Toney Freeman tops Dennis James in Dallas
by Allan Donnelly
August 16, 2008
The more things change, the more they stay the same. One week after narrowly escaping with a win in Tampa, Toney Freeman was at it again, beating out Dennis James for the second consecutive contest en route to a win at the Europa Super Show in Dallas, Texas on Saturday.
"I don't think it was as close as it was last week," Freeman said. "I didn't peak for that show, I didn't peak for this show. The goal is the Olympia. I expect to win every time out."
Freeman was right about that. Despite coming in harder and fuller than he was when finishing second in Tampa - a mere three points behind Freeman after leading by two after the prejudging - James finished 14 points behind Freeman in Dallas.
Freeman and James await the final decision
Still, for James, the loss was no less disappointing than last week. He entered Tampa in his best form since finishing 4th at the 2003 Mr. Olympia, and was confident that regaining that form would reward him with his first professional win in the United States. Instead, James was relegated to the runner-up spot ("Second place is the first loser", James said after Tampa) for the sixth time in his career.
"I don't regret anything," James said. "I did all I could."
The win was Freeman's second at the Europa. He also won here in 2006, which jump-started his rise up the ranks a year ago, when he won back-to-back contests at the Ironman and Sacramento to start the 2007 season. Now, Freeman has his eyes set on a bigger prize - the Olympia, five weeks down the road.
"I did this in seven weeks," Freeman said. "So 12 weeks, I expect really big things from myself. I expect to be in that first callout - hell, I expect to be in that top three to be honest with you. I expect to be the best man on stage - not saying that I'm gonna win - but I expect to be the best person that I can possibly be."
If Freeman was the happiest man in the open class, the runner-up for that title had to be Fouad Abiad. Abiad, a second-year pro, notched the best finish of his career by placing third and qualifying for his first Olympia. Will Harris and Tarek Elsetouhi placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
James "Flex" Lewis once again lived up to the precontest hype, improving on his performance last week in Tampa to win the 202-Pound Class in Dallas in only his second professional contest. Lewis came in fuller than a week ago without sacrificing any of his trademark razor-sharp conditioning and announced his legitimacy as a threat to make an impact at the 202 Showdown on Olympia Weekend.
"This is something that I've dreamed of doing since I was 15 years old," Lewis said. "I don't think it's gonna sink in until next week. Again, this is a dream to actually win a show in my second show."
202-Pound winner James "Flex" Lewis
Jennifer Sedia, making her professional debut, won the lightweight class to qualify for her first Olympia. Nicole Ball, who won the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships last week, finished second while Klaudia Larson placed third.
Lightweight winner Jennifer Sedia
In the heavyweight class, Sherry Smith won her first professional contest. Kim Perez (second) and Annie Riveccio (third) rounded out the top three.
Heavyweight winner Sherry Smith
In fitness, Tracey Greenwood won the seventh contest of her career and her second in a row. Greenwood also won the Houston Pro last month. Erin Riley (second) and Nicole Clark Duncan (third) rounded out the top three.
Fitness winner Tracey Greenwood
In figure, Texas native Bernadette Galvan stood on the winner's podium for the first time in her career. Hazal Nelson and Jelena Abbou finished second and third, respectively, to round out the top three.
Figure winner Bernadette Galvan
EUROPA SUPER SHOW GALLERIES
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Gian Enrico Pica
Mens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery One
Mens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery Two
MENS 202 BODYBUILDING
James "Flex" Lewis
Jose Alves Jorge
Randy Jackson Sr.
Richard "Tricky" Jackson
202 Comparisons Gallery One
202 Comparisons Gallery Two
Mary Ellen Jerumbo
Womens Bodybuilding Lightweight Comparisons
Amy Lee Martin
Donna Louise Jones
Jill St. Laurent
Rosa Maria Romero
Figure Comparisons Gallery One
Figure Comparisons Gallery Two
Leslie Rae Newton
Fitness Comparisons Gallery