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2007 NABBA World Championships Report by Wayne Gallasch.

2007 NABBA World Championships Report by Wayne Gallasch.

Photos by Raymond Cassar.

Sunny Malta in the Mediterranean was host to the NABBA World Championships, held at the famous Dolmen Hotel and Resort at Bugibba. All classes were keenly contested in a very tough and even competition. The men's contest produced a super high standard with an amazing quality in every class.

The very strong Czech team was a surprise to me and also an absolute standout, as the results below will show. In the overall judging and posedown, the Brazilian fast rising young super star Marilandio Ponchet out-muscled the 3 class winners from the Czech Republic to take the Overall Mr. World title. It was a popular decision with most of the audience but left the other Czech class winners looking very disappointed and a little shocked.

An amazing performance of note was the victory by Bernie Cooper in the Masters Over 50 Class. He showed improvement on his winning condition from the 2006 NABBA Universe. He is an absolute marvel! To display such huge size in the arms and such sharp overall muscularity is almost unbelievable and a site to behold. Graham Park, also of UK was a very good second place getter and was certainly not too far behind Bernie.

In the other Masters Class for the Over 40s, it was a very popular victory for local hero Pierre Mifsud. He is an experienced top class competitor who has many times competed in the open class at the Universe.

At the prejudging I was impressed by the innovative posing routine by eventual class 4 and overall winner Marilandio Ponchet of Brazil. In his routine he actually appeared to  "chisel out his physique!". At the evening show he did it even better. You probably need to see the DVD to see what I mean!

Another outstanding new young physique was JUNIORS winner Darren Borg from Malta. He did look very mature as he prevailed over the brilliant young UK star Nathan De Asha in another very tough contest. I would say that De Asha has a huge future ahead of him with his wonderful genetics, great V-shape and hard muscularity. This time it appeared very close with the decision going the other way for Nathan, based more on the mature size of Borg. Nathan’s quality should see him taking this class next year, should he still be eligible.

In Class 3 Petr Vanis of the Czech Republic demolished his opposition and was an absolute standout in every way. He was rock hard, had amazing abs and back, displaying the best condition in the whole contest. He posed with the conviction and maturity of a winner. I felt at the prejudging that he was a good early chance for the overall!

Justin Trollope and Charlie Duca fought it out for 2nd and 3rd places. With Charlie being a native of Malta, now resident in Australia, he had loads of local and very vocal support.

I have no idea where all these great Czech stars came from, as they were all unknown to me. I certainly hope they make the trip to Southport for the Universe this year. In Class 2 it was another huge Czech in the form of Martin Kasal who took this class. Dave Fox looked brilliant, the best I had ever seen him. However Kasal had a little extra muscle density and leg size and was extremely thick in the arms and shoulders. I tip that Dave should be able to take this class with another year’s hard work.

The Golden Greek, Stratos  Argirakis in 3rd place was also worth a special mention with his superb condition, wonderful abs and one of the best most muscular poses you will ever see.

In class 1 it was the Eastern European guys again with the top 2 coming from the Czech Republic again and 3rd place going to the big guy from the Ukraine, Gorai Volodymyr. Radek Lonc was a HUGE guy with the most massive upper body seen at the Worlds in years. Although he had great size and quite good symmetry, he was not going to be a strong contender in my opinion for overall, as his abs let him down a little. With a little more refinement this guy would be near unbeatable!

Not far behind him was another Czech in the shape of Libor Vobornak, another top class physique who presented himself in outstanding condition. It must have been very close between him and Lonc with the judges ultimately going for Lonc’s size.

In my opinion, the overall decision came down to Ponchet  versus Vanis with Marilandio Ponchet of Brazil getting the final nod from the majority of the judges. He was a worthy and extremely happy winner.

The WOMEN’S FIGURE class produced an incredibly high standard with an amazing quality on display  in each class.
The Eastern Block women were a standout as the results show. In the pose down for Overall Figure Class title, the champion from Derry, Malika Zitouni, was too strong and too symmetrical for her  Class 2 opponent Maria Akhizhanova from Ukraine. Her taking the Overall Miss World Figure crown back to Northern Ireland was no surprise to me as she looked like the winner from the moment she first came out on stage. Malika made it an international double as she won her class at the 2006 NABBA Universe.

Maria had an awesome physique which was possibly a fraction too muscular for the judges for Figure Class to clinch the overall title. Watch for her in the future with her sensational arms and overall superb development. Malika displayed the most amazing condition, good symmetry and size, wonderful posing and brilliant stage presence. Time will tell if she can make it an overall double at the Universe on October 27th.

In Figure Class 1, Lisa Carrodus of Australia showed she will be a strong presence in the future with a wonderful performance as a newcomer. To place 2nd in this level of competition was outstanding.

In the Women's Physique class the Sensational Swiss Miss - RAHEL RUCH had too much size and class for the rest of the field. Her physique display was awesome as she made it a personal double in 7 days. The week before she won her class at the WFF Universe in Germany. She was literally in a class of her own. Runner up was the tall blond from Sweden, Mona Johansson. It is a shame that this class has dropped off the pace over the last few years with few competitors and a disappointing depth.

This was a fantastic championships staged by Vince Balzan and his able team of helpers. If you are interested in the DVDs from this event, please email me for details at or check out

2007 NABBA World Championships: The Men - Prejudging     2007 NABBA World Championships: The Men - The Show     2007 NABBA World Championships: Women - Prejudging and Show 

2007 NABBA World Championships Results
Bugibba, Malta, June 9, 2007

Masters Over 40         

1 Pierre Mifsud - Malta
2 Gruiter Yande - Holland
3 Giannis Anagnostou - Greece
4 Giadio Galea - Malta
5 Michael Vostry - Germany
6 Stefan Nonn - Germany
    Peter Brady - Ireland
    Yanislav Tachev - Bulgaria
    Bozkurt Aziz - Holland
    Lawrence Civelli - Malta
    Kaggelaris Giorgos - Greece
    Pierre Perrier - France
 Masters Over 50
1 Bernie Cooper - UK
2 Graham Park - UK
3 Josef Rac - Czech Rep
4 Tony Rizzo - Australia
5 Sam Metcalfe - Scotland
6 Andrzej Brzezinski- Poland

    Valery Loktinov - Russia
    Sten Wikstorm - Sweden
    Gus Walsh - Ireland
1 Darren Borg - Malta
2 Nathan De Asha - UK
3 Dennis Revello - Germany
4 Vladimir Djurovic - Serbia
5 Milan Savic - Serbia
6 Samo Simoncic - Slovenia

    Lukas Papp - Slovakia
    Ilya Yakoulev - Ukraine
MR. Class  4          
1 Marilandio Ponchet - Brazil
2 Jaroslav Vosmik - Czech Rep
3 Simon Horsell - Wales/UK
4 Michael Jurgen - Belgium
5 Timo Moisio - Finland
6 James Salmond - Scotland/UK
7 Jim Kotantonis - Australia
8 Sebastien Zozi - France 
 MR. Class  3
1 Petr Vanis - Czech Rep
2 Justin Trollope - Wales/UK
3 Charles Duca - Australia
4 Ian Sturrock - Scotland/UK
5 Carlos Caruna - Malta
6 Eric Cagnard- France

    Patrick Croonen - Belgium
    Tsournovitis - Greece
    Jaroslav Cink - Czech Republic
    Donatello Pisani - Malta
MR. Class  2
1 Martin Kasal - Czech Rep
2 Dave Fox - N.Ireland/UK
3 Stratos Argirakis - Greece
4 Domenic Scheda - Malta
5 John Bridge- UK
6 Sergji Bezshchasnyi- Ukraine

    Relu Gaucu - Ireland
    Nikola Mihajlovic - Serbia
    Nick Moody - Australia
    Gary Wilson - Scotland
    Viacheslav Romanenko - Russia
    Sergey Noterzor - Russia
    Maciej Jaskiewicz - Poland
    Bruno Matia - France
    Toursten Bunte - Germany
    Eric Eifler - Germany
 MR. Class  1               
1 Radek Lonc - Czech Rep
2 Libor Vobornak - Czech Rep
3 Gorai Volodymyr - Ukraine
4 Arthur Andrade - Brazil
5 Gerhard Geubtner - Germany
6 Simone Anichini- Italy

    Mark Taylor - Australia
    Robert Morrando - Australia
    Gasper Grom - Slovenia
    Jurgen Dietrich - Germany
 Miss Figure Class 2           
1 Maria Akhizhanova - Ukraine
2 Oxana Gartung - Russia
3 Anzhelika Musalimova - Ukraine
4 Lilian Okubo - Brazil
5 Flora Conti - Italy
6 Dianne Hunt - Australia
7 Susan Borg - Malta
8 Christine Hajjar - Australia

    Nicoletta Chiorean - Ireland
    Pip Charlton - Scotland
    Judith Jansen - Holland
    Valentyna  Tykhonerko- Ukraine
    Silvia Malachovska - Slovakia
    Jana Kordiakova - Slovakia

 Miss Figure Class 1
1 Malika Zitouni - N. Ireland/UK
2 Lisa Carrodus - Australia
3 Ivana Matuskova - Slovakia
4 Sonia Chiarabini - Italy
5 Oksana Lapshova - Russia
6 Ana Claudia Land - Brazil
7 Natalia Zhavora - Russia
 Miss Physique
1 Rahel Ruch - Switzerland
2 Mona Johansson - Sweden
3 Caroline Wang - Austria
4 Martine Leys - Belgium

 Figure: Malika Zitouni, N.Ireland/UK       |        Men: Marilandio Ponchet , Brazil


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