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Vancouver Pro 2019 Predictions/Preview
On July 14, competitors worldwide will meet in Western Canada to try and claim first place at the IFBB Vancouver Pro Show. Many storylines surround this show as there are not only a ton of Canadian talent (literally) that will take the stage, but also superstars from around the globe. It truly has all the makings for one of the most competitive shows of the season so far.
A few big names are easy to spot on the 18-man lineup for the open men. Competitors like Samson Dauda and Quinton “Beastwood” Eriya have already served notice this year as viable threats to push top-tier talent to their best. Either could walk away a winner here if others such as Allmaxathlete Josh Wade, Iain Valliere and Lukas Osladil are off. If we were betting, our money would be on Valliere. None of these competitors are without weaknesses, but Valliere is as complete as anyone else in the lineup, pairing great conditioning with tremendous size and stage presence.
Now all this was before the competitor list was updated. As of today, Hadi Choopan has worked his way into the mix and is now competing in the men’s open bodybuilding division. Nathan De Asha literally just forwarded his signed contract over to the IFBB pro league office and is now officially competing in Vancouver. This changes everything and makes for a more unpredictable battle. Is it going to be “The Juggernaut” Iain Valliere, Hadi “The Persian Wolf” Choopan or “The Prophecy” Nathan De Asha? Stay tuned to Muscle Insider as we'll be on-site doing live coverage!
Although the line-up is only one callout, the top-end talent in this division is present in Vancouver. Hadi Choopan was the odds-on favourite before moving to Open Men’s Bodybuilding. After traveling and overcoming visa issues, the middle-eastern bodybuilder will now stand on stage in Canada, but not in the 212 division. This leaves the door wide open for Canadian favourite Zane Watson to battle for the top spot position with fellow Canadian Prince Boabang and the German, Steve Benthin.
Classic physique is often the hardest to predict and this show is no different from the common theme. Richy Chan, Garrott Coelho, Antwane Hamlett and Nick Cortese are names to keep tabs on. Last minute entry by Allmaxathlete Matt Pattison adds to the line-up so he's competing to defend his 2016 title. As always, there is definite potential for a breakout performance among these athletes.
The big storyline here is that former female bodybuilding competitor Sheila Bleck is downsizing her look to try and fit the Women's Physique Division criteria. We think Bleck was one of the most aesthetic and pleasing physiques in female bodybuilding. If she can reel her size in to find the happy-medium between her size and conditioning, she may walk away with a win.
Monica Ellis is one of our favourites that could win the bikini title this weekend in Vancouver. Monica represents Allmax and looks to earn her ticket back to the Olympia stage this September. It was this past March that Ellis placed third at the World Klash Pro Championship, where it seemed her conditioning was not quite as sharp as we’ve typically seen her bring to stage. If she comes in sharp this weekend, her stage presence is mesmerizing and we could very well see her raising that championship title.
Beatriz Biscaiais definitely a Pro Bikini athlete to watch out for. She has won the Kai Greene Classic Pro in 2018 and the Big Man Weekend Pro in April 2019, as well as a second place finish at the 2019 Muscle Contest Japan Pro. Most recently, she took fourth place at the Toronto Pro Super Show, so it's likely to see Biscaia finish with one of the top spots this weekend.
Maxine Somovis one of the newest Bikini Pros that we will be seeing on stage this weekend. Last year, her performance at the Vancouver Pro/Am exceeded all expectations. It was at the 2018 Vancouver Pro Qualifier that Somov won the overall bikini title, earning her a new IFBB Bikini Pro Card. The very next day, she stepped on stage at the Vancouver Pro Bikini stage, where she placed six among a very competitive class of veteran competitors. We wouldn't be surprised to see her break into that top five at this year’s show.
Julia Schroederwas one of our 2018 Muscle Insider Road to the Pros participants. We followed her journey to the 2018 Canadian National Pro Qualifier, where she successfully won her pro card. Schroeder has a striking physique and while she didn't make it into the top fifteen for her pro debut at the Toronto Pro Super Show, we're excited to see her grace the Vancouver Pro stage this weekend.
Ismael Dominguezis looking to defend his Vancouver Men’s Physique Pro title this weekend. He had a great year in 2018, bouncing back from a sixth place finish at the 2018 Toronto Pro Super Show to take the first place title a few weeks later at the 2018 Vancouver IFBB Pro Show. He has great shape and size on a small frame, so look out for Dominguez to finish in the top three.
Joseph Leeis one of the IFBB Men’s Physique Pros that has always brought a great physique to the stage. Most recently, we saw him bring what seemed to be his best form yet, to the San Jose Championship. He has started 2019 strong, taking second place at the San Jose Championship, as well as the L.A. Grand Prix and the Governor’s Cup. He placed fourth at the Salt City Showdown. If Lee is going to come in well conditioned, we see him as a top contender to stealing the show.
Shahin Zolfaghariis looking to make his presence known again at this year’s show. From two strong placings in his 2018 pro debut, and with a seventh place in Toronto and second in Vancouver, we're interested to see what he presents this year.
We are following Martina Yabekova because of her potential to be the front runner. She has made a real name for herself with numerous figure pro show wins, and a ton of third place wins. This two-time Figure Olympian is looking to earn her way back to the 2019 Olympia stage, which would make it three years in a row.
Anna Banks hails from Poland and has stacked up some rather impressive placings this year, with a third place at the Romania Wings of Strength and second place finish at the 2019 Toronto Pro Super Show. We expect to see her making it a fight for one of the top spots this weekend.
Julia Waring is another athlete to pay close attention to. In 2018, she came in second at her pro debut at the Pittsburgh Pro, only to then go on to win the 2018 Chicago Pro, earning her a spot on the 2018 Olympia stage. This year she came back to the Pittsburgh Pro, finishing sixth place. We think she has what it takes to do well in Vancouver, possibly placing top three again if she can dial in her conditioning to the same level as her did in her first two pro shows in 2018.
This is a difficult category to predict, but Sarah Kovack would be one to watch as she has steadily climbed in her placings at this show over the last couple of years. She was fourth in 2017 and second last year. Biting at her heels though is Dominique Matthews who looks to defend her 2016 title. Matthew’s high energy routines and solid physique are going to be tough to beat.
*Images courtesy of Instagram
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