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2019 Heart of England Championships

Photos courtesy of Sam Solarfly, Matt Marsh Photography

The final qualifying contest of the season was a record breaker for the UKDFBA, with 132 athletes descending on Rugby and setting a standard never seen before in a regional event.

The results were as follows:


Teenage Men



1 – Andrew Clegg

2 – Rob Wonnacott




The opening class of the day saw two good Teen athletes both earning their invites to the finals with Andrew taking the win by virtue of his extra size over Rob. Both will benefit from sharpening up their condition over the next 4 weeks despite being in decent shape on this day.












Junior Men



1 – Matt Berry

2 – Rain Low

3 – Bradley Lowe

4 – Oliver Collingwood

5 – Emilios Vasiliou




A solid win from a much improved matt who was big, balanced and in great condition and virtually unrecognisable from his last appearance 2 years ago. He should feature strongly at the finals, as will runner up Rain who was equally as conditioned with a beautiful shape but not quite big enough to turn the tables today. Bradley had no such trouble, with probably the heaviest muscled physique in the class with a lovely shape but not quite the condition he needed. Oliver in fourth was ripped, balanced and bought the house down with his lively free posing routine and will really go places as he adds more size. Emilios rounded out the top 5, with a cut and balanced physique on his tall and wide frame which will take some filling out over time but was very worthy of his finals invitation.

Also competing were Jermaine Suleman and Simeon Kostadinov who just missed the top 5, matt Lewsey, Bodgan Erhu, Kieran Clarkson, Bradley Dodd and Jerome Bate. All looked great but lacked either size or conditioning to break the placings today.












Masters Men



1 – Obina Mgbemena

2 – Ian Smith

3 – Mark Ford

4 – Carlos Barradas

5 – Matthew Hall

6 – Matthew Brookes




An incredibly tight Masters class followed where the top 4 competitors were incredibly closely matched and could have shuffled around in their placings with little complaint. Eventually, Obina took the title with a really heavily muscled and dramatically tapered upper body in great condition, although he lacked the leg development to balance his physique out overall. Ian took runner up spot in unreal condition, shredded and detailed all over but frustratingly clearly hiding just how good his physique was with some very awkward looking posing which if ironed out for the finals should reveal muscle and shape that simply could not be judged today. Mark and Carlos were tied for 3rd place, both tall and conditioned with some great bodyparts and capable of turning todays decision around at the finals without doubt. Matthew Hall in 5th is heavily muscled and shapely but needed sharper condition today as did Matthew Brookes in 6th who was vastly improved from the USN Classic in June and shows tremendous promise.












Grandmasters Men



1 – Andrew Palmer

2 – Andrew Jordan

3 – Adrian Hampton

4 – Paul Thorpe

5 – Christopher Walker




A triumphant UKDFBA debut followed for the multi titled Andrew Palmer in his first contest in 3 years. Big, full and hard with the stage presence one would expect from a man with over 30 years of high level contest experience, Andrew took a unanimous win from the judges and will be hard to beat at the finals. Andrew Jordan and Adrian Hampton were tightly matched in the next 2 places, with Andrew pinching the runner up trophy by virtue of his more aesthetically pleasing shape. Both men need to focus on conditioning for the finals. Paul Thorpe finished 4th in his best shape of the season but without the last bit of conditioning needed to leapfrog himself into the top 3 this time with Chris Walker in 5th who was hard and conditioned with excellent leg separation but outmassed on this occasion.

Also competing were superb first timer John O’Neill who has made an incredible transformation to debut in fine condition and Adrian Plester who was full and balanced but needed to be harder and sport a deeper tan to make an impact today.












Ladies Masters Figure



1 – Lindsay Davies

2 – Terri Barrett

3 – Lisa Morris

4 – Karyn Clark

5 – Trudy Ann Tandy




Lindsay took the Masters Figure title in emphatic style next, structured and conditioned near perfectly and presented without fault. She will be a strong contender for the UK title in 4 weeks time. Terri took runner up spot with a good shape and development and sharp condition but couldn’t match the structure of the winner today. Lisa in 3rd had an ideal shape and good development but was a little softer than needed to place higher today but with plenty of time to rectify this for the finals. Karyn and Trudy rounded out the top 5, and they along with Jean Squires and Sharon Hookway needed more muscle to place higher on this occasion.












Novice Men, Lightweight



1 – Oliver Quinlivan Grech

2 – Suffain Zubair

3 – Simon Jones

4 – Nick Lee

5 – Stephen Skidmore




A good standard of Novice with a clear winner in the shape of Oliver, who had too good a balance of muscle and condition to be troubled today. A darker tan would be advisable for the finals. Suffain was heavily muscled and had a lovely structure, which carried him into second place today over others who were far harder conditioned than he was. If he hardens up for the finals he may surprise a few people. Simon, Nick and Stephen were closely matched for the next 3 places, with Simon taking the bronze trophy by virtue of being slightly heavier muscled overall. Both Nick and Stephen were hard and conditioned and will do some real damage at this level once they add a little more size.

Also competing were Sasha Marajenkov and Donald Sweeting who both had great physiques but needed to be harder today.












Novice Men, Heavyweight



1 – Matthew Clark

2 – Hymsuen Liu

3 – Adam Finnigan

4 – Sam Ford

5 – Matthew James

6 – Benjamin Hassan Tuttiet




The Heavyweight Novice title was taken in dominant fashion by Matt, who was big and cut and just too much for the rest of the class today. Hymsuen in runner up spot carried some serious muscle on his shorter frame with huge quads and calves but needed to bring tighter condition to the show today to have troubled the winner. Adam took third in a close fought battle by virtue of his extra size over Sam in fourth and harder condition over Matthew in fifth. Benjamin rounded out the class in sixth place with a physique which shows good potential and a great posing display to the theme tune from Pumping Iron but needed more muscle overall to move up the placings.












Ladies Open Figure



1 – Hollie Gallagher

2 – Justalina Soverall

3 – Laura Pyszora

4 – Katie Bland

5 – Vanessa Burningham




A near perfect Hollie took a unanimous win next in the Open Figure, with just too much of everything to be touched on this day and with a touch more condition could be a precontest favourite for the finals. Justalina and Laura fought it out for second, both well balanced and in great shape with Justalina moving ahead with her superior structure. Fourth placed Katie was balanced with a great shape and hard condition which would suit the Fit Body class and Vanessa in fifth boasting a lovely shape and slightly more muscle than 6th placed Jessica Kwan which was the deciding factor in her taking the final trophy spot.

Also competing were Lizzie Richmond, Lesley Rowan, Sophie Wragg, Chloe lake and Ruth Benjamin who all needed a little more muscle and condition to push the placings today and Susan Currie who was hard and muscular and way better suited to Fit Body.












Ladies Fit Body



1 – Susan Currie#

2 – Terri Barrett

3 – Katie Bland

4 – Sigita Catherall

5 – Laura Pyszora




As predicted, Susan was very much at home in the Fit Body division and stormed to a unanimous victory from the judges. With a few tweaks to her posing for the finals she is bound to be one of the front runners for the title. Terri took runner up spot, as her previously noted hard condition came alive as she began to pose and moved her into runner up spot comfortably. Katie and Sigita fought closely for third and fourth in a contest which could have gone either way but with both ladies invited to the finals to go again in 4 weeks. Laura in fifth as well as Ruth Benjamin and Sharon Hookway needed to be harder for this class today.












Ladies Bodybuilding



1 – Danni Carr

2 – Joanne Barrett

3 – Marie Newton




An incredible Bodybuilding debut followed for Danni who took a clear win with a heavily muscled and beautifully shaped physique which with slightly harder condition would be near unbeatable. Jo took second and was as good as ever with a well muscled and lean physique, presented impeccably and just unlucky to come up against such a complete adversary in Danni. Marie took third with added size and far superior posing and stage presence over last seasons appearances as she continues to improve.












Mens Open, Lightweight



1 – Ross Taylor

2 – Daniel Crumpton

3 – Darren Shepherd-Loxton

4 – Jordan Campbell

5 – Harjit Singh




All the way from Bonny Scotland, Ross made the most of his long journey to the contest by destroying what was a top class Lightweight class with muscle to spare, rock hard condition and solid posing. He truly made this a fight for second place which was an incredibly close one between Daniel, Darren and Jordan. In the end, Daniel came out on top with his wide shouldered and full muscled shape over a rock hard and perfectly presented Darren and perhaps the unluckiest man of the season in the shape of Jordan who took fourth but was more than good enough to win any other qualifier and could have easily landed in second today without complaint. All four men took finals invites and the opportunity to do battle again the following month. Fifth placed Harjit switched from the Novice at the last minute, and possibly made a terrible error in doing so as he was cut, shapely and balanced and would have been pushing for the winners spot in that class.

Also competing were Connor Grayson and Jacob Fry who lacked the muscle to trouble such a top class line up on this occasion.












Mens Open, Middleweight



1 – Daniel Park

2 – Gerard Pariseau

3 – Mark Spinks

4 – James Brown




The much anticipated and publicised return of 2016 Junior UK, International and World Champion Daniel culminated in victory in the Middleweight class as he bought serious muscle and density gains to the stage over his last appearance. A few percent away from his best condition, which he will no doubt find for the finals he will be one to watch. Runner up spot was a massive Gerry, who too returned after a couple of years away from competition with significant gains in size but not quite the condition he needed to tip the balance today. Again, when he hardens up for the finals he could do serious damage there. Third placed Mark was shredded, with one of the tightest overall conditions of the day but not the size to overturn the top 2 with James taking fourth with a full and balanced physique which needed to be harder today.












Mens Open, Heavyweight



1 – Solomon Onaola *** Overall Winner ***

2 – Yordan Stoyanov

3 – Leejay Nelson

4 – William Rooke *** 2019 Blood and Guts award winner ***




The final class of the day produced a runaway winner for both the heavies and overall in Solomon, who was just as big and shapely as last years finals runner up spot but with a harder, more mature look to set it off as he stampedes towards this years final hell bent on going one better than 2018. Yordan, who won the overall at the 2017 USN Classic but sadly had to withdraw from what would have been an almost certain victory at that years finals as a novice returned from the hiatus caused by his nasty injury to take second and secure an invite to the finals where he will truly belong at that level and is capable of taking some established scalps if he comes in a touch harder. Leejay Nelson proudly took third with a physique which shows definite signs of an impressive transformation and which will soon find itself on a finals stage with a little more size.

Last but not least, William Rooked bought the house down with his entertaining free posing and while he could have been harder and has a few lagging bodyparts it is hard to criticise the physique of a man who has rebuilt from scratch after literally returning from death after sustaining serious injuries while serving his country which should have left him unable to even walk again let alone train with the frequency and intensity that he does. He was awarded the 2019 “Martin Portner Blood and Guts Award” and deservedly so.












Ladies Bikini, Short



1 – Malgorzata Kasprzycka

2 – Noor Haddad

3 – Sarah Wilson

4 – Jessica Kwan

5 – Melissa Finch




The short Bikini class was won by a superb Malgorzata with ideal levels of development and condition for the class over a much improved Noor who was in far better shape than 2 weeks previous at the Northern but without the muscle and shape to beat the winner today. Sarah took a deserved third with a lean and balanced figure which just needs a little more muscle and fullness to be the finished product. Jessica and Melissa in 4th and 5th similarly had lovely aesthetic shapes but just needed a touch more muscle to place higher.

Just missing the top 5 in a close battle with Jessica and Melissa was Sarah Tilleray who too needs a touch more muscle. Also competing were Tapiwa Onaola, Simona Rukovanska, Bethan Strange, jasmine barnes-Keywood, Leanne Lockwood, Alexandra Juhasz, Brogan Hill, Hayley Fulton and Winnie Yip Wai Kuan. All of the ladies outside the top 6 were in great shape but generally needed either more muscle and condition to place higher.












Ladies Bikini, Tall



1 – Sian Kenny *** Overall Winner ***

2 – Stacey Tilley

3 – Jade Lea Hegarty

4 – Lauren Jones

5 – Jess Garrington




Another lady much improved over her Northern Counties showing 2 weeks previously was Sian who took a clear and decisive win in this class before edging the overall in a close contest with the short class champion. Runner up Stacey was lean and well proportioned but lacked the upper body muscle and taper to challenge for the win on this occasion but was more than good enough to take the runner up spot and secure her invitation to the finals. Third place was taken by Jade in a close battle with 4th placed Lauren, who both presented a neat and athletic figure and showed good potential. Fifth placed Jess had a very good overall structure with ideal levels of muscle size and near perfect presentation but was way too hard and muscular for the Bikini discipline with muscle detail all over rarely even seen on a bodybuilder, which cost her today. If she reappeared in more appropriate condition for the class she could be unstoppable.

Also competing were Emma Dorian-Kemp, Alexandra Gregorcyzk, Avril Jones and Charlotte Lynch. All of the ladies who were unplaced looked great and have potential as they gain the muscle they need for future contests.










Mens Physique, Short



1 – Kevin Oo *** Overall Winner ***

2 – Rain Low

3 – Rohan Verma

4 – Jack Higgins

5 – Kalim Allen Santos




Taking his second class and overall title at this contest was the near perfectly shaped Kevin who was untouchable today but should focus on being sharper for the finals if he wants to maximise his incredible potential. Rain bagged his second runner up spot of the day with his beautiful shape and balance but would perhaps struggle in a deeper line up as his condition was bordering on just a little too hard for this discipline today. Making an impressive return to competition in third, Rohan was unlucky not to grab the runner up spot and will definitely have scope to challenge the winner here at the finals if he comes in harder too. Jack was in good condition in fourth but needs a little more size and fullness to appear more aesthetic with Kalim in fifth an absolute aesthetic dream but a little too soft today.

Simone Pigliapoco was his best yet, but just missed the top 5 on this occasion for no other reason than the standard of the class being so very high. Nathan Groves, Taku Chibwana, Luke Buchanan and Mitchell Ward rounded out the class with each man needing to be generally more muscular to make an impact.












Mens Physique, Medium



1 – Nicolo Catalano

2 – Jamaine Brown

3 – Sasha Marajenkov

4 – Stephen Bowes

5 – Adrian Baczkowski




Last years UK runner up Nicolo added his second area title to the collection as he cruised to a win in the Medium class with a solid muscular physique which will once again be in the running at the finals. Jamaine and Sasha took the other top 3 slots and finals invitations, both boasting good physiques by Jamaine being a shade harder and leaner than Sasha. Fourth placed Stephen was his best yet, and is adding size and muscularity with ever appearance but aesthetically may find himself better suited to Bodybuilding in the near future. Adrian took the last trophy slot and again was better than ever but aesthetically not as pleasing as others who place above him.

A debuting Aaron Haskins finished 6th and was very unlucky to be in such a tough line up for his first appearance. He was lean and muscular and with a little help with his presentation and a little less oil could have been pushing for the top three and has good promise for the future. Also competing were Miles Mason, Liam Smith, Ross Kitto, Robert Wilcocks and Jim House. Again, all of them were in decent shape and looked impressive when they stood alone but lacked either aesthetically or in terms of conditioning to those who placed ahead of them.












Mens Physique, Tall



1 – Andre Robinson

2 – Michael Kent

3 – Luke Humphries

4 – Danny Hodges

5 – Jezz Freeth




The final class of the day saw an unprecedented number of tall class competitors file onstage in what is usually the smallest height class in terms of numbers but today was the biggest! Coming out on top was an excellent Andre Robinson who was well built and in good condition with the classic wide shouldered, narrow waisted upper body which is so hard to ignore in a Mens Physique line up. Michael and Luke split the judges opinions over the next two places, with Michael being more muscular but Luke more appealing in terms of shape and structure. Today, muscularity won the race but both men will meet again at the finals where things may be very different. Danny Hodges made a great contest debut in fourth with a lovely shape and good development and condition. He was very unlucky to find himself in the deepest tall class of the season and would have been close to the top placing in pretty much every other this season without doubt. Fifth placed Jezz too looked great and if he were sharper could have pushed up the placings today.

Rounding out this final class of the day were Bogdan Erhu, Kieran Clarkson and Obinna Mgbemena who were all better suited to their respective bodybuilding classes, jack Mutton who just missed the top 5, Austen Hills, Joe Broom, Chris Lynas, Ryan Kitto, Matthew Welch who all needed a little more muscle and Dylan Patel who has an incredible structure and a superb physique which will be one to watch as he matures and adds size.

And a long 9 hours after the show opened, we drew this seasons qualifying contests to a close. Onwards now to the UK International in 4 weeks as we crown the best of 2019 and fill those much sought after slots on Team UK for the Worlds.

Lee.












Blood and Guts Award








Overall Winners