212 Competitors Qualified for the Olympia (So Far)
I’m going to talk about each of the 212 competitors currently qualified for the Olympia. As any bodybuilding fan knows, talking about the best can be a touchy subject. I don’t care what you think, but here’s what I think:
Flex Lewis (UK) is supposedly not coming back this year to my current knowledge. We’ll see if that stands true or if something changes. If he does make an appearance, I think he’d win. His level of symmetry, mass, and proportion is unrivaled so far in this division.
Derek Lunsford (USA), Animal’s ’17 rookie of the year, is looking mighty round and sustaining his abs. He’s poised to show up in September with a game changing physique. Last year we saw what he could do, and now let’s see how much further he can push his massive physique while maintaining a tight waist.
Kamal Elgargni (Libya) brings the conditioning as anyone who saw last year’s O can see. His glute striations were visible from the nose bleeds. Personally, I’m not a fan of his wider waist and smaller arms (relative to the rest of the top 212ers). We’ve yet to see if his lower legs can properly dry out though. They stood out to me as watery. Under Aceto’s guidance anything is possible though.
Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait) of O2 gym has some of the craziest proportions and pure mass I’ve seen in this class, but will he have the edge to win this year without Flex? He’s placed 2nd 2 times before. We know his side chest is his money shot. I think it’s going to come down to his ability to really dry out this year.
Jose Raymond (USA), The Boston Mass. As far as I know, he’s about a month post op on a major leg surgery. Will he aggressively rehab and pursue this year’s O? I honestly hope not. If he does want to continue his career, I hope he’d take longer and really get back to 100%+.
Hadi Choopan (Iran), The Persian Wolf. If he finally makes it to the O this year, it will be a sight to see. His deep quad cuts and bicep peaks stand out among even the top 212ers in the world. I like to see as competitive a stage as possible, so with him up there, it can go to any of these men honestly.
Shaun Clarida (USA), The Giant Killer, has made leaps and bounds of progress the last few years. His 7th place at the 212 Olympia last year at 160lbs was deserved and impressive. His impressively round muscle bellies combined with his conditioning definitely put him in the running for another top 8 finish, maybe even top 6 if he’s made more progress.
David Henry (USA), The OG Giant Killer, has been putting in the work! That’s nothing new, but between his all-out training and sticking to his regimen, we might see a new and supremely impressive physique this year building on his Japan Pro win last year.
Aaron Polites (Australia), family man from Oz, shocked the world, but also deserved, with his IFBB pro debut win and Olympia qualification last weekend. I believe he’ll be competing again soon against a little deeper of a competitive stage. His X-frame in his front lat spread on top of his bone dry conditioning are a sight to be seen that’s for sure.
All of these men are top 212 competitors. They are all amazing bodybuilders with amazing physiques. But only 1 can win the 212 Mr. O. Who do you think is going to do it this year?
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Nick Trigili is a respected IFBB Pro bodybuilder and trainer. Check him out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more informative content. Also make sure to visit his official personal training website – World Class Trainers.