October 11, 2020 was a landmark day for the British strength community. In strongman, Luke Stoltman set the British record in the Log Press by pressing 221 kilograms (487 pounds) over his head in the Feats of Strength series. As for British bodybuilding, it was James Hollingshead who would make the headlines. He did so by traveling to Spain and winning the 2020 Europa Pro show. Many fans are wondering what might have been since Mamdouh Elssbiay (aka Big Ramy) was unable to compete due to testing positive for COVID-19, but the contest is about who is onstage and Hollingshead certainly made his presence known. Aside from being his first professional victory, Hollingshead is also now qualified to make his debut on the Mr. Olympia stage this December.
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Winner: James Hollingshead
Hollingshead had made it clear from the beginning of his preparation for this contest that he was giving his efforts as a tribute to his friend and fellow countryman, the late Luke Sandoe. His efforts turned out to be worth the commitment because he was in the best shape of his career at this contest. His definition and tanning were both on point. He appeared bigger than he had been in previous contests as well. While there may have been discussions about the lower placings, the winner was not in doubt.
2nd Place – Lukas Osladil
Osladil is always around the top of the placings in any show he enters, but claiming the victory has eluded him on more than one occasion. At this show, the judges had him squarely in second place for both prejudging and the finals. He presents himself well onstage but was facing a winner who was at his absolute best.
While he didn’t win the show, there is good news for Osladil as well as the third place finisher. The top three of this contest will all qualify for the Olympia. This change was made due to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the entire contest season.
3rd Place – Rafael Brandao
Brandao looked impressive onstage but didn’t have the conditioning and definition that Hollingshead had. While he was bigger than the winner, and his arms stood out in the lineup, he did appear to struggle holding poses during the posedown, while Hollingshead was moving and posing without any issues. Fortunately, his placing will also be enough to have him move on to Las Vegas in December.
There were other divisions contested at this event. The 212 contest went to Angel Calderon Frias of Spain. Guiseppe Zagarella of Italy claimed the Classic Physique title while the Men’s Physique competition was awarded to France’s Youcee Djoudi.
As for the female divisions, Margarita Zamalova of the Checz Republic left with the first place trophy in women’s bodybuilding. Finland’s Minna Pajulahti would claim the top spot in Fitness by one judge’s point. Another UK athlete was victorious at this show. That would be Figure winner Rhea Gayle. In the Women’s Physique contest, Anne-Lorraine Mohn of France took top honors. Finally, the bikini division’s champion was Adrianna Kaczmarek of Poland. All of these winners will be seen again at the Olympia competing for their respective divisions’ world championship.
Featured Image: Instagram/hollingshead89