Shawn Rhoden, Flex Lewis and Michelle Brannan all won their respective divisions at the 2012 IFBB British Grand Prix on Sunday in Manchester, England.
It doesn’t matter which country he’s competing in, there’s no stopping the Shawn Rhoden train. Rhoden won for the fourth time in five contests, notching his second back-to-back wins of the year against another solid lineup. With those four wins and his third-place finish at the Olympia, Rhoden has more than solidified his place as one of the elite and a threat to win any contest he enters.
This time it was a rejuvenated Johnnie Jackson who finished as the runner-up, showcasing his best conditioning of 2012 to inch ahead of Toney Freeman in a battle of the over-40s. It was the 41-year-old Jackson’s third runner-up placing of the year, the previous two coming at the Mr. Europe Pro and the New York Pro earlier in the year. Freeman, 46, placed third for the third time this season as he continues to pile up points in the Olympia Qualification Series.
Robert Piotrkowicz (4th) and Ronny Rockel (5th) rounded out the top five while Roelly Winklaar, the runner-up at last week’s Arnold Classic Europe, fell to sixth.
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Flex Lewis made sure his homecoming was a successful one for the second straight year, as he held off Sami Alhaddad to win the 212 division. Lewis, who grew up in nearby Wales, won the 202 division at last year’s British Grand Prix and won his pro card by winning the Overall at the 2007 British Nationals.
With the runner-up placing, Alhaddad – the 2011 Amateur Olympia Overall winner, which was held in conjunction with last year’s British Grand Prix – has now finished placed second in each of his two professional contests. Alhaddad previously finished as the runner-up to Kevin English at the New York Pro in May.
Jose Raymond and Eduardo Correa were separated by the thinnest of margins at the 212 Showdown three weeks ago, and it was a similar scenario here, except for one major difference – this time it was Raymond edging Correa out for the No. 3 spot.
Masoom Butt placed fifth, his second top-five finish this month, in one of the strongest 212 lineups of the year. Butt finished third at the Sheru Classic two weeks ago.
It was a small lineup, but that didn’t make Michelle Brannan’s first IFBB Pro League win any less sweet. Brannan, the hometown favorite, also won the 2011 Amateur Bikini Olympia. She competed twice previously in her rookie year, placing fourth at the St. Louis Pro and ninth at the Toronto Pro.
Hungary’s Naomi Oleh finished second while Slovakia’s Tajna Canc placed third.
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