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2016 USN Classic

Sunday 5th June. The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Photos courtesy of All Sports Photography, Bill Cullen & Caroline Morris www.allsportsphotography.smugmug.com

The 2016 season opened with a bang at The Leamington Assembly on Sunday 5th June as 60 athletes took the stage in front of a capacity crowd for our second annual beginners’ only event. The standard was sky high, with some amazing athletes across the classes whose physiques and presentation belied their beginner status.

The results are as follows:

Teenage Men

1 – Bertie Davison, Caterham. Bertie was a solid winner in this class with a tall, aesthetic and rock hard physique which he posed well. Bertie was deservedly invited to the UK Championship in October where he will be a definite threat for top honours.

2 – Jack Richardson, Stoke on Trent. Huge for a teen competitor with some impressive muscle fullness, Jack pushed Bertie hard and if he has the condition to match the winner could well have reversed the result.

3 – James Allen, Bristol. Another guy in rock hard condition with great presentation and a superb tan. James was well in the mix for top spot on first glance, but without the size of the runner up or the balance of the winner eventually landed in the bronze medal spot.

4 – Sam Benson, Basingstoke. A compact, well balanced and well-conditioned physique which Sam presented well. In all honesty, the only thing which kept Sam and 5th Place Norvydas out of the top 3 today was the quality of the guys who paced ahead of them.

5 – Norvydas Valavicius, Newton Abbott. Tall and long limbed and understandably not as heavily muscled as the men who placed ahead of him today, Norvydas has made a great start to his competitive career and with time and training will be placing in the trophies before he knows it.

Junior Men

1 – Daniel Park, Coventry. An amazing junior, with size, balance and maturity that belied both his years and his level of experience, Daniel has the potential to go on to great things in the sport and from the moment he stepped onstage it was clear that he would be a front runner in the overall today. Daniel was practically flawless for this level of competition and ran out a comfortable winner.

2 – Matt Duran, Wolverhampton. With relatively more muscle mass than the third placed finisher but not quite the condition or aesthetics, Matt’s runner up spot was a hard fought and closely won one. A touch harder and with a little more leg mass, Matt can create a real impact at this level if he chooses to.

3 – Taylor Topham, Burnham on Sea. A really beautiful shape, particularly in his upper body with wide shoulders and deeply etched abdominals, Taylor was very pleasing to the eye. Without the mass to place higher today in this class, it would be interesting to see how he fared in the physique contest later on this afternoon with his eye catching symmetry and shape.

Masters Men

1 – Mohammed Basith, Croydon. Thickly muscled, rock hard and without any really discernible weak body parts was the Masters winner Mo. His years and years of basic but brutal training in his home gym was apparent to all as he swept to a clear victory in the class.

2 – Peter Pretorius, Haywards Heath. With a beautiful natural shape to his physique and a real pleasing balance, Peter will make an impact at open level when he brings in his conditioning a little. A very young looking physique which has plenty of time in which to mature further and reach its full potential.

3 – Adrian Plester, Birmingham (also over 50 winner). Big, Lean, posing with great confidence and showing the crowd that he was loving every minute onstage was Adrian. A little heavier in the upper body than the lower and not quite “there” in terms of his conditioning at contest level, Adrian too appears to have the fuel in the tank to progress and challenge at open level.

4 – John Deeming, Wolverhampton. A great stage debut for a man who has turned his life around in spectacular fashion to make it onstage today. John won the fight for fourth and fifth place by virtue of his harder condition and great stage presentation, again loving every second and making the most of the stage time he has worked so hard to earn.

5 – Andy Anderson, Northwich. A big man with a ton of muscle in the upper body and his long legs not far behind, Andy was not quite hard enough to turn the tables on John today but also gave his all onstage and did himself proud.

Ladies Bikini, Short

1 – Billie Roberts, Farnham. Picture perfect in terms of her level of development and conditioning, stage presentation and tan Billie was on amazing form for a beginner level athlete. An athlete who had really done her homework when it came to what was required for this discipline and who will challenge strongly at open level.

2 – Kerry Sexton, Worthing. Another lady with great proportions and development, Kerry was perhaps a little too lean and would benefit from being a little bigger and fuller. Her tan and presentation were on the money, and she too has great potential at open level.

3 – Bea Mitchell, Hammersmith. Lighter than the two ladies who placed above her and notably so, but in great shape and well presented. A slightly bigger Bea is required to push further up the placings but was good enough to fend off a strong challenge from the rest of the class to bag the bronze medal spot.

4 – Lauren Standbridge, Bury. At only 18 years old, Lauren was in sensational shape and was another who had made a significant transformation in order to make her stage debut. Unlucky not to land in the trophies and determined to come back and do so later in the year, Lauren will benefit from another couple of months of hard training and will be one to watch.

5 – Rachael Dutton, Moreton. Another strong challenger for the trophies was Rachael, who was in optimum shape for the class in the upper body and only a tad less so from the waist down. Well developed and presented, she too will make an impact in future for sure.

Also competed, Lyndsay Barley (Birmingham) who was greatly improved in both her physique and presentation from last year’s contest and Alice Evans (Ebbw Vale) who looked fantastic with a well-balanced physique which was presented with style. Alice looked perhaps too well developed for this class and with leaner overall condition may find her future in the figure division.

Ladies Bikini, Tall

1 – Sarah Dennis, Waltham Abbey. A standout winner in the class, who although was considerably harder than she needed to be for this discipline was still more than good enough to take a clear win. If Sarah softens up a little she will soon find herself on the finals stage in this class. A future move to the figure division is conceivable with added upper body size where at her current level of conditioning she would also fare well.

2 – Rebecca James, Warley. Rebecca looked superb and was lean and confident onstage. A little more size in the upper body to balance out her great leg development will see her complete the puzzle, and like the winner could comfortably move to the figure division when she has done so.

3 – Helen Collins, Keighley. In perfect condition for the class, with her overall package indicative of a job incredibly well done in her preparation for the contest, Helen now needs time to develop the extra muscle shape required to place higher. Another lady with huge potential for future success.

4 – Katrina Penn, Leeds. Lean, athletic and well balanced, Katrina too required more size and shape to challenge for the higher placings today but is a great prospect when she does.

5 – Deisha Boyle, Bury. Improved dramatically since her last showing with not only an improved physique but so much more confidence onstage, Deisha is steadily adding the required muscle to her tall, long limbed frame and took the close battle for fifth place by virtue of her harder and leaner overall condition.

6 – Rebecca Cooper, Walsall. Fighting hard for fifth with Deisha, Rebecca too is a tall and long limbed athlete who despite already developing a great overall package will need time and training to fulfil her potential. Slightly leaner condition wise and she could have potentially jumped a place or two higher today.

Ladies Bikini Overall

Overall Bikini: Short class winner Billie was as predicted just too much in the Overall, taking the title and a well-deserved finals invite where she could easily be one of the front runners.

Mens Physique, Short

We then moved on to the Men’s Physique divisions. As always, these classes boasted an array of shapes and sizes with the judges work really cut out for them in not just recognising and rewarding the biggest and hardest athletes in the line-up but the best ones for the division criteria. It is incredibly important that a defining line between this and the bodybuilding criteria is set and remains firmly in place, and the panel did a fantastic job of this after a hard deliberation in both height classes.

1 – Minash Joshi, Coventry. Lean and hard but not ripped and detailed and well developed and balanced without being overwhelmingly large Minash deservedly took top honours in this class with an overall package ideal for the discipline, fending off a number of very impressive physiques that were in all honesty better suited to bodybuilding. Great chest, arms and abdominals with just a little more apparent back width needed, although Minash seemed to struggle a little to flare out his back in his presentation which may account for some or all of this one developmental point. A solid winner of a talent rich class.

2 – Josh Chinn, Manchester. Ideal in terms of muscle size and development and right on the border of what may have been considered “too” hard condition wise, Josh was pleasing to the eye and with more fluid and relaxed presentation could have pushed the winner harder.

3 – Greg Workman, Wimbledon. Developmentally and structurally near perfect for the class with a great shape to his upper body, Greg could well have changed the medal placings significantly today had he been a few pounds lighter and leaner.

4 – Julian Chapman, Purley. Hard and cut with great shoulder and chest development and impressive torso thickness from the side, Julian was aesthetically perfect but just too big and hard to place higher. A real heartbreaker for the judges to have to place such an impressive athlete outside of the medals, but the correct decision in terms of the class. Julian now plans to move over to bodybuilding where he could make a huge impact at novice level.

5 – Arshdeep Singh, Uxbridge. Another man who was just too heavily muscled for the class but was ideal condition-wise with a lovely taper, Arshdeep at 21 years old could be one of the best Junior bodybuilders on the circuit should he choose to switch disciplines.

Also competing were Nicholas Chimmunchilam (Chelmsford), Mahmoud Abdelmagid (Chelmsford), and Aled Price (Carmarthenshire). Nick was well developed and had a great shape but lacked the condition to place higher. Mahmoud was another man who was quite simply in the wrong class today with a huge upper body with really impressive chest and back development. Aled was thick set and well built, but perhaps another man who with attention to conditioning would fare better as a bodybuilder.

Mens Physique Tall

1 – Lynus Woo, Oxford. Lynus was a standout winner in the tall class with a very pleasing and aesthetic package with stage presence in abundance. Although notably softer than others in the class, Lynus was simply just too much for the rest of the line up and ran out a comfortable winner.

2 – Taylor Topham, Burnham on Sea. The aesthetic appeal he showed earlier in the Juniors served Taylor well here, with his striking midsection clinching him a hard fought runner up spot amongst several athletes who could quite easily have clinched a trophy place behind Lynus.

3 – Jon Gosman, Ramsgate. Just nicking third by virtue of his slightly better developed upper body, Jon was in optimal condition for the class and posed well.

4 – Kasey Birtley, Coventry. Just missing the top 3 by a whisker, Kasey was in great shape and just lacked a little muscle compared to third place finisher Jon. Another man with great potential for the future though.

5 – Manny Singh, Coventry. Hard conditioned, perhaps slightly more than required for the class but with the tiniest waist ever seen in the division which leant to a dramatic shoulder to waist taper which could not be ignored. A slightly bigger, fuller and marginally softer Manny could potentially rise the placings considerably.

Also competed, Glen Kendall (London), Rhys Spackman (Cardiff), Tom MacCormick (London) who were all big men in hard condition who should consider the switch to novice bodybuilding and Glenn Smith (Coventry) who was in staggering shape for a man of over 50 years of age who earned the masters physique title.

Overall Physique:
A hard contest to judge between two men who split the judges on a 3-2 decision. Lynus had a distinct edge in the aesthetics department, but when stood next to Minash it became apparent that he was a little softer than he may have appeared in his height class. After a real headache for the judges, an overjoyed Minash took the decision, the overall title and the finals invitation.

Ladies Figure

1 – Helena Winter, Bury. In her first contest, Helena dominated the line up with a picture perfect figure boasting the right amount of muscle and conditioning for the class, with a great v-taper and superb stage presentation. Helena showed a very high standard for a beginner and will be firmly in the mix as she advances to the open level of competition.

2 – Antonia Carboni, Glasgow. Another lady with great development and condition, also presented well. Antonia would have been a worthy winner any other day but just could not get past the striking shoulder width and v-taper of the winner on this occasion.

3 – Anna Nowak, Leicester. Just making it into the top 3 after a hard battle with 4th placed Amber, Anna was in great shape and has good potential. Anna can afford to add more muscle to her frame and still sit within the figure criteria comfortably and when she does, she will too be a threat at open level.

4 – Amber Brooks, Darlington. Tall and wide, with great presentation. Amber was unlucky to miss a top 3 slot and as we would see shortly sits right on the border of the level of development required for either figure or bodybuilding, making her equally as impressive in either class.

5 – Katrina Penn, Leeds. As mentioned earlier in the report, Katrina was in great shape but requires more development to compete effectively in this class.

Also competed, Rachael Dutton (Moreton) and Deisha Boyle (Bury) who were both better suited to bikini at this stage of their development, Karoline Schneider (Warwick) who was well muscled and will fare well in future as her condition improves and her stage confidence grows and Jayne Anderson (Northwich) who although lacking in relative width in the upper body was well muscled and lean and deservedly took home the masters title.

Ladies Bodybuilding

1 – Liz Mooney, Bury. In a close battle between two very different physiques, Liz was over the moon to take the win over Amber by virtue of her thicker muscle development and perfectly executed stage presentation. A stunning contest debut from Liz which shows huge promise for the future.

2 – Amber Brooks, Darlington. With the aforementioned eye catching shoulder width and slightly harder condition than the winner, Amber made this a very close contest which could have gone either way. She posed well and looked just as much at home in this class as she did the last.

Mens Lightweight Bodybuilding

1 – Yikai Shao, Birmingham. The first of the men’s bodybuilding class winners looked exceptional, and instantly registered himself a threat for the overall with a relatively densely muscled, beautifully shaped and rock hard physique with a staggering v-taper and deep separations all over with a graceful and well executed routine which bagged him the best poser award. Yikai was a solid class winner and would easily upset the apple cart at open level on this showing.

2 – Musa Dilek, Kingston upon Thames. Big and ripped but unable to match the aesthetic appeal of the winner, Musa boasted a thick upper body and slick presentation made a great debut.

3 – Michael Kerry, Ipswich. Perhaps the heaviest muscled of the top three in the class, Michael was slightly down on the condition of the two men who placed ahead of him today and could not quite match them in terms of width in the upper body. Still, a very impressive physique which will no doubt secure high placings and finals invitations once in top condition.

4 – Andrew Huggins, Portsmouth. Hard, with thick legs and calves which overpowered his upper body a little, Andrew took a close fourth ahead of fifth placed Chambers by virtue of being notably bigger overall.

5 – Chambers Whittle, Wolverhampton. Ripped and well balanced with one of the most entertaining routines of the day, Chambers shone like a beacon throughout his stage time and has great promise for the future once he packs on a little more muscle overall.

Mens Heavyweight Bodybuilding

The result of this division has been amended since the contest following the positive urine test result and subsequent disqualification of the athlete originally placed first. The below report reflects this amendment and the rightful placings.

1 – John Magripilis, Rugby. With ample muscle development on his tall and long limbed frame with an eye catching shape, John was shredded and well-presented and deserving of the eventual winners spot. John is another man who would be a strong prospect at the finals should he choose to accept his invitation, and going forward has great potential as he gains further mass. It was unfortunate that John did not have the opportunity to experience his being declared the winner on the day of the contest as I’m sure he would have preferred, but in his own words he was over the moon to have taken part in the contest and placed in the trophies regardless, having entered the event with no expectations. A fantastic attitude from a worthy Champion.

2 – Greg Sinclair, Bracknell. Greg was well built and well balanced with considerable upper body thickness and superb quads. Although. A little softer than the winner, with the extra condition needed he would have served a strong challenge for the title without a doubt and is another man who has great future potential. Greg too was philosophical about his post contest promotion to the runner up spot, drawing reassurance from the fact that our drug testing programme is clearly an effective one. Greg will return, and is set to make an impact in the novice division when he does.

3 – Paul Standell, Beckenham. Paul was the chalk to Greg’s cheese, in that he was harder and more aesthetically pleasing with a particularly hard and well-shaped lower body which was very impressive from the side and rear. Paul did express some uncertainty as to whether he would better fit Physique as opposed to Bodybuilding, but on this showing was every inch the Bodybuilder with great potential when he adds mass over time.

4 – Gavin Wathen, Merthyr. Massively improved since October in terms of both muscle development and conditioning, Gavin looked great and came onstage with the focus of a man who knew he’d done everything he could to be here in the best shape he could be. A little more progress in terms of overall size and condition will see him break through to the trophies in the near future.

5 – Charles Olutola, London. Massively muscled on his relatively compact frame with no apparent weaknesses, Charles could have caused some serious trouble if he’d hit the required condition today which most probably would have seen him drop to the lightweight class. Huge potential here for a future bodybuilding star.

Mens Bodybuilding Overall

Following the aforementioned disqualification of the original heavyweight and overall winner, the decision was made by the senior officials of the UKDFBA that the Overall Mens title would be awarded to original runner up Yikai Shao (who had a joint 2 votes with Junior Winner Daniel Park but had secured the head judges vote in the process). An unfortunate way for Yikai to have won the title, but a deserving win nonetheless. As previously stated, both Yikai and Daniel are headed for great things in the sport should they choose to pursue their competitive careers further.

And thus ended a superb season opener for the UKDFBA in its sixth year as a sanctioning body. Such was the standard of the contest that despite it not being originally billed or intended as a UK Championships qualifier, 8 invitations (to Bertie, Daniel, Mohammed, Billie, Minash, Helena, Yikai and John) were extended and each athlete to whom they were offered will stand a real chance of being a legitimate challenger on October 16th in their respective classes should they choose to take their place at the breath-taking setting of the Butterworth Hall, Coventry.

Huge thanks are due to our sponsors USN – Ultimate Sports Nutrition and Karl Bickley for their belief and backing of the association as well as to Wear2gym/Gymlad, The Gym Chef, The Workout Mill, Rhinos, Lougars, Future Fitness and Atlas Gyms and to Damian Lees Tailored Fitness. Without you all, we could not be who we have become.

And finally, it was truly humbling to have both more athletes onstage and more spectators in the audience than at our first UK Championships in 2011. The growth of the UKDFBA is due entirely to the people who have voted with their feet and chosen to be part of our contests. Thank you, and we look forward to giving you the season of a lifetime in 2016. Onwards now to Scotland, for the Caledonian Classic where we look forward to hosting you once again.


Audience & Judges