by John Plummer

Photography by Kevin Horton

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It's the final countdown – three contests in three weeks before next month's British Championships.

The first one saw some 70 competitors take to the stage at Birmingham Town Hall.

Qualifiers at Leicester and Bedworth follow in the next two weeks, followed by the Arnold Classic Europe in Barcelona. Seventy-five UKBFF athletes are due to compete at the Arnold.



Pietro Diesposito was the pick of three big guys in the over-90 kg class. Pietro was a little flat in the front poses but looked superb from the rear, where he could show off his hamstring sharpness and excellent back. Runner-up Jerzy Osuch had a mighty chest and full-looking upper body.

The solidly put together Martin Vyparina overcame the tall

Jasninder Basra in the up to 90 kg class. Martin had a complete and aesthetic look with a fair amount of mass too.

In the up to 80 kg class Andy Gold, an actor who has appeared in Emmerdale and has just signed up for a return to Peaky Blinders, showed some peaky biceps in a scintillating routine but Stevenage's Jordan Mullen was in outstanding shape – really sharp and with good balance too – and he took first ahead of Andy.

Intermediate over-85 kg winner Jim Denbigh was one of the day's best conditioned athletes. Jim showed striated hamstrings – outstanding effort. Austin Hill was the more muscular of two guys in the up to 85 kg class and had impressive leg thickness.

The masters class had three contrasting physiques. Joe Carvalho, in third, had a lovely structure and posed well. Runner-up Christian Vogt was the smallest guy but very lean and balanced. Martin Herz, the winner, was easily the most muscular competitor and was sharp enough to make it count.

Joben Marl, who won classic bodybuilding, nailed his diet. Looking full and hard, he hit some cracking poses thanks not only to the quality of his physique but also the quality of his posing. It was a real masterclass.



Peet Rothwell, on his way to victory in the tall men’s physique class. PHOTO: Kevin Horton

Peet Rothwell, on his way to victory in the tall men’s physique class. PHOTO: Kevin Horton


There's always conjecture about the ideal men's physique look but Peet Rothwell presents a compelling case. He has a well trained look, muscular but not bulky, and looks balanced, lean and healthy. Peet didn't train for four months after last year's British Championships – now he's heading for Nottingham in the shape of his life.

Aaron Daley's big following went into meltdown when he overcame five guys in the short height open class. There isn't a lot of Aaron but what there is is exceptionally well put together. He has great aesthetics, a healthy look and stage confidence, and looks to have a bright future.

In the medium height class, Vasil Demirov's conditioning got the nod ahead of Ola Sapara-Williams, who scored highly on aesthetics.

Junior men's physique winner Tony Rowe ticked all the boxes: lean, big chest, good looks and polished presentation.

Runner-up Matt Thorpe had a good taper but was pushing the boundaries on size for men's physique.

Graham Dawes chalked up another win in masters men's physique ahead of the more muscular Dylan Jones. For a man aged 53, Graham has an exceptionally youthful physique with superb shape and condition.

Sukhraj Riyat, who won the rookie class, had an eye-catching six pack and an impressive shape.

The imposingly wide frame of Courtney Moseley took muscular men's physique.



Nikita Cellini was the pick of four dark-haired athletes in the open class. Nikita had a little more conditioning and shape in her legs than her rivals.

Junior bikini fitness champion Hayley Irwin had excellent tone, terrific legs and great looks. Runner-up Abigail Gyseman also had a quality package and would benefit from looking more confident.

All three rookie bikini fitness competitors were in fine stage shape and the winner, Viktorija Ruminaviciute, was outstanding. The Lithuanian-born athlete brought a really well trained and shapely form and is one to watch.

It was all quality in masters bikini fitness. Anna Jarvis, in second, has a fabulous shape and was as polished as ever but winner Agnes Zala was a little tighter and looked terrific in the glutes and hamstrings. Carly Howlett, who will represent the UK in this class at Arnold Classic Europe this month, handed out trophies and British finals invites to both women.

Masters bodyfitness was won by Rachel West whose lines flowed beautifully. Runner-up Leanne Dix was superbly conditioned and Julie Horton in third had a well balanced shape.

Stephanie Smirthwaite's muscular lower body helped her win wellness.



Junior Bikini Fitness

1 Hayley Irwin

2 Abigail Gyseman

3 Tyler Bell


Junior Men's Physique

1 Tony Rowe

2 Matt Thorpe

3 Jemiah Headley

also competed: Alexander Blight, Angelo Szoma, Harry Pearce and Seyed Hussain


Rookie Bikini Fitness

1 Viktorija Ruminaviciute

2 Laura Hinds

3 Lauren Cowle



1 Stephanie Smirthwaite

2 Sylwia Tumilowicz

3 Lucy Bravington

also competed: Cassie Campbell


Rookie Men's Physique

1 Sukhraj Riyat

2 Matt Revill

3 William Cocker


Masters Bodybuilding

1 Martin Herz

2 Christian Vogt

3 Joe Carvalho


Masters Men's Physique

1 Graham Dawes

2 Dylan Jones

3 Donovan Robinson

also competed: Richard Davis and Michael Moloney


Intermediate Bodybuilding up to 85 kg

1 Austin Hill

2 Michael Fox


Intermediate Bodybuilding over 85 kg

1 Jim Denbigh


Masters Bikini Fitness

1 Agnes Zala

2 Anna Jarvis


Masters Bodyfitness

1 Rachel West

2 Leanne Dix

3 Julie Horton

also competed: Helen Robson


Classic Bodybuilding

1 Joben Marl



1 Michelle Berny


Bodybuilding up to 80 kg

1 Jordan Mullen

2 Andy Gold


Bodybuilding up to 90 kg

1 Martin Vyparina

2 Jasninder Basra


Bodybuilding over 90 kg

1 Pietro Diesposito

2 Jerzy Osuch

3 Kirils Dimitrujevs


Classic Physique

1 Meysam Karimi


Bikini Fitness

1 Nikita Cellini

2 Jankl Panchal

3 Bhavika Parmar

4 Aniko Banki


Muscular Men's Physique

1 Courtney Moseley


Men's Physique up to 173 cm

1 Aaron Daley

2 Chris Fellowes

3 Craig Silkens

also competed: Jamie-Lee Porter, Shener Syuleymanov and Gabor Boda


Men's Physique up to 179 cm

1 Vasil Demirov

2 Ola Sapara-Williams

3 Weslei Tasca

also competed: Neile Brown


Men's Physique over 179 cm

1 Peet Rothwell

2 Michael Malone

3 Oliver Barnes

also competed: Petculescu Alexandru and Stuart Carruthers