A lot of bodybuilding fans don’t consider the season in full swing until the Open competitors take the stage. Well, on May 8, 2021, both the Men’s Open and 212 divisions debuted for the first time in 2021 at the Indy Pro in Indianapolis, IN.
Leading up to the show, fans were eagerly awaiting Blessing Awodibu to make his pro debut. However, Justin Rodriguez held off the charges of 11 other competitors en route to securing the win as well as the qualification to the 2021 Mr. Olympia, set to take place Oct. 7-10. Tonio Burton won the 212 division and will also go to the O. Here are the results for both the Men’s Open and 212 divisions:
Men’s Open Results
- First Place — Justin Rodriguez
- Second Place — Mohammed El Emam
- Third Place — Blessing Awodibu
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The native of New York City has been knocking on the door for the last couple of seasons, but he kept coming up short. He placed second twice in 2020, in the Chicago Pro and New York Pro. He did qualify on points for the Olympia last year, where he placed 10th.
At the Indy Pro, the judges felt Rodriguez had the most complete physique onstage. He won both the prejudging and final rounds with perfect scores. Even though he is now qualified for the Olympia, he is still going to compete in the New York Pro, scheduled to take place May 15, 2021.
Mohammed El Emam
El Emam is in his third competitive year, and he is still learning how to peak for competitions. This is the highest placing of his career, and he looks significantly better than he did at the Romania Muscle Pro last year where he placed fourth. There is no word on where he will compete next.
The 2017 Arnold Amateur Europe champion certainly packed on quality size and appeared very confident on stage. He has made it clear that the New York Pro is the show he has his eyes on, but he still took the opportunity to compete at the Indy Pro for the experience. Placing third in a pro debut is nothing to scoff at. The judges had him positioned in the top three for both rounds.
212 Division Results
- First Place — Tonio Burton
- Second Place — Nathan Epler
- Third Place — John Jewett
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Burton also made his pro debut at this contest, and it was clear from the moment he took the stage that everyone else was vying for second place. He displayed thick and dense muscle with great symmetry. The judges agreed, which is why he won both prejudging and the final rounds. Burton is now a part of the Olympia 212 lineup, where he will attempt to earn his first Olympia title in Orlando.
If bodybuilding had home games, this would be one for the 2019 Junior Nationals champ. The Indiana native appeared bigger and was very lean, but the judges saw fit to have him in the runner-up spot for both rounds.
Jewett placed a high standard for himself when he got fourth at the 2019 Olympia 212 contest in Las Vegas, NV. While he may have had the best symmetry at this show, he just couldn’t overcome the initial impressions that Burton made when he took to the stage.
The next major bodybuilding show will be the 2021 New York Pro on May 15, 2021. Due to pandemic regulations, this show will take place in Tampa, Florida as it did in 2020.
Featured Image: @justindifbb on Instagram