British Bodybuilding Grand Prix 2020

James Hollingshead earns early qualification for the 2021 Mr. Olympia

The Story

This year will go down in the history of bodybuilding as one of the strangest and craziest ever.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of competitions had to be cancelled, moved or take place in secret (Monsterzym in South Korea),
British Grand Prix, originally planned for Saturday, November 7, has its own story.
One week before the BGP and Mecca Classic regional qualifier, Boris Johnson announced nationwide lockdown in England from Thursday the 5th. As probably everyone though the contest simply wont take place Ian Constable announced that 2Bros Pro Events team will try to move the show for a day just before the lockdown. There is no doubt that the 2 Bros had to make a literally heroic attempt, but in the end everything worked out. Thanks to them athletes who steeped on stage of Watford`s, Pumped House theatre competing in open bodybuilding, men’s 212 division, classic physique, women’s physique and bikini fitness were able to “fight” for their qualification to the Olympia 2021.
First qualification to Olympia 2020 for each category winner, and points for the remaining within top five placing.

It is understandable that moving the competition three days forward and upcoming lockdown will have its consequences and reflect on participants arriving. Essa Obaid gave up the start of the British Grand Prix for this reason , he was afraid that he would get stuck in England after the planned monthly lockdown. The sad thing about this 41-year-old veteran is that his four-month preparation may go to waste training this year. His participation in the forthcoming Wings of Strength Romania Muscle Fest Pro is also big question mark as it seems he will not be allowed to enter the country due to the foreign policy of the United Arab Emirates and Romania. The Danish professional rookie Patrick Johnson also did not come to Watford, he should compete in Romania as planed. At the other hand that didn’t stop Canadian Regan Grimes to arrive from spain along with Angel Calderon where he lived since Europa Pro.

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The first call out in men’s bodybuilding open at the British Grand Prix 2020 (photo: )

Results of British Grand Prix 2020

Bodybuilding open:

1. James Hollingshead
2. Regan Grimes
3. Marc Hector
4. Jamie Christian-Johal
5. Theo Leguerrier
6. Samson Dauda
7. Kuba Cielen
8. Florian Poirson

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The favourite to win was obviously the champion of the recent European Pro James Hollingshead, who wanted to fight for the early qualification to Mr. Olympia 2021. This would give him plenty time to work on further improvements for Mr Olympia 2021 without having to worry about qualification during the season. In the end, it turned out to James came first in front of the home crowd. Wednesday competition of men’s open bodybuilders was made in memory late Luke Sandoe, and the fact that James could have won this competition will certainly be of special importance to him ( James done his routine purposely without music).

Second place went to Regan Grimes who will continue his fight for Olympia qualification next week in Bucharest at the Wings of Strength Romania Muscle Fest Pro.
Marc Hector got third in his only second start among the pros, this must have been satisfying result.

212 Bodybuilding:

1. Angel Calderon
2. Radoslav Angelov
3. Steve Benthin
4. James Llewellin
5. Paul Latham
6. Jamie Do Rego
7. Thiago Santisteban

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Only a day before the competition on social media it was reported that recent Europa Pro 212 champion Angel Calderón Frias arrived in London and would also enter the competition. It was no surprise that massive Spaniard won his fourth Pro show and secured the qualification for the Olympia 212 Showdown 2021 in advance.

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It is important to mention that this was a last Pro show for a 2008 British champion James Llewellin who came ahead of the man he personally help achieve Pro status this year at British Championship – Paul Latham.

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Classic Physique:

1. Kiraly Laszlo
2. Mike Sommerfield
3. Michael Daboul
4. Steve Cullen
5. Jonathan Lofthouse
6. Kelvin Hinde
7. Darren Farrell
8. Alireza Aghayi Benjani
9. Robert Waterhouse
10.Darren Ball

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Classic physique was was one of the classes that was very hard to predict, looking at the starting list German Mike Sommerfeld probably could have been be considered the favourite to win along majority of Pro Debuts. In the end, however it was the massive Hungarian Laszlo Kiraly who got the top spot. He got his professional card along with Florian Poirson at last year’s amateur Olympia in Portugal. Third place was taken by Michael Daboul, fourth Shane Cullen from Ireland and fifth Jonathan Lofthouse all of these guys stepped on Pro stage for the first time. Following great result and now having 4Pts Michael Dabaul is going to compete also in next show in Bucharest hoping for win or further points to Olympia qualification.

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Women`s Physique:

1. Lenka Ferencukova
2. Corrine Ingman
3. Priscila Reyes

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Out five ladies expected to compete in WPD Katia Ubelacker and Joanna Romano were not able to arrive.It was Lenka Ferenčuková who achieved her second victory among professionals. The second place was taken by best conditioned Corinne Ingman,according to judges she didn’t fit the criteria as would be more suited for Bodybuilding. Third Place was taken by Priscila Reis, for whom the competition was a professional debut.


1. Stine Hansen
2. Phoebe Hagan
3. Alessia Facchin
4. Jade Kelsie Wolfenden
5. Ester Oczella

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As expected the starting list of the women’s bikini was the biggest category in the competition and had twelve names of which eighth were from UK (Laura Ziv although from Spain is a current British Champion). The judges were most impressed by the Danish Stine Hansen, who took home not only her first victory among professionals, but also her first qualification for the Olympia. Local favourite Phoebe Hagan had to settle for second, Alessia Facchin, Jade Kelsie Wolfenden and Ester Oczella shared the other top 5 places behind her.

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