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

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel was crowned the 1st place winner of the 2011 IFBB Mr. Europe Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Madrid, Spain. Taking 2nd place, as he did at last week's British Grand Prix, was IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar. In a surprising twist, IFBB Pro James "Flex" Lewis was awarded with 3rd place, surpassing bigger, veteran athletes like IFBB Pro Robert Piotrkowicz in 4th place and IFBB Pro Toney Freeman in 5th place.

The remaining field: IFBB Pro Essa Obaid (6th), IFBB Pro Sergey Shelestov (7th), IFBB Pro Thomas Benagli (8th), IFBB Pro Alvin Small (9th), IFBB Pro Marcos Chacon (10th), IFBB Pro Mario Van Steenberghe (11th), another usual 202 Class competitor -- IFBB Pro Raul Carrasco-Jimenez (12th), IFBB Pro Angel Higueras (13th), IFBB Pro Antonio Morales Vidal (14th), IFBB Pro Serdar Aktolga (15th), and IFBB Pro Arnaud Plaisant (16th).

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the Top 3 IFBB Pro League athletes at the Mr. Europe Pro Bodybuilding Championships earn Olympia qualifications to face-off with 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas (September 16). This victory makes reigning Mr. Europe winner Ronny Rockel a back-to-back champion at this event, successfully defending his title from 2010. Heading into the 2011 show, Rockel was highly favored to win, following his heavily debated 4th place finish behind British Grand Prix winner IFBB Pro Branch Warren last week. With his placing in Spain, winner of the Brit Grand Prix 202 Division, Flex Lewis has now qualified for both the Mr. Olympia Championships and the Olympia 202 Showdown (with IFBB Pro Kevin English as the current champion). 

Andrew Oye's Verdict: I've said it before, (relative to what is rewarded) IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel has a deserving, well-balanced physique that consistently gets overlooked or lost in the shuffle on the Olympia stage. Perhaps the league needs a new weight class between the unlimited Open Division and the limited 202 Division for athletes like Rockel, IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos and IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi to avoid trampling by more massive contenders like IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez and others? It will be interesting to see where IFBB Pro Flex Lewis decides to gamble in Vegas -- in the Olympia Open where the prize money is better, or in the Olympia 202 where his placement odds are better?

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