Heath chasing seventh Mr O
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.