Rhoden the best Down Under
SHAWN?RHODEN, the majestic world-class Jamaican bodybuilder, is making his mark on the 2014 pro season.
Fresh from a runner-up spot at the recent Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, where he had to settle for second best behind powerhouse German Dennis Wolf, Rhoden captured this month’s Australian Grand Pix in Melbourne.
Rhoden, who gave a guest posing exhibition in Barbados last November at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic, walked away with $75 000 at the Arnold Classic, the number two pro contest in the sport, behind only Mr Olympia.
The muscle feast in Ohio was a two-man contest – a towering German wolf on the prowl pitted against a sharp and dangerous Jamaican razor.
In the end, the judges went for Wolf, who became only the second non-American to win the contest that dates back to 1989. This was easily the biggest triumph for the 35-year-old who was born in Russia.
Rhoden seemed to get tighter as prejudging went on and performed well during finals.
His side poses showed off the size in his lower body and his trademark symmetry.
The surprise package in Ohio was Cedric McMillan, who came in full and hard at 260 pounds. His size was impressive, but so was his symmetry.
He’s also a fantastic poser and used quite a few of the signature poses that Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous. To be in the top three was a huge plus for McMillan, who has been inconsistent in the past.
Victor Martinez, the “Dominican Dominator”, took fourth with a combination of gorgeous symmetry and fantastic posing. His chest and shoulders looked incredible, but he must know he has to bring up his legs to match his outstanding upper torso.
Evan Centopani would have been happy with fifth after the disappointment of Mr Olympia when he failed to crack the top ten. He showed up in Columbus at almost 265 pounds, brought a much improved chest and performed a great posing routine.
Branch Warren is quickly falling from grace and paying the price for a blocky physique. The Texas titan definitely looked better than he did at last year’s Mr Olympia, but he needs better detail from the back and a little more size on his biceps. He could do no better than sixth.
Warren took a disappointing fourth in Australia where Rhoden reigned supreme with his peeled abs, the best double biceps of the contest and quite simply the most pleasing physique.
The surprise element here was black Dutchman William Bonac, who came out of nowhere and took an excellent second spot, rubbing out a lot of big names.
Bonac, who looks like a young Kai Greene, was at an all-time best. Big and hard with boulder biceps, he diaplayed a beautiful physique with well balanced symmetry.
Australian Grand Prix
1. Shawn Rhoden
2. William Bonac
3. Evan Centopani
4. Branch Warren
5. Edward Nunn
6. Fred Smalls
7. David Henry