It may seem ludicrous to say that a field of 38 competitors is a disappointment, but that is a fact for the men’s physique division at the upcoming 2016 Arnold Classic. If you recall, this year’s MPD casting call was quite different from what everyone has become used to at the shows that carry the name of The Austrian Oak. So instead of a special invite for the cream of the crop, it was a race to the post office for the boys in the board shorts.
How can anyone forget the details from the official IFBB release? The first 50 competitors who sent in their pro card renewal form (and check) with a signed Arnold Classic contract would be guaranteed a spot at prejudging.
And the final 10 standing would get their trip paid for and an invite to the finals. So it seemed a bit odd that when the official competitor’s lists were released, there were only 38 names for MPD.
If your theory is that perhaps the promoters had a moment of clarity and realized that they had misspoken by inviting so many, women’s physique had the same rules and they are actually 54 deep! Sounds as if those extra four arrived from the post office at the same time as the 50th.
So come next weekend in Columbus, Ohio, there will actually be 12 empty spots on that prejudging stage for MPD. Is that an indication of the division as a whole? It seems that it may be in a period of transition with the creation of men’s classic physique and the press release from Jim Manion that MPD competitors need to concentrate on symmetry over size.
“We decided to take all who applied,” said Arnold Classic media contact Brent Lalonde. “A few did drop out but we ended up with 38 and 54.”
From here, it appears that this plan backfired on MPD but worked better for WPD…and that division was originally out of the New York Pro (but later added) due to a lack of interest for sponsor money and ticket sales.
At what point does the IFBB stop adding divisions and fixing the ones that already exist?
Photo by Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo