The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden shined with a winning physique at the 2014 Australian Pro Grand Prix Bodybuilding Championships, taking 1st place at the event in Melbourne. Usually a 212 Division competitor, IFBB Pro William Bonac took 2nd place against Open Division competitors, securing his highest placing in a pro contest to date. IFBB Pro Evan Centopani finished in 3rd place. IFBB Pro Branch Warren, winner of the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, walked away with the 4th place spot. IFBB Pro Ed Nunn was the 5th place finisher.
The remaining field: IFBB Pro Fred Smalls (6th), IFBB Pro David Henry, another 212 Division competitor (7th), IFBB Pro Joshua Lenartowicz (8th), IFBB Pro Luke Timms (9th), IFBB Pro Abraham Elzaibak (10th), IFBB Pro Mike Debenham (11th), IFBB Pro Abbas Khatami (12th) IFBB Pro Gary Wright (13th).
The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Point System: (1st automatic qualification, 2nd -- 4 Points, 3rd -- 3 Points, 4th -- 2 Points, 5th -- 1 Point) applies to IFBB Pro League athletes' eligibility to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas and face reigning Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath. Last year's Australian Grand Prix winner, IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, did not compete this year, nor did he defend his title at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships -- where Shawn Rhoden finished in a close 2nd place to 2014 Arnold Classic Winner IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf.
Spotted at the adjoining FitX Fitness Expo: 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari, IFBB Pro Andy Haman and IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, who, fresh off his victory in the first 212 Division contest at the Arnold Classic last week, was the first guest-poser in the long history IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix contest.
Andrew Oye's Verdict: One of the best physiques in the game, Shawn Rhoden won an Arnold Classic Europe title in 2012, but he was so close to taking the prize in Ohio last week that an immediate win a week later is a bit of consolation (granted not a contest of equal prestige). However, Aussie Grand Prix promoter Tony Doherty announced the Arnold Sports Festival will expand the franchise into Australia soon. While courting IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski as a possible replacement, Doherty also lamented that IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar (who he likened to the late IFBB Pro Sonny Schmidt physique-wise) had to withdraw from the contest (through which Winklaar qualified for his first Olympia in 2010) due to a motorcycle accident in February.
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