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The Item: Contest Results, New IFBB Pro League Cards, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, Shawn Rhoden won the 2009 IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships in Cleveland, OH, along with an IFBB Pro card granting him pro-bodybuilder status. In the Open Division's Overall posedown, Heavyweight Class Winner Rhoden used a well-balanced X-frame and outstanding shape to overtake the winners of the other classes: Abbas Khatami (Super-Heavyweight), Charles Lyons (Light-Heavyweight), Hans Vander-Groden (Middleweight), Victor Prisk (Welterweight), Scott Kivisto (Lightweight) and France Lopez (Bantamweight). Pro cards were also awarded to new IFBB Pro Mark Antonek, winner of the Overall 40+ Masters, and new IFBB Pro Dave Goodin, winner of the Overall 50+ Masters.

The "So What?": After a seven-year hiatus from competing, new IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden earned his victory with amazing aesthetics that edged out a well-conditioned Super-Heavyweight, Khatami (who also won the Super-Heavyweight Class at this same contest in 2004). The Heavyweight Class seems to be dominating, producing North American Overall Winners for three years straight (including IFBB Pro Marc Lavoie in 2008 and IFBB Pro Erik Fankhouser in 2007).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Shawn Rhoden's remarkable symmetry and shape are reminiscent of early versions of IFBB Pro Toney Freeman and 4-time Arnold Classic Champion IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler. If Rhoden can build on that physique, while maintaining his proportions, he should do well in the IFBB Pro League, perhaps as a top contender at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic and Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (won multiple times by the likes of IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman and IFBB Pro Dorian Yates).

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