Heath chas­ing sev­enth Mr O

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Bodybuilding - By MIKE KING

THE great­est body­build­ing con­test on the planet is this week­end in Las Ve­gas and most bets are on the great Phil Heath to close in on his­tory with an­other con­quest at Joe Wei­der’s Mr Olympia.

Heath is chas­ing a sev­enth Sandow ti­tle, which will put him tied with leg­endary Aus­trian Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The 37-year-old Amer­i­can has the aes­thet­ics, mus­cu­lar­ity and pro­por­tion that make him the ul­ti­mate pack­age.

Last year, he took his physique to the next level, and the buzz around Olympia is that he has added 12 more pounds of mus­cle.

Through his six years as cham­pion Heath hasn’t shown any signs of slow­ing down, seem­ingly rewrit­ing the record books with each pass­ing year.

For the last two years, the two men who have chal­lenged Heath were vet­eran Dex­ter “The Blade” Jackson and the ma­jes­tic Ja­maican Shawn “Flex­a­tron” Rho­den, but this year, it is likely to be two oth­ers.

The gi­ant Egyp­tian Mam­douh “Big Ramy” Elss­biay and the charis­matic Amer­i­can Cedric Mcmil­lan are likely to be the ones to pose the big­gest threat to Heath on Satur­day night.

Mcmil­lan cap­tured this year’s Arnold Clas­sic with his sig­na­ture con­di­tion­ing and aes­thetic ap­peal, and if he can add more den­sity to his back, he will be a ma­jor fac­tor.

Big Ramy, who has 24-inch bi­ceps, will out­gun Heath and ev­ery­one on stage in the size depart­ment.

In 2015, he was fifth; last year, he was fourth and this year he is likely to crack the top three.

He will pound the stage with near 300 pounds of in­cred­i­ble mus­cle.

No one should un­der­es­ti­mate Jackson and Rho­den, both of whom will bring sym­me­try and pro­por­tion. Rho­den re­quires more back den­sity but will match Heath for aes­thet­ics while the 47-year-old Jackson, who was un­lucky not to win the ti­tle in 2015, should once again be dan­ger­ous.

African Amer­i­can Bran­don Curry and Dutch­man Wil­liam Bonac, both of whom have vastly im­proved, are cer­tain to crack the top ten.

Curry has made stag­ger­ing im­prove­ment and im­pressed with com­mand­ing vic­to­ries in the New Zealand Pro and the Arnold Clas­sic Aus­tralia while Bonac, fifth last year, will have to im­prove his v-ta­per and widen his back to be a se­ri­ous con­tender.

Vet­eran John­nie Jackson, 46, once de­scribed as the strong­est body­builder in the world, will make his 13th and fi­nal ap­pear­ance on the Olympia stage.

who were ig­no­rant of the on­go­ing bet­ting, ma­nip­u­lat­ing the out­come and score­lines.

What King Cricket re­vealed in the Han­sie Cronje case and oth­ers was that peo­ple were be­ing paid to lose games or to un­der­per­form for large sums, with the bribers col­lect­ing larger sums. How­ever, the new wave of bet­ting recog­nises that while play­ers may be tempted to re­ceive wads of cash for un­der­per­form­ing, such play­ers may not want their team to lose a game.

Thus, the player leaves his cell­phone out of the dress­ing room but, in light of dis­cus­sions held a week in ad­vance, he bowls a no-ball ev­ery sec­ond ball of his spell and col­lects a pre-ar­ranged sum with­out com­pro­mis­ing the out­come of the game.

Sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour usu­ally stays as sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour un­til greed sets in and brings the sorry deed to light. This was the case with vol­ley­ball with im­petu­ous bet­ters from as far as Greece and the Philip­pines con­tact­ing me­dia houses and var­i­ous in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing scores.

In ad­di­tion, con­tact was made with mem­bers of the vol­ley­ball fra­ter­nity try­ing to get inside in­for­ma­tion about the skill level of cer­tain teams and ask­ing about their chances of de­feat­ing other teams. Af­ter the eu­pho­ria of be­liev­ing that our sports had reached far and wide, the re­al­ity set in that some­thing was wrong.

Lo­cals tak­ing photos of the score­board at the end of ev­ery set was also a tad out of the or­di­nary.

There­fore, mak­ing the sport­ing fra­ter­nity aware of the in­sid­i­ous na­ture of in­ter­na­tional bet­ting while seek­ing as­sis­tance from the pow­ers that over­see in­ter­na­tional sports as well as the re­spec­tive lo­cal con­stab­u­lary may im­pede fur­ther spread, if not halt, the to­tal growth of the can­cer.

CHAS­ING SEVEN: Phil Heath will be hard to beat at the Mr Olympia this week­end.

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