Most of the pre-contest hype regarding the New York Pro centered around the comeback of Dennis Wolf. I even tabbed the 6’0′” 250-pounder from Germany as the probable victor, although I did point out in my pre-contest blog that I liked the physique of Roelly Winklaar. The 2009 Arnold Amateur champ made his pro debut in March with a disputed 7th place finish at the Arnold Classic, followed that up with a third place landing at the Australia Pro, and showed me enough that I felt he could definitely hold his own in this line-up.
Most of the chatter on the net during the prejudging made it seem like a battle between Wolf, ageless Toney Freeman and Hidetada Yamagishi. Ruthless Ruth Silverman, in viewing the posts, emailed me with her viewpoint: “Hide looks good, but not his best. Arguably, he’s better than Toney, who is about 85-90 per cent in my opinion. Wolf needs to fill out the places where there there are weaknesses…he appears gangly. Winklaar appears to be above and beyond in the best shape of them all. Is he missing bodyparts I’m not aware of?”
No, Ruthless, he is not. You were right on the money, honey. In taking a closer view at the slew of photos on line, Winklaar easily deserved this victory. He was shredded, and showed off much more than those great guns I wrote about in my blog.
Yamagishi has been Mr. Consistency this season. He was coming off a victory at the Europa, Orlando following an eighth place landing at the ASC and a runner-up slot to Melvin Anthony in the season opener at the Phoenix Pro. I’m amazed this cat can stay in such great condition show after show. Wolf finished a disappointing third and does, and definitely lacks in key area’s to be a legit Olympia title contender once again. Like his back and calves. And, he needs to be fuller, and harder. Freeman, approaching his 44th birthday, finished fourth, with Erik Fankhouser garnering the final ‘Olympia qualifying spot with a fifth place medal.
I said before the NY Pro that I wished Kevin English would tackle the main event after besting David Henry in last year’s Olympia 202 and Under Challenge. After seeing photos of Kevin’s dominating win in the 202 and under in New York (Jose Raymond was second, Jason Arnzt third), I’m even more disappointed that battle didn’t take place. He would have battled Hide for second. Winklaar was too sliced and diced for anyone to truly pose a threat.
More on the show in my News and Views column in the July issue.