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Close Call in Tampa

Toney Freeman. Photo by Ron Avidan

Toney Freeman is back on top — barely. In a great duel with Dennis James, the X-Man came out on top, by a single digit, to produce his first victory in a year and a half at the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships and give hope to his fans that the 42-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia still has what it takes to be ranked among the best in the world.

David Henry had a great weekend in Florida as well; Henry won the 202 and under division, then came back to finish third in the main event. Darrem Charles in fourth, and Douad Ablad, who finished right behind Charles, rounded out the top five. Last season’s NPC Arnold champ, Tarek Elsetouchi, was placed in sixth. Based on what this cat looked like in Columbus, I have no idea how he didn’t finish in the top three.

David Henry. Photo by Ron Avidan
Dennis James. Photo by Ron Avidan
Flex Lewis. Photo by Ron Avidan

Back to Henry. I didn’t go to the show, but from the pictures I saw David might have been the sharpest of all in the 44-man line-up. Just outsized by the much taller (10″) and heavier (probably 75 pounds) Freeman.

And, I see that two other “little” guys, James “Flex” Lewis and Yaroslav Horvath, not only went two and three behind Henry, but came back to finish seventh and eighth, respectively, in the unlimited division, spanking many “bigger” guys along the way.

Gee, I hate to bring this up again, but it’s not equitable to allow cats to battle for booty in both classes. Why the special “handicap”? Guess I don’t hate to bring it up again, ’cause I just did. As Yogi Avidan pointed out when I first brought up this minor detail months back, how come there there isn’t a separate division for those 203 and over? Thanks, David, Flex and Yaroslav for proving what I have said all along…that the good “little” guys can battle good “bigger” guys, fair and square.

Most of the gents are now moving on to Dallas for the Europa this weekend (sans Henry, who will be celebrating his wedding anniversary). So, that means another week without carbs for Freeman who, according to his nutritional counselor, Dave “Jumbo” Palumbo, has been without a single carb the past eight weeks. And, says Dave, Toney is also planning to be on stage at the Atlantic City Pro two weeks out from the Olympia.

“Toney was about 90% in Tampa, will be 95% in Dallas and 100% in both Atlantic City and the Olympia,” Palumbo surmises. Sixteen weeks without carbs, Dave? Hold on Toney, it’s gonna be a long, long ride!

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