USA Men's bodybuilding prejudging report and galleries
July 24, 2009
By TEAM FLEX
Gallery links below
In what is turning into one of the more hotly contested USA's in recent memory, several athletes have a legitimate shot at taking overall honors.
Mark Alvisi and Lee Banks are in a tight race in the Heavies with Banks being slightly crisper and Alvisi packing more leg mass and with greater "Wow" factor. A heavy crowd favorite, Alvisi could get the nod tomorrow.
In the Light-Heavyweight class Tamer El-Guindy brought stellar conditioning to bear against favorite Branden Ray, who sports amazing lines and good conditioning but who's back doesn't display the degree of thickness you'd expect when viewing him from the front. The surprise of the class is Seattle's Matthew Lowden, who is bone-dry and well-shaped. This one's extremely close with Ray possibly holding a slight edge over El-Guindy.
The Middleweight class is the most competitive of the show, after first place, with the highest overall quality. Los Angeles Championships winner Daryl Gee looks untouchable and with three pro cards in the offing for the first time, he's almost sure to nab one. Perennial favorite Shavis Higa is slightly off but is in a dead heat with the complete and conditioned Neko Roberson for the runner-up spot.
The Super-Heavyweight class was, on the whole, down in quality from previous years. Grigori Atoyan could finally take a national-level class here although he was pushed hard by Keith Williams, who is in his all-time best shape.
The most interesting storyline that could emerge from the 2009 NPC USA's Men's Bodybuilding Championships is that even with three pro cards awarded, a Super-Heavy might not earn one. That's how it's shaping up after today's prejudging. We'll know after tomorrow's finals if this unusual circumstance comes to fruition. Be sure to check back with flexonline.com for complete results.
The 2009 NPC USA Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada wrapped up the first night of competition with hot ladies action as the new NPC bikini division made its debut on the USA stage. Nearly 80 competitors strutted their stuff in the hopes of grabbing one of the six pro cards awarded to each height class winner. Stay tuned for figure and women's bodybuilding prejudging, Saturday morning, with finals for all divisions taking place Saturday evening. In the meantime, check out the NPC bikini prejudging galleries below.