season. Without you, there is no us. We will never forget that.