by John Plummer
Abies Nosa came within a whisker of dethroning the IFBB Elite Pro division's global superstar in men's physique yesterday.
Competing in his first professional contest, Abies finished level on points with Dmytro Horobets at the €18,000 Elite Pro Austria.
Horobets, who has won seven consecutive contests in the Elite Pro division, won narrowly on countback.
But Abies qualified for the World Championships, won a cheque for €1,500 and served notice that he is a major threat to anyone.
The French-born athlete's incredible shape helped him win both the British Championships and the Arnold Classic Europe during a stellar amateur career.
In a strong line-up of 22 guys, Britain had a second entry in the top 10 – Rasto Valent, who placed eighth.
Rasto is less than two weeks out from becoming the first British Elite Pro to compete at the Arnold Classic Europe.
Interestingly, the 22 pro athletes in men's physique in Austria came from 13 countries, highlighting the global nature of IFBB events.
Five leading UK amateur athletes flew to St Poelten for the Diamond Cup event that was held alongside the pro show.
Calvin Rhun. Rebeka Tunegova, Calvin Rhun, Abdulrahman Aloumi, Dave Walters and Mahmoud Elmawardy also represented the UK with distinction.