2017 UK International Championships
Photos courtesy of Sam Solarfly, Matt Marsh Photography
The 2017 season culminated with a monster of a day at the UK International. 149 athletes which included 7 visiting nations and four divisions of WNBF Professionals took to the stunning stage at the Bedworth Civic Hall which for the first time in its history of hosting bodybuilding contests was packed to the rafters with a sold out crowd, creating an incredible atmosphere for everyone who took to the boards to do battle.
With spots on Team UK 2017 at stake for the amateur class winners, WNBF Pro Cards to be won and a share of a £5000 in prizes for the Pro divisions, each and every athlete was at their absolute best and prepared for battle making every class so close and hard fought. The results were as follows...
1 – Jack Stanyer (Newcastle Under Lyme). Considerably tighter than his qualifier, Jack used the combination of this condition and decent mass and shape to bring the most complete package to the stage in this class and lift the title and first spot on Team UK for the Worlds.
2 – Tommy Burgess (Newcastle Under Lyme). Rock hard and fuller than his qualifier, Tommy did everything he could today to be at his best and took a creditable runner up spot as a result. With more mass, he will be a junior to watch.
3 – Arron Hutchinson (Camberley). Two time Southern Champion Arron had it all in terms of development but fell slightly short of the condition needed to lift the title that has now narrowly eluded him for 2 years. With limitless potential, his time on the number one spot will come though.
4 – Joseph Hobbs (Newbury). Another man with structure and shape to die for and huge potential for the future, Joseph looked bigger and thicker than his last appearance but needed to be somewhat harder today to push for a higher placing. It’s easy to see him as a World class Lightweight in years to come however.
5 – Gjergji Dane (Solihull). Returning to the condition he displayed at the USN Classic, Gjergji was at his best shape of the season and deservedly turned the tables on his conqueror for the previous month’s qualifier.
6 – Santiago Saldana (Aberdeen). Equally as lean and muscular as his qualifier, but without the size to push higher today which is absolutely understandable with him having just turned 16 years old. Santiago has made a fantastic start to his bodybuilding career and it will be interesting to see him develop over time.
1 – AJ Morris (Brighton). Overjoyed to win a close decision over the runner up, AJ needed every bit of his airtight conditioning to see off his challengers in this strong line up. With decent shape and balance and boasting feathered and separated quads and a great midsection, AJ was mature beyond his years. If he can hold his current condition without sacrificing any more muscle, the World could be his Oyster in a few weeks’ time in Boston.
2 – Ronny Cai (Coventry). His second runner up spot and closer than ever to lifting that Junior title, Ronny was the best he had been with considerably harder condition from the Heart of England to set off his huge and better than ever balance physique. There would have been no complaints had either man won.
3 – Kieran Howells (Rugby). Following his dominant win at the USN Classic, Kieran was one of the favourites for the event and did not disappoint. Although not quite as hard as he was in June, he looked fuller and thicker and just as impressive as a result. His legs were among the best in the contest and he will be virtually unstoppable when his upper body is bought into balance.
4 – Asbjoern Broendum (Denmark). Our first International guest athlete of the day was the incredible No 1 ranked Danish Junior, who was absolutely shredded for his UK debut. Nicely balanced and well presented, just needing more size to push for a higher placing.
5 – Henry Manning (Marlow). Big, thick and muscular with no glaring weaknesses, Henry was just a little down on his qualifier condition and would have been threatening for the title if he’d managed to reproduce it. Another man to watch out for in future.
6 – Arshdeep Singh (London). Arshdeep took on board his feedback from the qualifier and displayed his best condition yet today, pushing him above almost all of the men who had defeated him a few weeks prior. Amazing structure and posed like a pro, Arshdeep has this title within his reach.
Also Competed: Peter Macey (Nottingham), Alex Rich (New Milton), Jack Storer (Taunton), Aiden Clowes (Southampton), Matt Berry (Solihull), Ben White (Stamford) and Daniel Williamson (Coventry). Alex, jack, Aiden and Ben needed a little more size to be in the mix today whereas Peter and Matt needed to be harder. Daniel had one of the best upper bodies in the line-up and was in great shape but his lack of lower development kept him out of the top 6 today.
1 – Ian Hendy (Portsmouth). A dominant return from The Doc, as he presented his biggest and hardest package to date to the judges to secure his second UK title. Virtually untouchable today, he moves one step closer to achieving his second “double” in a few weeks’ time as he aims to regain his World Title in Boston.
2 – Oliver Perry (Leamington Spa). Capping off an incredible comeback season, the Heart of England Champion was a touch harder than a few weeks previously and looked more at home on stage having blown off the cobwebs at his qualifier win. Huge Arms and Legs with a nice structure, Oli was good enough to take this title on any other year and was simply unlucky to pick the same contest as Hendy to make his attempt.
3 – Mick Boyle (Paisley). His first UKDFBA final, and looking a little fuller and thicker than the qualifier which allowed him to turn the tables on his conqueror from that day, Mick is another man who could realistically look at taking this title in the near future. A little more back development and the complete package will be hard to match.
4 – Billy Duthie (Dundee). Caledonian Champ Billy was as big and complete as ever, with slightly harder conditioning than his last outing. A few more percent condition wise and this man would be unbeatable at any level, without doubt.
5 – Kenny McGill (Kilmarnock). His best ever and continuing with his incredible improvements from his Novice days a few years ago, Kenny was overjoyed to make the top 5 and has potential to do so for years to come.
6 – Damon Solley (Leeds). His best yet, with the little condition he needed back at the Northern well and truly present today and propelling him past the winner of that show and into the placings. As he gains size in balance and reproduces this form, the top 3 could be within his sights.
Also Competed: Michael Boyle (Bury) and Damian Holmes (Fleetwood). Michael was his best yet in terms of muscularity and condition, but really struggled to display himself effectively and really needs to restructure his posing and presentation. When he does, he will rocket back up the placings. Damian completed a very successful debut year after many obstacles during his prep which prevented him from showing the condition which earned him his USN Classic title a few months ago, but should be proud to have stayed on the path and made it to the big day at all. Well done fella.
1 – Richard Walker (Aldershot). Retaining his title in style, Richard was as shredded as ever with more size and fullness than last year and ran out a comfortable winner. Onward now to the Worlds where he takes one more shot at his holy grail in Boston.
2 – John Swaby (Dagenham). A strong challenger to the Champ, showing his trademark hard condition on his well-shaped physique. John looked a little tired and drawn onstage today after a long season and it could have been a very tough decision had he been at his very best.
3 – Robert Rodney (Sanderstead). Returning after a couple of years absence, Rob was big, balanced and well-shaped and had the tools to take a runaway win in this class but was somewhat adrift of the conditioning needed at this level and to topple his fellow top 3 placers today. In shape, he is unstoppable and he is sure to be back.
4 – Rob Feesey (Axminster). Even better than his appearance 3 weeks prior and closer to his best than he has been in almost a decade, Rob was brutally huge and rock hard. If he had the back to match the front and a little more in terms of shape and symmetry he too would be unbeatable but there’s no denying that this man has won a special place in the history of the sport and will always be remembered as the one who “raised the bar” at the turn of the millennium.
5 – David Doig (Buxton). Matching his USN Classic shape and looking more comfortable onstage after a debut season gaining valuable experience, David looked fresh and youthful physically and in seasons to come could be the one to watch in this class.
6 – Martin Portner (Switzerland). A welcome return from the legendary multi titled National and World Champion from Switzerland, coming to the stage today in his comeback from near fatality just one year ago. The packed crowd were on their feet in admiration as he did his thing, fending off some strong opposition to make the trophies and receiving the well-deserved “Blood and Guts” award in recognition for achieving his goal of fighting back to health and to the stage. Welcome back Martin. It was an honour to see you onstage today.
Also Competed: Shawn Howard-Greenfield (Lancing), Adrian Hampton (Devizes), Ian Scammell (Bristol), Atholl Brechin (Falkirk), Courtney Smith (Wolverhampton) and Paul Thorpe (Truro). All of these men were inspirationally impressive for men over 50 and good enough to have made the placings at any given time. Courtney and Ian in particular as former UK Champs were a testament to how strong this class was today. The incredible Atholl took the over 60 award unopposed, showing a physique which belied his years and was well deserved.
Over 60's Award
'Blood and Guts' Award
1 – Daniel Callaway (Northampton). Coming out on top in a super competitive class, USN Classic winner Daniel had the best balance of size, condition and shape in the division and despite strong opposition from the runner up was just too complete in the end to be beaten. A bright future in the sport awaits Daniel as he progresses.
2 – Andrew O’Connor (Camberley). Taking the winner right to the wire was fellow USN Classic qualified Andrew, who was harder than the winner and proportionately heavier muscled in the upper body. If his legs had been a little bigger to match his impressive top half and his posing were a little more flattering, he could easily have taken the title today and these are the points he should work on for future outings.
3 – Nahome Gebru (London). Improved in leaps and bounds in terms of his conditioning since the qualifier and tipping the balance in his favour from the man who beat him at that contest as a result, Nahome looked incredible with possibly the most complete physique in the class. Had his condition been a few percent sharper still, he could have caused a major upset today and possibly lifted the title.
4 – Ben Guest (Burton on Trent). Just nudged out of the top 3 in a close battle with Nahome, Ben was a little harder than the qualifier too which gave a little more separation to his legs, making them appear a little bigger and more impressive than previously. Immense potential to be a leading lightweight contender in the near future.
5 – Matt Storey (Brentwood). Another man who had really taken his feedback on board and nailed down the conditioning over the three weeks leading up to the finals and vaulted a few places over those who had beaten him previously as a result. Great potential as he grows into his huge frame and reproduces that condition again.
6 – Eddy Williams (Northwich). Even better than the much improved version of himself he showed at the early season qualifiers, Eddy could not have done anything else for this contest and deservedly reaped the rewards of his efforts with a trophy placing. Another man who shows promise for the lightweight division when he returns with a little more size.
Also Competed: Mark Lee (Cork) who was his very best yet, both bigger and harder than his 2016 season appearances, Gareth Anderson (Bridgend) who appeared a little tired and burnt out from a long and hard season and Bertrand Berwudza (Aylesbury) who could not hold his condition from the qualifier and appeared at the finals a little softer than he needed to be.
1 – Rhiannon Ahern (Newport). Rhiannon brought a leaner and more conditioned figure to the stage today, giving her the edge she needed in this ultra-tight decision between the top 3 where all 3 of the ladies took first place votes from the judges. A touch harder still and she will be one to watch at the Worlds.
2 – Elisabet Vang (Faroe Islands). The defending champion was just pipped at the post in her attempt to defend the title, being better developed and more shapely than last year but just needing a touch more condition. An incredible athlete who was sporting in her congratulations to the winner as the result was announced.
3 – Andrea Mihalcea (Uxbridge). Hugely improved from the Southern Counties in August and also pushing the winner hard, Andrea has a striking shape and great presentation and it’s only a matter of time before she lifts this title.
4 – Alice Wearn (Guildford). The Southern Champion was equally impressive today as when she qualified and was very closely matched to the top 3 in all respects. Another lady with a very bright future.
5 – Alexandra Dansco (Leeds). The Heart of England Champion seemed to have sacrificed a little fullness in her quest for extra conditioning today, which cost her a little in this amazing line-up. If she can add a little more depth to her upper chest and back and reproduce the shape she was in today, she too will push for the winners podium in future.
6 – Georgina Barge (Pwllheli). With an incredible structure and even development across her body, Georgina was possibly a fraction down condition wise from her qualifier but was incredible nonetheless. She was yet another athlete who is perfectly suited to the discipline and can expect great success in future.
Also Competed: Marlene Hinterberger (Switzerland), Laura Brand (Glasgow), Stefanie Bosshard (Switzerland), Michelle Allman (Denmark), Jolanta Radko (Coventry), Camille Vinatier (Melton Mowbray) and Iuliana Enache (Italy). Iuliana looked incredible, but was perhaps a little too muscular and conditioned for bikini. It would have been interesting to see her in the figure division. The other ladies in the class were all in great condition but need more muscle development for the future.
Mens Physique, Short
1 – Kieran Kevan (Kettering). Defending 2 time UK Champion Kieran had his work cut out for him today, and hung onto his title for dear life as he narrowly saw off an incredible challenge from the runner up in this class and the tall class winner as he went on to take the overall. Blessed with the absolute best shape and structure of the whole contest with excellent proportions, his condition was his weak link today. Had he been hard enough he would have been untouchable in all probability but he was good enough regardless to see off all comers and prove once again that he is the best in the country in his discipline.
2 – Csaba Varga (Dartford). A fraction softer and fuller than the qualifier and more impressive as a result, Csaba was so close to taking the title today and is sure to be one to watch next year. Proportionately developed and perfectly presented, he was amazing to watch and the epitome of what this division is all about.
3 – Bobby Fotheringham (Nuneaton). Taking the final top 3 slot against a strong challenge from the other finalists, Bobby was in perfect condition with excellent chest and shoulder development and great presentation. A little more back width and he could have the title in his reach.
4 – Ross McCandless (Ireland). Irish National Champion Ross lived up to his reputation admirably as he bought an incredible physique to the stage with even and aesthetically pleasing development from all angles. A touch down on his condition from his win at the Irish Nationals the previous month, he needed to be a touch harder to place higher today.
5 – Tyler Kelly (Bristol). Well-muscled and with a great midsection and prominent V taper, Tyler was visually very impressive, but actually lost some momentum due to his huge delts which as impressive as they are did throw his balance off a little and cost him against the guys who placed ahead of him who were generally evenly balanced. A difficult position for Tyler to be in, as nobody really aims to get smaller in this game so perhaps his best option is to add a little more size and head for the bodybuilding ranks. Whatever he chooses, he possesses an excellent physique and deserved his placing today.
6 – Izaak Dunk (St Andrews). Improving again from his qualification three weeks previously, Izaak has mastered the ideal level of conditioning and presentation for the class and now just needs to be a little bigger overall.
Also Competed: Kevin Oo (Leeds), Simon Gooding (Vale of Glamorgan), Nick Chapman (Bristol) and Nathaniel Goldstein (Cambridge). In reality, this was probably the most evenly matched class of the day and even the men who didn’t place were barely discernible from those who did and all had incredible physiques. In general, the thing that kept them all from placing today was simply just the six men who did! Sometimes, that’s the way the sport goes.
Mens Physique, Tall
1 – Levi Walker (Corby). A clear winner in the class from the moment he stepped onstage, Levi although a fraction short of the condition he showed at the USN Classic was still incredible with wide shoulders, a narrow waist, a lovely aesthetic shape and the ideal level of mass for the discipline. He took Kieran right to the wire in the overall, losing a close split decision and can be safe in the knowledge that there would have been no complaints if he had won.
2 – Matthew Worster (Rugby). Taking runner up spot in a tie breaker with third placed Josef, Matthew was well developed and in good shape, but without the structural appeal of the winner which is hampered a little by his heavy tattoos, and perhaps a little densely muscled in some body parts. It is easy to see Matt competing as a bodybuilder with a little more condition, especially from the back where his almost certainly too thickly developed for physique. A deserved runner up today though in this stacked class.
3 – Josef Vijay (Gloucester). Massively improved over the last 3 weeks and in great condition, Josef came very close to snatching that runner up spot with his lovely structure and shape and neat presentation. With a little more size on his tall and long frame, he could be challenging even harder for this title in future.
4 – Chris Davies (London). Improved beyond recognition from the man who debuted at the USN Classic in June, Chris was lean, muscular and well balanced. He literally could not have done more today and was thoroughly deserving of his placing. With more size, especially in upper body width for the future he too could climb to the top of the ladder in this class.
5 – Richard Beard (Burton on Trent). With a lovely aesthetic shape and taper which took him well into the top 6 today, Richard is lean and muscular and another man who teeters on the border between physique and bodybuilding and as predicted at his qualifier, was overtaken today by men whose level of muscularity was closer to ideal for the class.
6 – Peter Laurie (Shefford). The final placing went to Southern Counties Champion Peter, who was hard and muscular today and definitely appeared to be one who too would benefit from switching over to bodybuilding in future, as his reasonably heavily muscled frame looks to be made for that discipline.
Also Competed: Stephen Dale (Dundee), James Watkinson (Bingley), Troy Theodosiou (South Africa) and Bradley Collier (Welwyn Garden City). Bradley just missed the top 6, and can aim for a placing in future without doubt with a little more size. Stephen was lean and muscular but needs more width and shape to the upper body to create more aesthetic appeal. James and troy were both well-muscled but needed to be leaner to show themselves off to their best and crack the placings today.
Mens Physique, Overall
WNBF Pro International Ladies Bodybuilding
1 – Yvette Arthur (England). A desperate shame to have Yvette win the title uncontested, but it’s safe to say that she’d have fended off the vast majority of potential challengers with her impressive physique. Hugely improved from last year in terms of both size and conditioning and with more competent and well executed presentation than her rookie year, Yvette now looks totally at home onstage and ready to take on the very best the World has to offer in 5 weeks time.
WNBF Pro International Ladies Figure
1 – Daniela Padovan (Italy). The Pro Figure title went home to Italy for the second year in a row, this time lifted by an incredible athlete making her Professional debut in Daniela. Muscular, balanced and with an incredible shape all shown off with the flair and precision which is the trademark of the WNBFs European Pro contingent, Daniela was incredible.
2 – Lucy Walton (England). Runner up for the second year, Lucy’s trademark structure and shape was as evident as ever. Her presentation too was perfect and she looked well on track for her third shot at the World title in 5 weeks.
3 – Daniela Camboni (Italy). Her second UK appearance, and much improved over last year with lean condition and a little more size overall. Daniela pushed both of her fellow competitors hard and could easily have placed higher with no complaint.
WNBF Pro International Lightweight Men
1 – Cristian Guastella (Italy). Winning the absolute closest decision of the day with a tiebreaker required to split the first two athletes, an overjoyed Cristian took his first Professional title. Improved beyond recognition since last years contest, Cristian was bigger and harder and tipped the decision in his favour with his superior structure with flaring lats and shoulders, a tiny waist and sweeping quads. A touch harder and he would have left the others for dust today and would be a threat to the World title.
2 – Matt Argall (England). So close to the win came 2015 World Amateur Champion and Pro Worlds medallist Matt, who had made some notable improvements in thickness and maturity in his time away from the stage. He was in his trademark rock hard condition and delivered his finest ever free posing display as he fought tooth and nail with Cristian for the title.
3 – Flaviano Gelmini (Italy). Former Pro World runner up Flaviano topped the battle for the Bronze medal today, just edging out his two UK opponents with the thickest upper body of the three. A little off from the condition which saw him push the legendary Brian Whitacre in his 2015 Worlds win, had he matched that shape today he could almost certainly have looked to have taken the title on this occasion.
4 – Damian Lees (England). Another man who had made significant improvements to his physique in his 2 year hiatus from the stage was former 3 time UK Champion and 2015 World Amateur Champ Damian, who had added notable thickness to his upper body to effectively bridge the slight balance gap that previously existed between that and his incredible legs. Today, he had the most striking natural shape of the class but needed a little more condition to make the top 3 today.
5 – Stuart McCulloch (Scotland). Making his professional debut today was 2 time UK Champ and 2016 World Amateur Champion Stuart who had made some incredible improvements in size and thickness in what had been the briefest of “offseason” windows since his last contest. Hard and detailed, and only a tiny margin from his very best condition Stu too could have taken a medal spot with no complaints and should be proud of todays showing which proved he is every bit good enough to mix it in the Pro ranks.
WNBF Pro International Heavyweight Men
1 – Sam Watt (England). Just when you thought this man couldn’t be any more impressive, he once again pushes the bar and emerges from his offseason exile bigger and harder than ever before. With a totally complete physique in condition that is rarely seen on a man of his size, Sam took both the Heavyweight division and Overall Pro title clearly and made a profound statement today that he is coming for the World Heavyweight Title in November and it will take somebody very special to stop him.
2 – Gordon Adam (Scotland). Just edging an incredibly close battle for the runner up spot was a lifetime best Gordie, who was bigger and harder than he had ever been before and promising to be even better in 5 weeks’ time. With his legs just as detailed as his upper body which has been a developmental area in the past, and his presentation flowed more confidently than ever. His goal of a Worlds top 5 finish is now well within his grasp.
3 – Francesco Paleari (Italy). Improved massively since his last appearance in the UK in 2014 with a ton of muscle added and incredible condition from the front, Francesco was more pleasing on the eye than Gordie which made it a real apples and oranges contest but not as big and imposing and a little softer from the back, which no doubt was the deciding factor in their final placings. Francesco too is on track for a podium finish at the Worlds at this rate.
4 – Nigel St Lewis (England). With his trademark superb shape and nickname earning “Symmetry”, Nigel made an immediate visual impact when he took his place onstage and flared out his incredible chest, shoulders and arms in his front relaxed pose. Probably the most aesthetically pleasing bodybuilder in the entire contest, Nigel initially looked to be a solid challenger for Sam but as he ran through the comparisons today it became apparent that he didn’t quite have the size in his legs and back to match the top 3 and just missed out on a medal finish. For a man as good as Nigel not to make the placings today speaks volumes about the quality of the line-up and the standard of Pro we have in our network.
5 – David Guggisberg (Switzerland). 2015 Swiss Overall Champion David returned to the UK after a productive offseason where he presented himself notably bigger and thicker that his last competitive season and in great shape, more than holding his own in this incredible class. He posed with flair and passion, and enjoyed every second onstage in this elite company and was a pleasure to host. Expect David to continue with this great progress and climb the rankings and onto the medal spots soon.
Ladies Figure, Masters
1 – Lorraine Hills (Aldershot). In only her second contest, the Southern Counties Champion took the UK title comfortably with an incredibly balanced overall figure displayed in superb condition with every pose hit flawlessly and with a smile. A worthy winner and one who promises to be a huge threat at World level.
2 – Fiona McCulloch (Galston). Notably improved from the Caledonian, being leaner in the lower body and fuller in the upper. Fiona had pulled out all of the stops to cap off her first season with a well-earned runner up spot. With a little more overall size for future contests, Fiona could look to lift this title in the near future.
3 – Georgina McCarthy (Coventry). Just as well shaped and balanced as her win at the Heart of England a few weeks back, Georgina kept some strong challengers at bay to secure the third place trophy. Slightly harder condition would have been required to push for a higher placing today and should be her goal for future attempts.
4 – Alison Story (Southend). Lean, hard and slightly fuller than her qualifier, Alison too has completed a very successful first season and if she builds more size overall will continue to rise through the ranks.
5 – Maria Giordmaina (Stratford Upon Avon). Harder than her qualifier, Maria could have placed one or two slots higher with no complaint and with her condition at 100% would have pushed the winner without doubt. Masses of potential for future success.
6 – Jayne Anderson (Northwich). Jayne was her best ever as she contested her first finals, having climbed the ranks slowly over the last 2 years before securing her invitation back in September. If she carries on improving at this rate, this will not be her last finals appearance or top 6 placing.
Ladies Figure, Open
1 – Leanne Hurst (Preston). The reigning champion saw off all challengers in this incredibly high quality class as she retained her title in style, reproducing the condition she showed last year with a little more fullness and shape and being completely unbeatable in her class. Leanne went on to take the overall in a very tight decision with Masters winner Lorraine and now looks to move up the World rankings from last years 3rd place.
2 – Stacey Barnes (Sheffield). The lady who many thought would be Leannes toughest challenge in the lead up to the contest lived up to that hype admirably, as she pushed the winner hard in claiming her runner up spot. An incredible structure and Pro level presentation was very much evident and with a touch more size and hardness it won’t be long before Stacey could be taking the title.
3 – Terese Clausen (Denmark). The Danish National Champion was as excellent as ever with a beautiful structure and shape with hard and lean condition and like her fellow top 3 finishers superb presentation which she had put her own personality into perfectly. A little more size while maintaining her balance and shape will see Terese rise to the very top of the sport in time.
4 – Natalia Jaremko (Penrhyn Bay). Looking slightly leaner and fuller than her qualifier, Natalia reversed the close decision which kept her in second place that day and as predicted saw off the remainder of this fantastic class to secure her placing.
5 – Antonella Ortis (Italy). Another member of the visiting Italian team who looked incredibly well presented onstage, setting off her balanced and well-conditioned figure perfectly. A little more hardness in the lower body and she could have pushed for a higher placing.
6 – Alex Kokkonen (Coventry). In a tie for the 6th place award, Alex just edged into the placings with a lean, full and well-shaped figure but didn’t quite have the shape and structure to match the ladies who placed ahead of her today.
Also Competed: Antonia Carboni (Glasgow) who just missed the top 6 on the aforementioned tie breaker and is improving consistently and just needs a little more size to push into the top 6 and beyond, Claire Linton (Glenrothes) who needs to be a little bigger overall, Amanda Gaborne Voros (Bristol) who had a lovely shape and just needs to be a little harder, Charmaine Scribbins (Taunton) who was much improved from her qualifier and has great potential and Ambra Lorenza Ricci (Italy) who needed to be a little leaner in the lower body to push the placings today.
Ladies Figure, Overall
1 – Danni Terresa (Exmouth). Southern Counties Champion and 2016 UK runner up Danni was over the moon to take her first UK title in this competitive class and she did so in style. Well balanced, muscular and well-presented she was unstoppable today and goes from strength to strength as she now ascends to World level.
2 – Tereza Slezova (London). An incredible end to a debut season for USN Classic Champion Tereza whose superbly muscled and conditioned physique pushed the winner hard today. Her stage presence was excellent for a relative novice and her routine bought the house down.
3 – Lesley Smith (Glenrothes). Caledonian Champion Lesley was just as aesthetic and balanced with equally ripped conditioning as her qualifier win in July as she battled with Tereza for the runner up spot. With a little more size and fullness she can lift this title and enjoy success at International level.
4 – Sabrina Cawley-Bradey (Manchester). In only her second contest, Sabrina showed immeasurable potential in her balanced and well developed physique and confident presentation. Once she masters a little more conditioning, she will almost certainly be the one to watch in this division in future seasons.
5 – Emily Terry (Carmarthen). Another lady in only her second contest, Emily was one of the hardest in the class with rock hard condition all over. Once she adds size to her well-shaped physique, she too will look to break into the top 3 and beyond at this level.
Open Men, Lightweight
1 – Dean Garratt (York). One of the UKs very best lightweight athletes of all time, Dean bought class to the stage in abundance as he took his second title to go with his 2015 win. Near perfectly balanced with relative mass in abundance evenly distributed on his frame and presented perfectly, Dean has set the benchmark for some years when it comes to the standard required to win at this level and shows no signs of slowing down.
2 – David Old (Dumfries). Multi titled David was good enough to win any other year, and the fact that it took a legend like Dean to keep him from the winners spot today speaks volumes about the standard of his physique. Shredded, with massive quads and a frighteningly detailed midsection, All David can do now is add muscle to his tall frame to improve.
3 – Chris Paling (Loughborough). One of the dark horse competitors of the season, going from novice Mens Physique contender to top 3 ranked bodybuilder in just a few short months of competition. Compact, dense and shredded, Chris was testament to the success that can be achieved if you follow the path in the sport that is right for your attributes and once he brings up his back and adds a little more size to the rest of his body parts has the potential to take this class.
4 – Dan Watkins (Aylesbury). Dropping into the class at weigh in, Dan looked huge for a lightweight and caught the judges eyes immediately as a result. With a little more maturity to his physique and a touch more thickness to his chest, Dan will continue to challenge at this level in either the light or middleweight classes.
5 – Jordan Campbell (Redditch). Improved notably in condition since his qualifier and rocketing up the rankings as predicted because of this, the think, full physique of Jordan was incredibly impressive. Capable of holding even more size on his frame and also bound to mature further with time and training, Jordan is another man capable of being a leading contender in the future.
6 – Marcus Beales (Manchester). Fighting hard to grab the last trophy placing, Marcus was in his best shape to date and did incredibly well to recapture this form after a forced absence from the sport due to illness. Relative tall for a lightweight but still with scope to gain considerable size while still remaining in the class, it will be interesting to follow his progress over the next few years.
Also Competed: Lee Adams (Southsea) who needs a little more size, especially in the back but was shredded and full, Jason Wright (Milton Keynes) was very unlucky not to crack the top 6 with huge legs and great condition. A little more upper body to balance him out will see him well in the mix in future, Andy Hallahan (Redditch) made an impressive return and held his own in this line up despite being well into his fifties, Musa Dilek (Kingston) was rock hard and balanced and will also be one to watch as he adds size, Achie Gyedu (Bracknell) was perfectly proportioned and had an incredible shape but lacked the raw mass to crack the placings today, Eric Pawilkowski (Glasgow) didn’t reproduce the condition he showed at his qualifier and Jason Barnett (Bradford) continued a great comeback season, gradually showing a return to his best form. His free posing was the best of the entire contest and bought the house down.
Open Men, Middleweight
1 – Thomas Hicks (Bridgend). A wise and rewarding decision from one of the most dominant heavyweight contenders of the season in dropping down a class which was rewarded with a close fought win for the title. The weight cut had taken its toll on Tom who looked a little tired and drawn onstage but his rock hard and rugged muscularity could not be denied. Looking huge for a middleweight and the most cut in the class, Tom will challenge hard at the Worlds.
2 – Jonathan Mitchell (Aylesbury). Another man dropping down to the class and coming so very close to the win in a class where any of the top three could have lifted the title without complaint, Jonathan was the most aesthetically pleasing of the three and cut to pieces to boot. With a little more overall size, the earlier prediction of reaching Pro level in future is still very much on the cards.
3 – Gerard Pariseau (Motherwell). The third man in this epic battle for the title was proportionately perhaps the thickest and heaviest muscled in the shape of Heart of England Champion Gerry. With no discernible weaknesses and condition slightly harder than 3 weeks ago, Gerry could have lifted the title today with no complaints and had his condition matched the first two probably would have done fairly comfortably. Keep pushing Gerry. This title is waiting to be yours.
4 – Alex Tsang (Nottingham). Beyond recognition from his qualifier appearance 3 weeks before, with drastically improved condition which earned him a well deserved 4th place. Alex took his feedback on board and did what needed to be done to show his heavily muscled and well balanced physique to its best and took the reward that came with it.
5 – Steve Hall (London). Steve could not have been any more prepared for his open class finals debut, shredded and dry with precise and solid presentation. A little short of the mass his frame can handle, he will challenge for a top 3 placing once he gains a little more size.
6 – Ryan Howells (Bristol). Northern Counties winner Ryan rounded out the top 6 with yet another superb physique, lean and balanced. Another man who could handle a little more size in his quest to push for the top tier in this class.
Also Competed: Jamie Sands (Gateshead) who wasn’t quite as hard as his qualifier and would have been likely to make the trophies if he had been, Dean Nolan (Flintshire) who appeared his best yet and will be one to watch as he gains size, Peter Garay (Shrewsbury) who is a World Champion waiting to be crowned, but seriously needs to master the art of conditioning to get him there and Matej Slivon (Slovakia) who was his best yet, leaner and harder than ever and held his own nicely.
Open Men, Heavyweight
1 – Daniel Mucha (Leeds). Daniel had set tongues wagging three weeks previously, qualifying for the finals bigger and harder than ever and serving notice to all that he would be one of the front runners today. At these finals, he was harder and dryer and very close to being in peak condition and tore through the class despite a strong challenge from the runner up. The final man to throw his hat in the ring for the coveted overall, it would be interesting to see if any of the other contenders would have “enough” to stop this monster of a man.
2 – Dan Lampard (Manchester). One of the hardest, most detailed and most balanced Heavyweight competitors ever to battle for this title, Dan looked incredible as he stood onstage today at his lifetimes best. It was a true battle of opposites for the title with Dan just unable in the end to persuade the judges to see past his opponents gargantuan mass. Dan now sets his sights on challenging for the World Light Heavyweight title where he will be hard to beat.
3 – Dusan Zuber (London). In a tough battle for the next three places, Dusan edged the other two men out and bagged the final top 3 spot with his incredible conditioning, which was as tight as it gets from top to bottom. More size overall needed to challenge the top 2 today but an incredible athlete with a bright future.
4 – Henry Mensah-Brown (Coventry). Henry was vastly more impressive than his qualifier 3 weeks previously, his shape and condition now much more clear and with great quads and a thick chest and arms. If Henry can hammer his back into proportion with the rest of his impressive physique he will pose a threat at any level.
5 – Scott Jezzard (Wantage). Aesthetically probably the most impressive man in this class with a huge frame that could handle even more muscle than the impressive size he already carries. Harder than his qualifier but with still a couple of percent to go, Scott is a Heavyweight Champ in waiting once everything falls into place for him.
6 – William Rooke (Coventry). Fighting it out for and taking the final trophy slot, William was just as impressive as 3 weeks previously, posing better with every outing and truly beginning to work on the minor details of his physique that will bring him into perfect balance in time.
Also Competed: Shane McDonald (Ireland) and Jesper Pilgaard (Denmark). Both International visitors found themselves in deep water in this class which was of such a high standard even two men of their level were kept out of the placings. Shane was ruggedly muscled but not quite as hard as he needed to be, whereas Jesper was lean and ripped but needed more overall mass to challenge today.
Moments later, all of the eligible class winners assembled onstage to battle for the big one. As impressive as Jack, AJ, Richard, Dan and Tom were it soon became apparent that Dean and Daniel were the two men who would put the judges to the test as it was decided who would lift the title and WNBF Pro Status. Moved in together, a true David and Goliath battle commenced with both men giving their all to ever pose called. Dean was an anatomy chart, perfectly balanced and detailed intricately from all angles, his back double bicep being possibly one of the most impressive poses of the entire contest. Daniel was huge however, and carried vast amounts of muscle whichever way he was viewed and in his side chest and most muscular shots looked just too big to be beaten.
The cards were submitted and totted up and it was no surprise that the judges were divided in their opinion when it came to these two men. With four votes to three, and the closest margin in UKDFBA history that the Overall UK title had been decided the title belt, trophy and Overall UK International title for 2017 went to an elated Daniel Mucha.
However, such was the incredible quality of the two men that also for the first time in our history Two athletes were awarded WNBF Pro status and both “The Beast from the East” and the “Diamond” would deservedly accept the most respected status in the sport and prepare to go on to the WNBF Pro World Championships to challenge for the most coveted title in the sport.
And as the remaining crowd slowly slipped away from the Civic, the 2017 domestic season drew to a very satisfying close as we prepared for one more contest, this time across the Atlantic Ocean as Team UK prepared to assemble once again...
Thank you to all who have supported our association this year, and given those athletes the opportunity to live the dream in Boston.
See you in 2018.