Branch Warren wins the Arnold!
March 5, 2011
He was second in 2006 and third the last two years, but Branch Warren would not be denied in his sixth attempt as he walked off with the biggest win of his career, the 2011 Arnold Classic men's bodybuilding title.
Rumblings of a Warren win started in the pump-up room at prejudging from the moment he peeled off his track suit to reveal loads of dense, striated muscle. Warren continues to show improvement to his back and overall muscle maturity. He's a bruiser who lives to battle both in the gym and onstage and his fan favorite status is louder here than on any other IFBB stage in the world. Warren also won his fifth Most Muscular Award (to date, he remains the only competitor to have won this award and not the main trophy in previous years).
Dennis Wolf, drier and sporting better details than he did two weeks ago when he placed fourth at the FLEX Pro, kept ahead of a revitalized Victor Martinez and a hard-charging Evan Centopani to take the runner-up position.
Martinez, who won this show in 2007, wasn't included in the initial three-man callout of Warren, Wolf and Centopani, but managed to barrel his way into the fight with his stellar shape and lines. If he had been a tad tighter, he may have edged out Wolf for the runner-up spot.
Centopani, winner of the FLEX Pro, had to settle for the fourth spot in his Arnold Classic debut. With two wins and tons of potential written all over his not yet twenty-nine year old physique, Centopani is a serious threat for any contest he enters in the near future.
Dexter Jackson, battling an illness incurred a couple of weeks before he competed in the FLEX Pro, was a bit fuller from this afternoon's prejudging and managed to finish ahead of Ronny Rockel, who repeated his sixth place finish from last year.
The top six qualified for the 2011 Mr. Olympia, September 15-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nicole Nagrani walked off with the first-ever Bikini International crown. Sonia Gonzales, the reigning Bikini Olympia winner, finished second, with Nathalia Melo in third, Jessica Putnam in fourth, Jamie Baird in fifth and Amanda Latona in sixth.
The top six qualified for the 2011 Bikini Olympia.