The main event of the 2020 Olympia Weekend is the Mr. Olympia contest itself, but one of the featured undercard events is the 212 Showdown. This contest is the world championship event for the IFBB Pro League competitors that weigh 212 pounds and under. The presentations and personalities of the competitors have earned them a strong fan base over the last decade.
This year’s contest has 18 competitors vying for the title. The headliners are Kamal Elgargni and Derek Lunsford. The former is the reigning and defending champion who is looking to win his second straight title. As for Lunsford, he’s been runner-up at this contest for the last two years. He’s a fan favorite and considered by some experts to be the favorite even though he’s not the champion.
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While Elgargni and Lunsford are garnering a lot of the attention, there are five other competitors that could disrupt the placings and pull off an upset. When you watch these athletes in the prejudging and finals, make sure to watch out for these five men.
The man known as “The Giant Killer” stands 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed right below 170 pounds last year. His third place finish in 2019 was the highest he has placed at the Olympia out of his five times competing. This year marks his sixth straight year competing on bodybuilding’s biggest stage and he plans on being a few pounds heavier. As long as his symmetry isn’t affected, he could be back in the mix for the top spot.
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Jewett surprised everyone with his 4th place finish in his Olympia debut. That earned him an automatic qualification to compete in this year’s contest. That is important because it means he has had over a year (thanks to the change in schedule) to prepare for his 2020 showing. The longer offseason means he only had to diet and train for one show instead of multiple events like in the past, which would be new for him. That unknown makes it a mystery how much of an impact it will make on his onstage look. If he is better than last year in the eyes of the judges, and the favorites are not on point, he may place higher in Orlando than he did last year in Las Vegas.
“Da Bull” is the X-factor in this year’s contest. That’s because he was competing in the Classic Physique division last year. 2020 marked the first year he took part in the 212 division. His debut was at the Tampa Pro, and it was a victorious one. George Peterson looked impressive in that lineup, but the Olympia is the best of the best. He has never stood onstage next to these competitors. He’s obviously looking to upset the apple cart and make his Olympia 212 debut an impressive one.
Ashkanani is a part of the famed “Camel Crew” out of Kuwait. He has placed as high as second in the Olympia in his career. The only opponent that kept him from winning the title was James “Flex” Lewis. He wasn’t at his best last year and placed 5th as a result. The only competitor in this lineup he has yet to beat in the past is the defending champion. If he can bring the physique he had in 2016 and 2017, then he may very well be in the hunt for this year’s title.
This is Cisternino’s first Olympia appearance since 2016, when he placed 8th. In the four years since then, he has had to face a variety of injuries as well as surgery on both of his shoulders. He returned to the competitive stage in 2019 and was victorious at the 2019 Niagara Falls Pro last November. So he’s had a yearlong offseason which he has been healthy. He has also changed his training and nutrition methods. This will be his first competitive appearance since doing so. The unknowns and benefits of good health could very well mean positive results for the New Jersey native.
Featured Images: Instagram/ifbb_pro_kamal_elgargni and johnjewett3