Hard News by Wayne Gallasch
2005 NABBA UNIVERSE REPORT
This year the Universe returned to Southport and the wonderful 57th Universe was a year of records. Entries were received from 33 countries and I believe this was more countries represented than ever before. The number of competitors rose to 170, smashing last year’s record of 150 competitors. I would not be surprised to see it crash the 200 competitors barrier in the next year or two.
For those into statistics here is how it turned out:
Masters Over 40 19 competitors
Masters Over 50 14 competitors
Juniors 14 competitors
Mr. Class 4 13 competitors
Mr. Class 3 18 competitors
Mr. Class 2 16 competitors
Mr. Class 1 16 competitors
Pro-Am 7 competitors
TOTAL 117 competitors
Miss Figure Class 2 21 competitors
Miss Figure Class 1 15 competitors
Miss Physique 9 competitors
Miss Fitness 8 competitors
TOTAL 53 competitors
My comments on the Men’s classes are first, followed by my comments on the Women.
MASTERS OVER 40
This was the biggest and toughest class of the whole Universe with 19 great physiques. Each year this class is unbelievable and many of the guys would have placed in the open classes, if they had not entered the Masters.
It was in fact a trifecta for Brazil with de ANDRADE, MURAYAMA and FEITOSA making it a well-deserved 1, 2, 3 in that order. De Andrade was the recent Masters World champion from Brazil in June this year. A magnificent double for him and a most clear cut victory for this outstanding champion. He had size, shape and condition and could go on winning this class for years if he so decides.
Second was Mr Symmetry, NORTON MURAYAMA with his classic physique and superb condition. In third place was the fine physique of GILBERTO FEITOSA, who narrowly edged out England’s own TERRY FISHER by 2 points. I thought that the extra size Fisher displayed would help him snatch 3rd place, but it was not to be. Fisher is a former winner of this class plus an Amateur class and has been competing at the Universe since his early 20s. In this superb line-up, 4th place was certainly not a bad result.
MASTERS OVER 50
This was another “hard as nail” class such that previous masters winner EARL MADURO could only place 4th. It was obvious to me from the very first set of comparisons that NABBA superstar JOHN CITRONE could be in trouble in making it a double victory this year. John brilliantly won this class at the Brazil Worlds in June. Making life difficult for him was DIMITRI DOKOUR representing Israel. I am not sure of the age difference, but Dokour looked to be about 50 while John is 63. Both men were in incredible condition with Dokour holding an edge in shoulder development and overall condition – due to his relative “youth”. They tied on 15 points each and 3 first place votes each. However the Israeli took the title with 4 second place votes to John’s 2 second placings. It was a tough decision for John to get so close and not take the title.
Although I was sorry to see John beaten in such a close result, I do feel it was the correct decision on the night. For John’s many fans, his new DVD has just been released, see GMV-231DVD.
In 3rd place was the tight, symmetrical physique of RAFAEL VERA of Spain. A brilliant BERNIE COOPER from UK had to settle for 5th place, such was the standard of this class.
JUNIORS UNDER 21
With 14 competitors in this class it was the largest line-up of Juniors I can recall ever seeing in a Junior Universe division. The clear winner was MARVIN NAGELBLOEM from Holland with straight firsts from 6 of the 7 judges. He displayed a mature, symmetrical, shredded physique and will be a young man to watch in the future.
In second place was JARRED GRADWELL of South Africa with a narrow 2 point margin over his friend and compatriot ANDREW HUDSON. Two fine young athletes with nothing much between them. Incidentally the 4th place also went to South Africa in DAMIEN CLOETE. These young men are the future stars of the open classes of the Universe. It was gratifying to see many new and outstanding young faces coming through.
MR CLASS 4
This class is often the largest of the Men’s Amateur Classes, but this year it was the smallest of the 4. What it lacked in quantity it sure made up for in quality as it provided the overall winner of the Amateur Mr Universe in CHARLES MARIO from Brazil. Mario had a wonderful physique. Small in stature it was big in every other way from his superb symmetry to great size, incredible legs to his shredded, sliced and diced condition. MARILANDIO PONCHET made it a one – two finish for Brazil with Ponchet a clear cut winner over 3rd placegetter SIMONE MEIATTINI of Italy. The Italian tied on points with 4th placed PAUL SUTTON of UK but was placed 3rd on a countback.
As far as I can recall, CHARLES MARIO is Brazil’s first ever overall Amateur Mr Universe winner. My congratulations to him and also the very strong Brazilian team which again dominated and continued on from where it left off at the Worlds.
MR CLASS 3
What a close, tough class this was with only 7 points separating 1st from 3rd place and the runner up only 2 points behind the winner.
In 1st place was KHALID ALMOHSINAWI from Holland. He had great shape and good condition and in a very close decision was probably a little fortunate in finishing a whisker in front of PHIL CARLON of UK. Phil has been coming up each year in both size and condition and looked fantastic on the day. However it was not to be “his day” this year in Southport. I expect that next year he will nail the title in this class and not let it slip through his fingers. ROY PATTISON of UK presented a tight, hard and most appealing package as he convincingly took 3rd place from BILLY BOURNE from the Republic of Ireland who in 4th place.
MR CLASS 2
This was an exciting class with a brand new star emerging in the form of Russian champion YAN SALAKS. He was huge and impressive and looked like he could possibly take the overall title. His only real weakness was a lack of good, hard condition. Yan narrowly beat former Mr Universe class winner JOSE ACOSTA of Spain. Jose has wonderful shape, great size, fantastic legs but lacked abs this year. As he told me the next day, he missed his peak this time and was most disappointed with his condition.
In 3rd place was DOMENIC SCHEDA from Malta. This was a great result for Malta and Domenic showed outstanding shape and condition.
LUKE NICHOLS of UK was 4th with his excellent and symmetrical physique. Luke displayed superb leg development and will take this class when he brings his upper body up to the standard of his legs.
MR CLASS 1
These were the tall guys and the biggest physiques in the amateur competition. HEDWIG PARDEN of Holland had too much class and condition for last year’s class 1 winner NEVEN CORAK. Hedwig looked sharp, big and tight and was a more convincing winner that the 3 point margin suggested.
In third place was new guy ALEXEI NETESONOV of Russia.
The overall Amateur Mr Universe judging took place at the evening show. In my opinion it was a battle between the pocket Hercules CHARLES MARIO of Brazil and the much bigger HEDWIG PARDEN of Holland. The judges preferred the total package of shape, size and muscularity of Mario over the larger mass of Parden. It proves that a good smaller guy can still beat a good big guy.
CHARLIES MARIO now joined the other 6 competitors in this class. It produced a perfect ending for Russian star and 2000 Amateur Universe winner SERGEI OGORODNIKOV as he took this premier title. Runner up was a previous winner in GARY LISTER with IFBB English Pro PETER BROWN taking 3rd and BORIS KLEINE of Germany now living in Poland taking 4th. I had the pleasure of training at Kleine’s superb gym in Berlin in 2004.
All 4 guys looked fantastic and this whole class was the highest standard I have seen in the Pro-Am.
FIGURE CLASS 2
ANDREA CARVALHO of Brazil made it a sensational double as she not only won this class convincingly, she then won the overall Figure Miss Universe title. Back in June she won the overall figure title at the Worlds in Brazil. Watch for a DVD on her next year! She has the complete package – symmetry, beautiful shape, the right degree of size and hardness and no real weaknesses. She is a beautiful lady and a worthy champion.
Runner up was her friend from Brazil in LUCIANE VIEIRA with another star from Brazil in FLAVIA CRISSOS in 3rd place. I should mention that Flavia had one of the best posing routines I have seen in a long time. The men in the audience certainly loved it!
SUSAN BORG of Malta showed great potential in 4th with TERRI ROBERTS of Australia taking an excellent 5th place. Terri has won this class some years ago and still competes each year in fantastic condition. Rounding out the top 6 was a new competitor from Western Australia in CHRISTINE HAJJAR. Christine also displayed great condition and will place much higher with more experience at the top level.
FIGURE CLASS 1
The winner was a ripped and slender Russian in the figure of VICTORIA ZABOURDIAEVA. Her total performance was outstanding in every way and I felt she was a clear winner. Her posing routine was incredibly sensual and displayed her physique to perfection. However the judges had her tied with fellow Russian YANA VLADIMIROVA with Victoria winning with more first placings from the judges.
3rd place in this very tough class of 15 went to beautiful CLAUDIA FRANCIS de SOUZA of Brazil. I predict Claudia will win this class in the future after her recent 2nd placing a the Worlds. She displays enormous potential and is another sensational performer on stage.
DIANNE SHIPWAY of Australia earned her wonderful 4th place in this very strong class and ANGELA THOMAS of Australia took 8th.
As mentioned, CARVALHO of Brazil took the overall title from ZABOURDIAEVA in a very popular and well deserved victory.
I felt this class was somewhat controversial in its results. This year it was victory at last to DESIRE DUMPEL of Holland over multi titled Russian star and recent World Champion OLGA TIKHONOVA. The judges preferred the ripped hardcore muscle of Dumpel to the slightly softer more aesthetic physique of Tikhonova. They were both in great shape and Olga was visibly shocked when she was announced in 2nd place.
Close behind in 3rd position was TONI CARRERAS of Spain. It is good to see so many different countries of Europe figuring in the results both for men and women. UK is traditionally strong every year, Australia always does well in the figure classes and USA has been strong in the past. Sadly USA president Bob Gruskin could not be with his team this year and we wish him a speedy recovery from his illness.
It was another double for Brazil, as the winner LOANA MUTTONI is the current NABBA World Fitness Champion. She again blitzed the field with her awesome routine and fantastic body. In 2nd place was TONICA LODDER of South Africa with another superb routine, with HELEN HEANEN of UK a very worthy 3rd place getter. All 8 competitors were outstanding and it is good to see this class is really progressing and getting bigger each year.
All in all it was a fantastic Universe in every way. My congratulations to NABBA Secretary Val Charles, Chairman Brian Robinson and all officials involved - too numerous to name, on a job well done. This is one contest I never tire of covering after many years of covering this famous event.
NB. Many of the names are quite complex and I may have some spelling errors above, and in the complete results which will be posted today on our site. If anyone notices an incorrect spelling of any of the names, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will correct it.
Our usual 3 DVDs from this event are now available for sale, see below.
For a complete set of UNIVERSE RESULTS, please click here.
To see our video on the complete history of the NABBA Universe, please click here.