IFBB Pro League News, Contest Schedule, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup
Recently Announced: A team of promoters, along with U.K.-based IFBB Pro Zack Khan, have united to relaunch the IFBB British Grand Prix Pro Bodybuilding Championships (a.k.a. English Grand Prix or Grand Prix England). "I'm thrilled to announce that in March 2011 in Birmingham, the team of [retired IFBB Pro] Neil Hill, current UKBFF British Champion Zack Khan and myself will be collaborating to bring back the IFBB pros to the U.K.," writes British bodybuilding promoter Giles Thomas. "The show we are planning will be after the Australian Grand Prix and will feature many of the Arnold Classic lineup, as well as the very best of British and European pros."
The "So What?":
Following seven years without a major professional bodybuilding competition in the U.K., the new team of promoters will revive a contest that had halted production in 2004 (when 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman won the event again, after his previous victories in 1999 and 2000), with plans to include an Open Division and a 202 Division. "It was, in fact, Zack who instigated all this," notes Thomas. "Many folk in the sport might not appreciate how much this guy does for British bodybuilding. He sees that, as the current British Champion, he has a responsibility to give back and promote British bodybuilding globally and he's proving himself a great ambassador for us Brits." As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Khan earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall title at the 2009 UKBFF U.K. British Bodybuilding Championships (a contest won by IFBB Pro Flex Lewis in 2007 and IFBB Pro James Llewellin in 2008).
Andrew Oye's Verdict:
With the new IFBB FLEX Pro Bodybuilding Championships scheduled to debut in Los Angeles next February, pro bodybuilding will be back in "the Mecca" of southern California, as well as "across the pond," in 2011. Rebooting the British Grand Prix for the IFBB Pro League schedule could possibly funnel new talent (from the land that gave us 6-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dorian Yates and Olympia 202 Showdown contender James "Flex" Lewis) to the sport's most prestigious stages -- Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend and the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships.
IFBB Pro League athletes who have won the British Grand Prix in the past: 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, 2008 Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, 2-time Arnold Classic Champ IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone, 5-time Masters Olympia Champion IFBB Pro Vince Taylor, IFBB Pro Charles Clairmonte, IFBB Pro Mohammed Benaziza, IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Mohamed El Makkawy, IFBB Pro Boyer Coe, and 4-time Brit Grand Prix winner Dorian Yates.
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