MEN'S PREVIEW: 2010 IFBB EUROPA SHOW OF CHAMPIONS

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Pro bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini in Orlando this weekend

April 15, 2010

FLEXONLINE.COM

This weekend, the IFBB takes over the Orange County Convention Center (South Hall) in sunny Orlando, Florida. There are plenty of storylines that have already emerged in this young 2010 bodybuilding season and more are bound to play out this coming weekend at Ed and Betty Pariso's Europa Show of Champions.

WHAT: 2010 IFBB Europa Show of Champions
WHEN: April 16-17
PREJUDGING3:00 p.m. EST
FINALS (SATURDAY): 2 p.m. EST WHERE: Orange County Convention Center (South Hall)
FOR MORE INFO: http://www.orlandosportsexpo.com/homepage.php?reloaded=true

While there might not be a wealth of A-listers competing in Orlando, what the show lacks in star power it more than makes up for in compelling matchups. In fact, the Orlando Europa should prove to be just as competitive as the Arnold Classic. In other words, excitement is all but assured for everyone fortunate to attend the weekend's festivities.

Hidetada Yamagishi has to be considered the prohibitive favorite going into the show. After a second-place finish earlier this year at the Phoenix Pro and a respectable eighth place at a highly competitive Arnold Classic, Japan's greatest bodybuilder is in peak condition and riding a wave of popularity. Yet Yamagishi would be wise to not overlook the formidable challenge that will be presented by guys like Stan Efferding, Marcus Haley and Grigori Atoyan. Efferding and Atoyan both competed in Phoenix, taking 16th and 4th respectively, while Haley will take the stage for the first time in 2010. Then of course there's big Evgeny "Eugene" Mishin, who's representing New York, training out of Steve Weinberger and Bev Francis' Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, Long Island.

Yet of all the competitors, Yamagishi may find his biggest challenge in overcoming the surging Michael Kefalianos, who had a surprisingly strong showing as he placed fourth at this year's Australian Pro. Blessed with good structure, an ability to get peeled and a lack of any glaring weaknesses, Kefalianos could well qualify for the Olympia in his first year as a pro.

The battle for the 202 title could be between Eduardo Correa and Roc Shabazz. Both men have an IFBB 202 win to their credit (Correa, the 2009 Pittsburgh Pro; Shabazz, the 2010 Phoenix Pro) and both are hungry to add a second title to their credits. If Jose Raymond can regain the level of conditioning he consistently displayed in the NPC however, he could prove a serious threat and ostensibly walk home with his first IFBB title.

Look for updates of both the open and 202 shows in Orlando this weekend right here at flexonline.com

COMPETITOR LIST

MEN'S
Adzievski, Oliver
Antonek, Mark
Atoyan, Grigori
Chacon, Damasco
Deckard, Omar
Demetriou, Constantinos
Efferding, Stan
Haley, Marcus
Kefalianos, Michael
Mishin, Eugeny
Van Steenberghe, Mario
Yamagishi, Hidetada

202
Arendsz, John
Chamoun, Pierre
Correa, Eduardo Da Silva
Ketchen, Rod
Llwewllin, James
Raymond, Jose
Shabazz, Roc
Valentino, Michael
Wawryk Vincent
Wonsley, Nathan

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