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Peterson Favoured in Wide-Open Arnold Classic Physique Battle

Branden Liezert

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With 17 competitors vying for just the second Classic Physique title at the Arnold Classic, the only certainty is there’ll be a new winner in 2019, as defending champion Breon Ansley isn’t in the running. In fact, it’s my opinion that the division’s lineup is hugely underwhelming this time around.

But the contest must go on, so here are my predictions of the top competitors.

1. George “Da Bull” Peterson

Your odds-on favourite has to be George Peterson, who has finished third at two consecutive Olympias. He combines both shredded conditioning and insane development in his back and legs. He is without a doubt the front-runner here.

2. Danny Hester

Hester has the physique that epitomizes the “classic” look. Well into his 40s, Hester also brings a level of muscle maturity that very few in the new division can match. Couple that with his great lines, expert-level posing, and proportions, and he’ll be tough to knock down from the runner-up position. He finished fourth a year ago.

3. Keone Pearson

This young man could have an absolute breakout performance in Ohio. For one, Pearson is coached by former Arnold Classic winner Flex Wheeler. Pearson may very well be the shortest man onstage all weekend, which makes him appear denser than taller competitors. But it’s his lines, mass, and conditioning that could catapult him onto everyone’s radar. Don’t be surprised if he works his way from the outside into the middle three in the first callout.

Beyond that, look for Canadian Khaled Chikhaoui and last year’s third-place finisher Courage Opara to round out the top five in Columbus. 

*Image courtesy of Instagram


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