With the momentum of Shawn Ray’s Colorado Pro/Am Championships behind it, the 2006 IFBB New York Pro is set to light up the sport of bodybuilding at the midway point of the competitive season.

This year’s New York Pro lineup is a particularly stellar one, with the inclusion of the sport’s brightest new light, Phil Heath, fresh off his win in Denver this past weekend. With his 1,000-watt smile and near-flawless proportions, Heath is primed to shine in the city that never sleeps.

Of course, Colorado Pro runner-up Darrem Charles probably has designs on grabbing the spotlight for himself in NYC. In a whisper-close loss to “The Gift”, Darrem presented his best-ever form and served notice yet again that he is one of pro bodybuilding’s elite.

Dave Henry took third in Colorado, and could very well be in contention for top honors in the Big Apple as well. None other than Phil Heath himself praised the otherwordly development of the new Giant Killer’s back, not to mention his front, sides and everywhere else.

But while many of the Colorado Pro contestants will take the stage in New York this weekend, a few fresh faces will be on hand to spice up the proceedings. Shari Kamali has not competed since taking 11th in last year’s Arnold Classic. Word is, however, that “King” is ready to unveil a new, improved physique on the Tribeca Performing Arts Center stage. Perennial top ten Olympia finisher Dennis James and uberman Markus Ruhl have also decided to take Manhattan, a city that likes its bodybuilders the way it likes its buildings: LARGE.

Speaking of big, Russia’s Alex Federov will be competing for the second time on U.S. soil (last year’s Olympia was his first appearance) as he tries to earn an Olympia qualification. Will his pec tear hold him back? Will he simply outmass all comers? We shall see…

In fact, if you want to see for yourself how the action plays out this weekend and can’t make it to NYC, go to bodybuilding.com for a live webcast of the proceedings. And be sure to check in right here, at flexonline.com after the day’s prejudging photos and report and after the evening finals for all the results.

2006 IFBB New York Men’s Pro Bodybuilding Championships
Tribeca Performing Arts at BMCC
199 Chambers Street, New York, NY
May 20, 2006
Prejudging: 2 pm
Finals: 7:30 pm
For ticket information, call 516-933-1111 or visit http://www.bevfrancis.com/shows.html

Competitor List

Eddie Abbew – England
Oliver Adzievski – Sweden
Pablo Arevalo – Peru
Jason Arntz – USA
Eryk Bui – USA
Darrem Charles – Trinidad
Aiman Faour – Germany
Alexander Fedorov – Russia
Miguel Filho – USA
Toney Freeman – USA
Hunni Glanville – England
Marcus Haley – USA
Phil Heath – USA
David Henry – USA
Jaroslav Horvath – Czech Republic
Pavol Jablonicky – Czech Republic
Dennis James – Germany
King Kamali – USA
Martin Kjellstrom – Sweden
Jeff Long – USA
Evgeny Mishin – Russia
Johnny Moya – USA
Edson Prado – Brazil
Markus Ruhl – Germany
Rodney St. Cloud – USA
Tommi Thorvildsen– Norway
Reza Amin Torabi – Canada
Ricky Welling – England
Bill Wilmore – USA
Luke Wood – Australia