It feels like it was just yesterday that Shawn Rhoden beat Phil Heath at Mr Olympia 2018 and thereby made the world of bodybuilding tremble. This transition of power proved impressively that in just one day a big surprise can happen, though almost everyone had viewed the competition as predetermined. But before one can pull a stunt like Rhoden, one has to qualify for the prestigious show in Las Vegas first. A lot of athletes had the chance to do so at the Chicago Pro last weekend which proved to be an exciting event.
A large starter field of 25 IFBB pros of the open class participated at the Chicago Pro 2019 to fight for the win. This is a relatively high number of athletes, if we compare it to the British Grand Prix 2019 from two weeks ago where only around half as many competitors entered the stage. In spite of this, one could spot a few favorites pretty quickly, for instance Michael Lockett and Charles Griffen who already showed last year that they’re able to win competitions and to qualify for Mr Olympia.
Especially Michael Lockett is an interesting personality. He had to walk in the big shoes of Kai Greene whom he had to replace at MuscleMeds. Together with Akim Williams and Nick Trigili, the US-American inherited the place of the migrated New Yorker who wanted to start an own business with his brand Dynamik Muscle in 2015.
In the meantime, Michael Lockett developed into one of the best bodybuilders in the world, as he proved again a few days ago at the Chicago Pro.
In the end, the scorecard showed a clear winner. But especially the pictures suggest an intense battle between Michael Lockett and Charles Griffen that seemed pretty open, though, ultimately, the judges voted for Lockett unanimously. Maybe the former MuscleMeds athlete enjoyed a small bonus because he won the show one year ago? We can’t affirm this hypothesis, but there were other decisions, for instance in the 212 division, that were questionable too.
But let’s go on: Essa Obaid ranked directly behind Lockett and Griffin and therefore secured a place on the winner’s podium. As always, Lukas Osladil convinced with a brilliant form and finished fourth. He will have another attempt to go for a medal at the Vancouver Pro next weekend. An Nguyen and Sergey Kulaev completed the top 6.
With his triumph at the Chicago Pro 2019 Lockett not only qualified for Mr Olympia, but he also won the competition in Illinois for the second time. About a year ago, the IFBB pro from Cleveland, Ohio fought an epic battle against Sergio Olivia Jr, a few days ago it was Charles Griffen who had to content himself with the runner-up position. It remains to be seen though, if the US-American will stand a chance in Vegas this September since he only finished on rank 15 in 2018.
Chicago Pro 2019 – Men’s Open Top 6
- Michael Lockett
- Charles Griffin
- Essa Obaid
- Lukas Osladil
- An Nguyen
- Sergey Kulaev
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