175-cm-3By Andrew Michalak – ifbb.com
photo: Igor Kopcek (www.eastlabs.sk)

The first day of this year’s World Bodybuilding Championships were mainly devoted to Classic Bodybuilding. All five categories plus overall have been run and finished. Moreover, the first three Bodybuilding categories were also run, leaving six bodybuilding classes to be held on Sunday. IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja and Vice-Presidents: Sheikh Abdulla Al-Khalifa (Asia), Dr. Eng. Adel Fahim (Africa), Mr. Paul Graham (Australia and Oceania), Mr. Aguilles de Cesare (South America), Mr. Javier Pollock (Caribbean) and Albert Busek (Europe) were present at the venue and presented trophies to the winners.

The venue – marvelous Benidorm Palace – is located around 400 m from the Melia Hotel, so there was no problem with the transport as all participants preferred walking and the weather was very “friendly” this time – warm and sunny.
The back wall of the stage was in a form of a big screen, where the IFBB logo was displayed. At both sides another two screens showing the battle on the stage. The front part of the audience was composed of chairs, the rest as a restaurant with tables. Perfect lighting and sound systems created fantastic technical conditions for this event.
What happened on the stage? Champions from over 60 countries were running battles for medals and trophies. Classic Bodybuilding was born in Europe 10 years ago, with the first World Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2006. After few years it was dominated by competitors from Iran, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain and some other European countries.

This year’s Championships has brought some revolution to this “old tradition” as competitors from Costa Rica, South Africa, Turkey, Azerbaijan also won medals and Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, China and Mexico entered their champions to the finals. By this, Classic Bodybuilding has become fully international and intercontinental IFBB sport division.


Up to 168 cm category
2015 World Championships top two: Kikwan Seol (Korea) and Seyed Mirnoorollahi (Iran) were challenged by new stars: Edgar Castro (Costa Rica), Wang Wei (China) and Ali Abmirasool (Bahrain) and had failed to regain their titles. Seol was running a close combat against Castro, especially in the semifinals, but Castro clearly won both final rounds and was, I think, the most sensational and most impressive winner of the first day! Marvelous body proportions, top definition and creative posing routine made him unbeatable. A real Costa Rican pearl!
Wang Wei (China) moved up from the 5th place in the semifinals to the 3rd position, pushing down Mirnoorollahi and Abmirasool to the 4th and 5th places respectively.

In the list:
1. Pieter Van Rensburg South Africa
2. Robert Horvat Croatia
3. Wang Wei China
4. Kikwan Seol Korea
5. Edgar Castro Costa Rica
6. Taylan Ozdemir Turkey
7. Xu Demin China
8. Ali Abmirasool Bahrain
9. Suguru Kamada Japan
10. Evaristo Cortes Costa Rica
11. Seyed Mirnoorollahi Iran

Key comparisons:
1st comparison: 3 – 4 – 5 – 8 – 11
2nd comparison: 1 – 2 – 6 – 7 – 9 – 10


Up to 171 cm category
Also not easy category for last year’s stars: Fernando Gornals (Spain was nbot in his peak condition, enter the finals in the 6th opposition, later on managed to move to 3rd place. He Zhangming (China) dropped from 4th place to 6th position. Justin Tucker (South Africa) was a runner-up in 2013 and was a leader in the first two rounds but lost the gold medal in the routine round. Hyo Jung Kim is a new world champion. His previous best achievement was 5th place at the 2015 Asian Championships, so his progress is tremendous. His full, rounded muscles were scored higher than Tucker’s sharp definition and separation. Gornals moved two places up in this round also, grasping the bronze medal.

In the list:
15 Justin Tucker South Africa
16 Qusai Adel Al Jordan
17 Gabriele Giansante Italy
18 Ismail Yicdizer Turkey
19 Fernando Gornals Spain
20 Remi Ganzeman Belgium
21 Hyo Jung Kim Korea
22 Ki Ho Mun Korea
23 Huseyin Pisken Turkey
24 He Zhang Ming China
25 Hiroaki Inove Japan
26 Dogan Dolek Turkey

Key comparisons:
1st comparison: 15 – 17 – 19 – 21 – 22 – 24 – 25
2nd comparison: 16 – 18 – 20 – 23 – 26


Up to 175 cm category
Nobody from the last year’s finalists. New Korean star Gun Woong Choi won the first two rounds with perfect scores and slightly lost the routine round to the European Championships runner-up Andrej Varga (Slovakia) but maintained the 1st place. Choi showed equally and symmetrically developed muscularity, with no weak points. Bronze medal to a new raising star from Turkey Memmet Armatcu, then new star from Mexico Antonio Arguelles and the next South American star Julián Paredes of Argentina.

In the list:
30 Julián Paredes Argentina
31 Rolandas Zeimys Lithuania
32 Vladimir Angelov Macedonia
33 Antonio Arguelles Mexico
34 Josep Mayoral Spain
35 Jie He China
36 Tony Pang United Kingdom
37 Andrea Felici Italy
38 Andrej Varga Slovakia
39 Gun Woong Choi Korea
40 Memmet Armatcu Turkey
41 Benslimane Talel Tunisia

Key comparisons:
1st comparison: 30 – 38 – 39 – 40
2nd comparison: 31 – 33 – 34 – 37
3rd comparison: 32 – 35 – 36 – 41


Up to 180 cm category
Top two from the 2014 World Championships: Mohammad Ranipour (Iran) and Ali Emre (Azerbaijan) but completely different face of the battle: Ranipour didn’t enter the finals, finishing in the 10th place. Emre was very unfortunate last year, being tied with Ranipour in two rounds but losing the gold medal. This year is much more fortunate to him: he won the overall title at the historical first European Games in Baku and now got the World Championships’ gold medal and also the overall title. Having the European overall title from 2013, he is the most successful classic bodybuilder in the history! Congratulations!
His most demanding opponent was the European Championships runner-up Hubert Kulczynski (Poland), losing the battle for the gold medal against the future overall winner once again. Alexander Barbashin (Russia) was the 4th place winner in 2013, now moved-up one place and grasped the bronze medal in the finals, pushing down Antonio de la Torre (Spain) to the 4th position.

In the list:
45 Andre Fourie South Africa
46 Sergei Peshchin Russia
47 Emre Budakda Turkey
48 Amir Heidar Armenia
49 Ali Emre Azerbaijan

50 Giuseppe Brancaccio Italy
51 Krzysztof Studziński Poland
52 Hubert Kulczyński Poland

53 Kato Buntu South Africa
54 Alexander Barbashin Russia
55 Daniel Redondo Spain

56 Eeli Halonen Finland
57 Andrey Shmidt Russia
58 Vladimir Markov Netherlands
59 Renan Dos Santos Esposto Brazil

60 Caner Sen Turkey
61 Shunsuke Taguchi Japan
62 Antonio Ludovico Italy
63 Mohammad Ranipour Iran
64 Antonio de la Torre Spain
65 Ju Hoon Lee Korea

In bold* – semifinalists

1st comparison: 48 – 49 – 52 – 64 – 65
2nd comparison: 48 – 51 – 54 – 57 – 59
3rd comparison: 62 – 63 – 57 – 65
4th comparison: 45 – 55 – 58 – 61


Over 180 cm category
Last year’s winner Andriy Kukharchuk (Ukraine) had to choose between classic bodybuilding and extreme bodybuilding this time, choosing the extreme version. From among the last year’s finalists the other two bodybuilders were in the line-up:
bronze medal winner Mateusz Kolkowski (Poland) and 4th place winner Kaveh Jazani (Azerbaijan). Kolkowski was in the 3rd place after the semifinals but then unexpectedly dropped to the 6th position in the finals. Jazani the opposite: moved up from the 6th place to the 3rd position. At the top two new Iranian stars: Ali Shamsghamar and Keyvan Rezapour. Shamsghamar took the 3rd place in up to 180 cm class at the recent Ben Weider Diamond Cup in Iran while Rezapour was 3rd in the tallest class over 180 cm. 2015 European champion Boris Orava (Czech Republic) in the 4th position and international newcomer from Poland Jacek Ratusznik in 5th place.

In the list:
70 Boris Orava Czech Republic
71 Aleksander Kaddour Norway
72 Mateusz Kolkowski Poland
73 Petr Boar Czech Republic
74 Ali Shamsghamar Iran
75 Foster Makabela South Africa
77 Renato Costantini Argentina
78 Kaveh Jazani Azerbaijan
79 Jacek Ratusznik Poland

80 Mario Impens Belgium
81 Mete Bektas Turkey
82 Li Meng China
83 Michael Rasmussen Denmark
84 Zack McGuirk United Kingdom

85 Semih Topcu Turkey
86 Keyvan Rezapour Iran
87 Yan Hubenko Belarus
88 Dihogo Redriguez Brazil

In bold* – semifinalists

1st comparison: 70 – 72 – 74 – 86
2nd comparison: 73 – 78 – 79 – 83 – 84
3rd comparison: 71 – 75 – 77 – 81 – 87 – 88


Classic Bodybuilding Overall: