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by Shawn Perine
March 7, 2009
In an impressive performance Kai Greene won the 2009 Arnold Classic (and a check for $130,000) to thunderous applause here at Columbus, Ohio’s Veteran’s Memorial Convention Center tonight. With a combination of preternatural mass, stellar conditioning and an award winning posing routine, Kai not only wowed the audience, but the judges as well, as was apparent by his winning every round.
Finishing second was Victor Martinez, whose award (and a check for a cool $75k) was met with a smattering of boos, from fans of the intensely muscular Branch Warren, who ended up in third. While Victor’s upper body may be the best around, his legs are a shade behind and while his conditioning was good, it paled in comparison with that of the likes of Kai, Branch, Toney Freeman and Silvio Samuel. Still, Victor Martinez did nothing to hurt his reputation, setting himself up as a pre-Olympia fav.
Warren won the most muscular award in addition to his third place finish. Clearly this was Branch’s best-ever showing and few in attendance would have complained had the Texan been awarded the top title, so popular is his freaky form and crowd-pleasing sensibilities.
In fourth place was Toney Freeman, who looked depleted next to such juggernauts as Greene, Martinez and Warren. He still showed his trademark X-frame and excellent conditioning, but was flat.
A clearly disappointed Silvio Samuel accepted his fifth place award and proceeded to pull off his participation medal in disappointment before taking his place next to sixth place winner, Mo Elmoussawi.
Elmoussawi tightened up and got a haircut between the prejudging and night shows and proved a popular contestant with the crowd.
Congratulations to 2009 Arnold Classic Champion Kai Greene, whose name now deserves to be mentioned among the early favorites at this year’s Mr. Olympia competition.
MEN’S FINAL RESULTS
1. Kai Greene
2. Victor Martinez
3. Branch Warren
4. Toney Freeman
5. Silvio Samuel
6. Moe El Moussawi
7. Dennis James
8. Sergey Shelestov
9. Johnnie Jackson
10. Ronny Rockel
11. Gustavo Badell
12. Ahmad Haidar
13. Marcus Haley