ARNOLD CLASSIC EUROPE: DAY 1 REVIEW

The UK ended day one of the Arnold Classic Europe with one gold, one silver and one bronze - as well as a clutch of fine top six performances.

Pride of place belonged to Nick Swann, who started the day by storming to first in masters bodybuilding aged 55 and over.

That was followed by silver for Waldemar Biernaki in classic physique up to 175 cm. Waldemar, who weighed 78 kg and measured 173.5 cm was full value for his medal and gave the winner a run for his money.

Austin Williams once again delivered on the big stage, finishing third in a stacked 18-man line-up in classic bodybuilding up to 180 cm. Kie West made top 10 in the same class, which was remarkable considering he broke his wrist two weeks ago. What a fighter.

 Claire Johnson celebrates her top six finish in women’s physique.

Claire Johnson celebrates her top six finish in women’s physique.

There were no other UK medallists in a show that reminded everyone how high the standard is across the board at international IFBB events.

More than 60 nations are taking part and the standard in many classes is frightening.

Ricky Beckford, one of the UK's most consistent performers, produced another polished display to claim fourth in masters men's physique over 45.

Olga Upelniece also finished fourth in masters bodyfitness aged 35 to 44. Olga had left backstage, thinking she hadn't made top 12 in the 21-strong class, which also featured an excellent showing by Scottish competitor Ruth Pierronnet, when she suddenly realised she had made the cut and was due on stage immediately. She rushed back and duly made first call out, showing a lovely shape that suggests further success awaits.

Locksmith Louis Moylan, who was 174 cm tall and weighed 77 kg, took fifth in classic bodybuilding up to 175 cm. Michal Uliwiak made top 10 in over 180 classic bodybuilding.

Syed Rahat was sixth in masters men's physique aged 40 to 44. Claire Johnson also claimed a fabulous sixth place berth in women's physique.

Russia dominated bikini fitness but young UK prospect Rebeka Tunegova, who goes again in the juniors tomorrow, made top 12 in the up to 158 cm class, as did Kasia Romanowicz in the up to 162 cm division.

Action took place across two stages throughout the day. Two more days of competition await, including the IFBB Elite Pro show tomorrow night, which has almost sold out.

 The consistently excellent Austin Williams claims a bronze in classic bodybuilding.

The consistently excellent Austin Williams claims a bronze in classic bodybuilding.