by John Plummer

Photography by Kevin Horton

Competitors can buy all their stage photos as a package here

Alternatively, individual photos can be viewed and bought here

On the same day that the battle for the Premier League ended in Brighton, the same city hosted the first round in the battle for places in October's UKBFF British Championships.

The South Coast show was for years promoted with distinction by Paul Smith in Portsmouth, and it was great to see Paul in the audience as new promoter Tony Naddeo carried on the good work.

The Hilton Brighton Metropole, which Tony chose to host the event, must be the plushest venue on the circuit. He did the sport proud and the sport repaid the compliment by turning out in force on and off stage. Extra seats had to be brought in to meet the demand. 

About 150 competitors took to the stage to compete for prizes including invites to the Arnold Classic Europe, £2,000 worth of supplements, 12-month modelling contracts with A01 Sports Wear that include £2,500-worth of clothing as well as four £100 cash prizes to the overall champions – not to mention a free stick of Brighton rock for children in the audience. 

The crowd was also treated to a mesmerising guest spot by IFBB Elite Pro Ade Bishop, who was two weeks out from the $90,000 Arnold Classic Africa. 


Matt O'Reilly was the class act in the bodybuilding classes. Returning to the stage after a three-year absence, he showed a beautiful shape full of quality lines and muscle. 

Classic bodybuilding winner Benjamin Cook gave a masterclass in stage performance: his physique was shredded and he presented it beautifully with classically held poses.

Rusu Gabriel's ability to execute a vacuum pose helped him take classic physique,

Both masters categories were fiercely contested. Mark Shaw, the over-50 winner, had a cracking physique, with impressively full and shapely muscles along with good condition.

Rodney Joseph Newbitt impressed in the over-40s. He is a big, tall man, with plenty of muscle and a nice shape but the winner Craig Souter was a little harder and sported some big arms.

Junior winner Calvin Boparan, 21, has a super structure with big pecs and a well developed back. He also poses well. It was little surprise to see him come back later to win the under 90 kg line-up – Calvin is a fresh young talent worth looking out for.

Intermediate runner-up Jonathan Hodder displayed good aesthetics but the winner, Toby Steggall, had more thickness. 

Emi Roberti won the combined class for under 70 kg and under 80 kg athletes to make up for his disappointment in the masters. Emi isn't the biggest guy but when he's in a weight-limited line-up his class and conditioning stands out. 

Olga Upelniece won another two first place trophies,.

Olga Upelniece won another two first place trophies,.

Classic bodybuilding winner Benjamin Cook.

Classic bodybuilding winner Benjamin Cook.


British bodyfitness champion Olga Upelniece must have competed as often as anyone over the last six months yet her standards never slip, which was just as well here as she had to see off rising star Bilyana Topolova in the open class and the fabulously conditioned Alex Gee in the masters.

Women's physique was a close battle between gym mates Amelia Heathcote and Toni Shand. Amelia was very lean and excelled in the back poses and got the verdict.

Amelia and Olga then squared off for the overall and a £100 prize, which Olga won.


Chante Gibson had a day to remember, winning her height class and the overall title to win supplements worth £2,000 from the Natural Muscle Company, an invite to the Arnold Classic Europe and £100 cash.

Chante brought a terrific, tight and toned package to the stage to announce her arrival as an elite competitor.

More new talent emerged in wellness, where Grazia Esposito's brilliant glutes helped her overcome Angelika Pdejna, who definitely has the wellness look with a big, shapely lower body.

Yvette Geary's never ending, perfectly toned legs helped her win another large, high quality masters bikini fitness class.

The attractive and athletic Aimee Wiltshire was the pick of two good junior bikini fitness competitors.

Both Yvette and Aimee also had the distinction of going on to win their respective height classes.


Abdulrahman Aloumi once again showed his class to win the up to 179 cm class and the overall title.

Runner-up Jahangir Bangash brought a great package to push him close in the height class but Abdulrahman, not for the first time, was absolutely bang on with his conditioning.

Massimo Passantino's solid midsection helped him take the stacked masters division, and he followed this up with silver in the short height class.

Abdul Wahad, who took the juniors, edged out Massimo and showed enough to suggest he could be a serious force in men's physique.

Haris Mehboob's solid structure took the 10-strong tall line-up and Adam Wadev's conditioning helped to secure the muscular men's physique title.



Matt O'Reilly


Olga Upelniece


Chante Gibson


Abdulrahman Aloumi


Orhan Mehmet


Jennifer Hassell


Tawana Cushnie

Masters Bodybuilding Over 40

1 Craig Souter

2 Rodney Joseph Newbitt

3 Matthew Hughes

also competed: Jay Tsvetkov, Emi Roberti and Rafal Kwiatkowski

Masters Bodybuilding Over 50

1 Mark Shaw

2 Rifat Sucu

3 Kieran O'Mahoney

also competed: Rich Troth, Darren Payne, Peter Banks, Ian Southcott, David Whatley and Paul Blackwell

Junior Bodybuilding

1 Calvin Boparan

2 Alex Ransley

Intermediate Bodybuilding

1 Jonathan Hodder

2 Toby Steggall

3 Jake Dinchess

also competed: Simon Thewlis

Bodybuilding under 80 kg

1 Emi Roberti

2 Lee Hayes

3 Kevin Norris

also competed: Ceiran Jenkins, Lewis Woodgate, Richard Henry, Darren Payne, Rafal Kwiatowski and Jake Hill

Bodybuilding under 90 kg

1 Calvin Boparan

2 Jay Tsvetkov

3 Rifat Sucu

4 Peter Banks

Bodybuilding over 90 kg

1 Matt O'Reilly

2 Rodney Joseph Nesbitt

3 Matthew Hughes

Classic Bodybuilding

1 Benjamin Cook

2 Viktoras Dargis

3 James Johnston

also competed: Alvaras Putina and Phil Ponting

Classic Physique

1 Rusu Gabriel

2 Ruben Lermo

3 Farshid Karami

also competed: Shane Higgins and Guy Pickard

Women's Physique

1 Amelia Heathcote

2 Toni Shand

Masters Bodyfitness

1 Olga Upelniece

2 Alexa Gee

3 Nathalie Bull

also competed: Deborah Gordon


1 Olga Upelniece

2 Bilyana Topolova

3 Monika Suszynska

also competed: Laura Travis, Zoe Smales and Alex Gee


1 Grazia Esposito

2 Angelika Pdejna

3 Savanagh Bryant-Wright

also competed: Suzanne Walker

Masters Bikini Fitness

1 Yvette Geary

2 Sara Haider

3 Monika Kluwak-Pilka

also competed: Alison Fernandes, Toni Charles, Emma James, Katerina Katmunova, Evelina Krapane, Clare Hunt, Maya Dimcheva and Jayne Hall

Junior Bikini Fitness

1 Aimee Wiltshire

2 Katie Fairclough

Bikini Fitness under 164 cm

1 Aimee Wiltshire

2 Ksenia Antonova

3 Sara Haider

also competed: Alison Fernandes, Laura Williams, Vikki Cubitt and Clare Hunt

Bikini Fitness up to 169 cm

1 Chante Gibson

2 Tawana Cushnie

3 Jennifer Hassell

also competed: Maya Dimcheva

Bikini Fitness over 169 cm

1 Yvette Geary

2 Chloe Stimson

3 Monika Kluwak-Pilka

also competed: Jayne Hall, Huamei Wu, Charlene Weeks and Hayley Green

Masters Men's Physique

1 Massimo Passantino

2 Alex Lemos

3 Keith Cleverly

also competed: Michael Roche, Sam Azimi, Alessandro Fiora, Imran Akhtar, Lee Rankin, Greg Orbell, Imad Achkar and Liam Gol

Junior Men's Physique

1 Abdul Wahab

2 Thomas Smallbane

3 Dominic Hardcastle

also competed: Bobromir Hristov and Elliot Turner

Men's Physique under 173 cm

1 Abdul Wahab

2 Massimo Passantino

3 Ben Warboys

also competed: Saheeb Khalid, Liam Gol, Rajiv Tanner, Andrew Wiseman, Luke Ashworth, Istuan Csaki, Colin Marshall, Joshua Ajiboh and Chris Kirsten

Men's Physique under 179 cm

1 Abdulrahman Aloumi

2 Jahangir Bangash

3 Keith Cleverly

also competed: Sam Azimi and David Kovac

Men's Physique over 179 cm

1 Haris Mehboob

2 George Aarons

3 Peet Rothwell

also competed: Imad Achkar, Vasil Iliev, Vincent Frimpone, Lewis Tyrell, Brad Tillett, Orban Mehmet and Dominic Hardcastle

Muscular Men's Physique

1 Adam Wadev

2 Vlad Petrescu

3 Kristiyan Tomchev