Wellness top 3, with winner Iren Finna in the middle.

Wellness top 3, with winner Iren Finna in the middle.

Ultimate Beginners

by John Plummer

Photography by Kevin Horton

You can view and buy photographs of this event here: https://www.ukbffphotos.com/2019/ULTIMATE-BEGINNERS

Competitors can order all of their images as a package here: https://www.ukbff.co.uk/ukbff-photos

A near sell-out crowd at The Woodville in Gravesend, Kent, witnessed almost 150 stage careers come to life at the Ultimate Beginners.

As often happens at this event, many competitors put their heart and soul into their first contest prep and looked anything but novices.

In fact, quite a few would do well to get back on stage at either the North-East Championships in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, on 18 August or at the Kent Classic, which also takes place at The Woodville on 25 August.

Some would be in with a great chance of qualifying for the British Championships, and possibly even have a shot at reaching the Arnold Classic Europe at the Pudsey contest, which is an Arnold qualifier.

Teodor Dragoev, over 90 kg bodybuilding champion.

Teodor Dragoev, over 90 kg bodybuilding champion.


The level of conditioning throughout the up to 90 kg class was high but the shape of the winner, Sergejs Kuliss, stood out. For a beginner he displayed outstanding lines, and has a bright future.

Over 90 kg champion Teodor Dragoev had a lot of muscle for a first timer, along with an excellent midsection and good quads.

Junior winner Callum Warren presented a well balanced, muscular physique with especially impressive legs to overcome a strong challenge from the lean Daniel Maskell.

Yves Tighe made the brave decision to compete for the first time at more than half a century old and must be wondering why he left it so long. He looked every bit a bodybuilder as he took the masters over-50s with a lean and shapely physique that showed little of the usual ravages of time.

The tall and well conditioned Nathan Palmer, who posed well, won classic bodybuilding.

Justin Makil topped the 25-man junior physique category.

Justin Makil topped the 25-man junior physique category.


Classic physique champion Yemi Adefioye was one of the day's outstanding finds. Yemi, 25, looked the epitome of classic as he moved fluently between well executed poses. A real talent.

No fewer than 15 guys packed the stage for junior men's physique. It was difficult to get noticed in such a big line-up, which says everything about the quality of the top three. Runner-up Eryck Wiecek had a brilliant midsection; the winner, Portsmouth's Justin Makil had excellent proportions and aesthetics. Justin then went on to win the 12-man short height class, making him another of the day's breakthrough stars.

The shreds were in in the up to 173 cm height class, where the top three all brought their A game. Tom Walker got the nod ahead of Ali Rezaei.

Masters champion James Croucher had some of the most prominent abs of the day – they were like concrete slabs of muscle on his tiny waist.

Muscular men's physique champion Glenn Boateng had a fantastic taper, a full chest and serious ab development.


Some incredible new talent lined up in the up to 164 cm open class and those who didn't make the top three shouldn't be disheartened. Runner-up Irena Milos' superb conditioning helped her excel in the rear poses where she showed a lovely lean back and good glutes but the verdict went to the slender but shapely Karolina Wajs. Channon Munton was the judges' pick in a tough over 164 cm class, which had another stellar top three.

Zita Farkas-Andre had a day to remember, winning the stacked masters bikini fitness class ahead of Georgina Kiss. Both women had terrific shapes and glutes. The heavily tattooed Kiara Coco Jones won junior bikini fitness with a tight and shapely body – a striking look.

Iren Finna was the pick of a highly polished wellness top three. Iren had a great X frame with the lower half packing some serious quad mass. IFBB Elite Pro Ade Bishop, who competed at this year's Arnold Classic Africa and is preparing for the IFBB Pro World Championships in women's physique, presented the trophies. Fellow IFBB Elite Pros Andrea Corbett and El Noval also handed out trophies during the event.

Bodyfitness winner Danielle Puddefoot's good legs and back caught the eye. Rita Brown won masters bodyfitness.


Junior Bodybuilding

1 Callum Warren

2 Daniel Maskell

3 Mark Jenkins

also competed: Wade Cocking

Junior Bikini Fitness

1 Kiara Coco Jones

Junior Men's Physique

1 Justin Marc Makil

2 Eryck Wiecek

3 Jamal Hasan

also competed: Jamie Allen, Johnathan Chau, Piotr Ficner, Jake Johnston, Lewis Mansfield, Vinny Core, Fraser Cashmore, Gustavo Quelroz, Anthony Hands, Callum Pyatt, Jozsef Zilahy and Obaidullah Patel


1 Iren Finna

2 Jade Bullock

3 Chelsey Da Silva

also competed: Gayane Ghazaryan, Anastasia Nikitina, Paula Sokalska, Vanessa Maciel and Rebecca Doel

Masters Bodybuilding over 50

1 Yves Tighe

2 Warren Lillicrapp

Masters Men's Physique over 40

1 James Croucher

2 Michael Ashanti

3 James Lever

also competed: Gary Deverell

Masters Bikini Fitness

1 Zita Farkas-Andre

2 Georgina Kiss

3 Kelly Phillips

also competed: Emma Houldsworth, Jane Rees, Jennifer Booth, Kate Joss, Selma Wanes, Lysa Gylen, Susannah Phillips, Sue Chapman and Karen Anem

Masters Bodyfitness

1 Rita Brown

Classic Bodybuilding

1 Nathan Palmer

2 Raheal Afzal

3 Daniel Maskell

also competed: Joe Lamb, Steven Jeffrey and David Kolodziwnski


1 Danielle Puddefoot

2 Abigail Threadgold

Bodybuilding up to 90 kg

1 Sergejs Kuliss

2 Robert Brierley

3 Simon Quirk

also competed: Adam Hall and Simon Taylor

Bodybuilding over 90 kg

1 Teodor Dragoev

2 Waine Bawcombe

3 Steven Jeffrey

Classic Physique

1 Yemi Adefioye

2 Joe Lacey

3 Chris Keighley

also competed: Marius Cristian Mitrea, Patryk Kolodzieyski and Allan Coutts

Bikini Fitness up to 164 cm

1 Karolina Wajs

2 Irena Milos

3 Vivien Szabo

also competed: Valeria Galkina, Alicja Poznanska, Amy Merton, Rachel Barnes, Sheriden Morley, Nasim Yazdani, Emma Houldsworth, Sweta Narain, Samina Bayat, Georgia Linfield, Kate Joss and Zita Farkas-Andre

Bikini Fitness over 164 cm

1 Channon Munton

2 Louise Johns

3 Sophie Fransen-Hale

also competed: Cassandra Lunnon, Gintare Jacinaite, Lizzie Anderson, Sarah Upton, Dora Bozso, Lysa Gylen, Justyna Lopatecka, Lilia Nedelcheva and Lucy Bouverie-Brine

Muscular Men's Physique

1 Glenn Boateng

2 Toby Slade

Men's Physique up to 173 cm

1 Justin Marc Makil

2 Rishi Raja

3 Carl Hicks

also competed: James Croucher, Yahya Anderson, Jonathan Ho, Robert Buckle, Johnathan Agini, Michael Ashanti, Tinashe Dingwiza, George Koounnas and Leon Loh

Men's Physique up to 179 cm

1 Tom Walker

2 Ali Rezaei

3 Vincent Samuel

also competed: Ben Goody, Brad Free, Sam Bramfitt, Conor Pillai, Christian Cianciulli, Kyn Georgiou, Daniel Marr and Ryan Gregory

Men's Physique over 179 cm

1 Seth Lenkovits

2 Matthew Harvey

3 Tam Sharp

also competed: Fraser Cashmore, Adam Bellwood, Ryan Townsend, Sam Brewer, Thomas Hurst, Anthony Hands, Callum Pyatt, Jahlani McCalmon, Joe Longden, Jozsef Zilahy and Martin Newton