Sacramento Pro Prejudging

Here we are, live from downtown Sacramento, California for the 2007 Sacramento Pro. The 17 competitors are going through their individual posing in front of the judges; thus far Toney Freeman and Silvio Samuel are the standouts. Ahmad Haidar, Marcus Haley, and Hidetada Yamagishi also look very good, should be in the esrly callout. First callout: Toney Freeman, Ahmad Haidar, Silvio Samuel, Hidetada Yamagishi, Marcus Haley. Toney's not as tight as he was last week in his Ironman win; meanwhile, Marcus is improved, and Silvio, Hide and Ahmad are all at least as good as last week (when all three were overlooked by the judges, although Silvio did punch his Olympia ticket by finishing fourth. Toney was sent back in line, and Omar Deckard took his place. Good sign for Toney, as that may mean the judges have him as an easy first. If Toney and Silvio are 1 and 2, I personally would say Ahmad would take third -- Hide looks great, but Ahmad has better proportion and shape. Next callout: Moe Elmoussawi, Kris Dim, Rusty Jeffers, Joel Stubbs, Omar Deckard, Daniele Secarreci. Omar's probably slipping down a bit, he's not as tight as he needs to be. Joel definitely isn't as tight as last week. Of this group, Dim, Jeffers and Omar are the strongest, with maybe Dim a slight leader. Next up, Rod Ketchens, Aiman Faour, Eryk Bui, Roc Shabazz, Sergey Shelestov and Clifton Torres. No real controversy this week; no one is being overlooked like what happened at the Ironman. The guys who deserved a comparison with the top group got it. Toney, Silvio, Haidar, and Marcus Haley and Hidetada come out for another comparison. That's definitely our top five, although the order is still a little up in the air. Silvio is most definitely hanging with Toney, although it's hard to tell if the judges see it as close or not. Silvio is absolutely harder than Toney right now, and Toney's midsection isn't as strong as it can be. Toney and Silvio were sent back in line. Ahmad, Hide and Marcus stay out, and Moe Elmoussawi and Dim join them. This is a good callout, Moe and Dim deserve the shot to compare their way in to the top five. Head judge Steve Weinberger is doing a good job making sure there wasn't a repeat of last week, when only seven comparisons were done during Ironman prejudging. Next, Moe, Omar, Stubbs, Dim, Rusty, Danielle are up for comparison. By leaving Dim and Moe out there, they're giving the other guys the opportunity to move up. I'm impressed with these callouts, the competitors work hard and they deserve these chances to be seen next to the guys they're fighting for spots. Next, Sergey, Shabazz, Bui, Faour, Ketchens, and Torres. It should be mentioned, there is an important battle brewing. With Toney and Silvio likely top two, that leaves two open Olympia qualifying spots (3rd and in this case 4th since Toney and Silvio are already qualified). Haley's qualified too, but Haidar and Hidetada are not, and thus really need to get into that top four. Both are deserving of an O invite, but only one may get it here. And that's it for prejudging. Finals start at 6:30 p.m. tonight Pacific Time in the Crest Theater, downtown Sacramento. If you're in the area, tickets are still available, so come on out! -MB


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