Flex Flex UK - January 2018 - Page 52

THE TOP THREE The contest’s crucial battle, between Elssbiay and Bonac, was a contrast in physique types, as the ultrawide Kuwaiti outweighed the ultraripped Dutchman by roughly 70 pounds. The latter held a one-point lead after Friday, but gave it up on Saturday. “Phil and Ramy both improved from last night. William looked better yesterday,” head judge Weinberger explained not long after Bonac told me he’d filled out a few pounds for Saturday. Still, Bonac’s gold teeth glimmered as he effused about his finish, “Great feeling, of course, from fifth place [at last year’s O] to third place. I think I could’ve done better. I’m happy with my placement, though. I keep moving up.” 6 ROELLY WINKLAAR 7 NATHAN DE ASHA PHIL HEATH WON HIS SEVENTH SANDOW, FAIR AND SQUARE. AND LAS VEGAS ODDS MAKERS WOULD FAVOUR HIM TO WIN NO. 8 NEXT YEAR. 8 And then there were two. And when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced, “The seven-time...,” the man who will remain atop the bodybuilding world for at least another year collapsed to the stage in tears. Backstage, an emotionally exhausted Elssbiay expressed happiness with his placing and the conviction that he will be the 14th Mr. Olympia. Weinberger said of Ramy: “He looked great, the best he’s ever looked, but he still could be about 5% harder.” The head judge said what separated the top three: “It always comes down to size and conditioning. If you’re in really good conditioning and you have enough muscle, you’ll bump up. You can’t just have great size and not have conditioning. And you can’t just have conditioning without good size and shape.” That’s bodybuilding. 50 FLEX | JANUARY 2018 9 BRANDON CURRY JOSH LENARTOWICZ 10 11 CEDRIC M c MILLAN LIONEL BEYEKE