The National Theatre, Singapore, was the venue for this great event which was formerly known as the I.F.B.B Amateur Mr Universe contest.

Prejudging Digital Video
Finals Digital Video

If you rate a contest for sheer value for money as to the physiques on display, this one would take beating as 128 men were entered representing 46 countries. Notable absentees were the Czechoslovakians who could have fielded a very strong team, but I understand that finances or politics prevented their attendance. Of the men entered, the majority were of a very high standard and worthy representatives for their country. However fifteen or sixteen men should not have been on the same stage as the rest, as a World Championship is not the place for novices to gain their senior or first international experience.

A good point was the rapid pruning out of contestants in the first round lineups for each weight class. These men did not get to present their individual posing routines, although they do pose for a short period as a team at the evening finals. It is a long way to travel for many of these men whose only appearance is in the initial prejudging lineup, in the parade of nations and then the team posing.

On the other hand, it is a great honor to represent ones country and to obtain an overseas trip to this great event. This needs to be balanced against a suitable qualifying entry standard, similar to the Olympics and other international events.

The prejudging was destined to be a long and grueling test of stamina for all concerned, and in particular the officials Oscar State and Jack Blommaert, as the prejudging panels were changed for each class. Pre-judging commenced at 9 am on the Friday being half an hour earlier than advertised, and this proved to be a wise decision, as the prejudging continued on for a further 9 hours.

The competition was given marvelous coverage by the Singapore press with articles and photos in the daily newspaper for several days. The newspaper often referred to the winner as being Mr Universe, and when I was speaking to Charles Glass after his great victory he referred to himself as Mr Universe, stating that he would now be preparing himself for the Mr Olympia. Maybe the old name for this title should still be used in conjunction with its newer name of World Bodybuilding Champion, which does not seem so popular with the body builders.

Bantamweight Class
This class of 19 was narrowed down to 13 semifinalists in the first round, and from these men the judges selected 6 finalists. It seemed obvious to me that the man to beat was the German Herman Hoffend as he had size, shape and excellent proportion. In fact he appeared larger than the other men as if he really belonged In the next class.

Antonio Stella of Italy was also a real contender and won the most Improved physique award. Alain Leroy of New Caledonia had a great upper body and local Singapore idol Fatholomein Ali posed with great style and charisma to the music of KOMISSAR. However, Ali hurt his chances by posing for too long and including many side poses quite unsuited to his physique, as they made him look very small. The two Japanese ISHIMURA and CHINA were the other semifinalists and both had huge legs but lacking in separation.

On the subject of music I couldn’t figure out whether the free posing was being done to the music selected by the contest D.Js as so many men posed to the same music, or whether it was the contestants own personal music. The music problem continued at the show finals the next day when Chuck Williams of U.S.A suffered a long delay while his cassette was being found. Chuck was patiently waiting on stage in nervous agony till his music finally started. The giant German Rolf Moller was not so fortunate. When he came on stage the D.Js played the wrong music. Moller looked confused and upset and refused to start posing. His coach called him off the posing platform as panic swept the show officials. As they searched for the correct tape, Bob Paris was asked to pose as he was due to be next man on. When Paris had completed his routine, Moller’s tape had still not been found, and being a true sportsman, he posed to another piece of music and the matter was forgotten.

Light Weight Class.
There were 21 in this outstanding class and they were soon narrowed down to the best Six men. I felt that Appie Steenbeek of Holland was the man to beat, fresh from his recent victory in the European Body Building Championships. Dr Jesse Lujan of U.S.A. was also a top contender and he and all the Americans conducted themselves on stage like true champions with grace, style and confidence. The Americans acted like true professionals as if they expected to win and their confidence was projected towards the judges in a way which impressed me.

However, Jesse appeared to stand back a little compared to the aggression shown by Steenbeek in the comparisons and pose downs. I don’t know if it was over confidence or lack of international competition, but Steenbeek pushed himself to the centre at all times, virtually elbowing competitors aside or jumping onto the front of the stage to get closer to the judges. Of the twelve comparison calls made by the judges, Appie had to step forward seven times, the first six In succession. Apart from Jesse, his chief rivals were Mike Piliotis of England and the German Wilhelm Jasinowski. Piliotis is a 40 year old veteran with great experience and was In the best shape of his life as he used to compete at a higher body weight. The other two finalists were Calvin Nyuli of Canada and Reijo KIVIOJA of Sweden.

While Piliotis was great overall, Lujan had near perfect shape and symmetry but appeared rather small when next to Steenbeek. The Dutchman, who is a full time body builder had an amazing back and huge upper body with adequate legs, and dynamic posing. That’s the way the judges saw it as he inflicted the only defeat on a member of the American team.

Middle Weight Class
A huge line up of 42 men who had to line up in an arc across the stage in two separate groups. It was a nightmare for the judges to select 6 finalists from so many outstanding men, and some truly great physiques did not make the final cut. They included Masashi ENOMOTO of Japan, Daniel COUSSIEU and Esteve ALCAIDE of France, Glenn GRAVENBEEK of Holland, and Marc BOLDUC of Canada.

It was a three way battle between U.S.A’s Charles Glass, Erwin Note of Belgium and Erwin Knoller of Germany, with Glass being in the best shape I have seen him and also lighter than in previous years when he has competed up to 200 lbs body weight. His transformation was amazing and his overall balance, shape and presentation proved too much for Note who came up one place from last year. Perhaps 1984 will be his year as he always seems to improve. Apart from the symmetry of Glass, his great athletic ability was obvious when he finished his posing routine with a gymnastics back flip.

Knoller was huge and outstanding but not as ripped as Note. Next was the smiling Egyptian EL SHAHAT MABROUK, Mr Personality. He was huge, particularly heavy in the thighs with small calves and this lack of symmetry probably cost him a higher placing. He declined to march on stage with his team mates for the parade of Nations at the show and was also strangely absent from the team posing round which was most disconcerting for the Egyptian officials. He preferred to sit in the audience until he posed in his class posedown.

On placing fourth, he showed his displeasure by not striking any poses for the official class photos. It was pleasing to note that all other competitors accepted their placings with a smile and good sportsmanship and I would congratulate the judges on an outstanding job. I could not disagree with any of their decisions as in my opinion they got it right, and I heard almost no complaints.

Two other finalists to impress In this class were Lars LUNDE of Norway making a comeback and happy to place 5th, and Martin ALAMANGO of England who showed great potential and good symmetry and muscularity. A final point of interest in this class was the differing styles of Glass and Note in the pose-down. Glass remained cool, calm and unemotional while Note worked very hard in all the comparisons and in the heat of Singapore he looked totally exhausted at the conclusion. However, Glass was called for more comparisons than I have seen at any contest in the past and he told me later that although he also felt drained and exhausted due to the high humidity, he managed to disguise the fact.

Light Heavy Weight Class
This Class of 28 was a mixture of good physiques and not so good physiques, as some of the men were carrying too much body fat and were only making up the number.

I was immediately impressed by Chuck Williams of U.S.A. who seemed a clear winner, and also Reiman of Finland, who has had plenty of International experience. The judges selected 11 semifinalists as follows, with the first 6 going on to the final.  Dirk Warnez of Belgium in his comeback as I believe his large major contest was in 1970. KOYAMA of Japan, Ian Dowe of England, Ulf LARSSON of Sweden, Chuck Williams, Keijo REIMAN, Albert OSTERMAYR of Germany, Gunther KOHOUT of Austria, Angelito LESTA of England, Lea BERTHELETTE of Canada and Graeme LANCEFIELD of Australia.

Reiman, like Note, is improving each year and seems headed for the Gold, but this year he had to settle for the Silver, as Chuck Williams overpowered him with sheer muscle size and muscularity. What he lacks in symmetry is made up for by looking like a ripped Bertil Fox, and with Reiman showing a lack of muscularity in the thighs, I felt that Chuck was an obvious winner. There was enough high voltage bristling on stage between these two, not to mention the heavy weights, to really make this a “live” performance. Angelito Lesta was disappointing as he is one of the worlds top posers but seemed “off” in this competition, but has enormous potential to win in the future.

Heavy Weight Class
The audience was as hot as the competition by the time the 18 heavyweights finally came on stage. It was a very strong class and these are the men the audience really enjoy as the giants do battle for the coveted first place trophy. An immediate standout, literally, was the 6’9″ (2.1 M) German giant Rolf Moller. It is hard to describe him as he was like a larger version of Arnold, with good shape and symmetry in view of his size, and the potential to be the biggest and best body builder we have ever seen. I don’t know his weight but it must have been at least 260 lbs and he was ripped, displaying superb abdominals, and a very competitive spirit on stage. The lost music tape didn’t bother him too much as he attempted to psyche out Bob Paris by standing behind him in the pose downs and doing double bicep poses above Paris to try and make him look small.

The audience loved this and went wild, which didn’t impress Paris too much as he moved to the other side of the stage. However, Moller followed him several times till Paris gave up in disgust. Moller’s posing routine also looked very much like Arnold’s old posing routine.

Again it was a three way battle between Paris of U.S.A, Berry De Mey of Holland and Moller, with Paris and De Mey so close I found it nearly impossible to separate them. DeMey was huge, cut, very impressive from every angle and for his height and size, had great symmetry.  Bob Paris also had it all, size, perfect muscle shape and proportion giving him the elegant look of a winner, plus the degree of definition, confidence and style necessary to pull him through in a very close decision. You could call it luck as either man would have been a worthy winner, with Paris probably displaying a greater degree of control and professionalism in the final pose-down. Moller was not far behind and clearly superior to Christian JANATSCH of Austria who appeared small beside the top 3 men.

Janatsch was fortunate, however, as he nearly missed the judging, and he had the beautiful Rachel McLish to help him oil up.

Karl KAINRATH of Austria, an old campaigner came 5th followed by Roy CHAVES of England. At the prejudging I felt that DeMey had an edge in the back and the abs, but at the show Paris seemed to have lost excess fluid and pulled ahead overall, so “Paris rules the world” for the next year. He will be a worthy contender in the pros and has his sights firmly set on the Mr Olympia. In conclusion a few notes on the show, which was attended by approximately two and a half thousand fans. The show ran just over 4 and a half hours, partly because too many cultural items were included which had no connection with physical culture.

There were also many delays or flat spots when Oscar State could have used some help on the microphone to fill in while he was waiting for judges’ results from posedowns etc., as it was a tremendous burden for Oscar to carry at the age of 72. An assistant M.C. would have made the show run more smoothly. The Austrians presented an incredible team posing display and deserved their win in this section, as it was obviously well choreographed and rehearsed. Other top teams were Germany, U.S.A and Holland.

The team points trophy based on results in each class was won by U.S.A. with Germany second and Holland third. The Two guest posers were Rachel McLish and Lydia CHENG from U.S.A. and they were really appreciated.

However, I felt that both Rachel and the audience were disrespected by a movie camera person who came on stage while Rachel was posing and circled her while filming as close as 3 or 4 feet away from Rachel. Being a true professional, Rachel ignored the camera lady whose actions were most unprofessional and marred the exhibition for most people.

In the end it was a close but worthy victory by Bob Paris over Berry De Mey.  As I saw it the result could have gone either way.


Overall Winner: BOB PARIS USA

1 Bob Paris (United States)
2 Berry de Mey (Netherlands)
3 Ralf Moeller (West Germany)
4 Christian Janatsch (Austria)
5 Karl Kainrath (Austria)
6 Roy Chavez (United Kingdom)
7 Alfred Neugebauer (Austria)
8 Jyrki Savolainen (Australia)
9 Henning Hanse (Denmark)
10 Steve Keesa (Canada)

1 Chuck Williams (United States)
2 Keijo Reiman (Finland)
3 Ian Dowe (United Kingdom)
4 Ulf Larsson (Sweden)
5 Yasushi Koyama (Japan)
6 Dirk Warnez (Belgium)
7 Graeme Lancefield (Australia)
8 Les Berthelette (Canada)
9 Gunther Kohaut (Germany)
10 Albert Ostermayr (Germany)
11 Angelito Lesta (England)

1 Charles Glass (United States)
2 Erwin Note (Belgium)
3 Erwin Knoller (West Germany)
4 El Shahat Mabrouk (Egypt)
5 Lars Lunde (Norway)
6 Martin Alamango (England)
7 Esteve Alcaide (France)
8 Lourenco Brasil (Brazil)
9 Marc Bolduc (Canada)
10 Glenn Gravenbeek (Netherlands)
11 Michel Dermaux (Belgium)

1 Appie Steenbeek (Netherlands)
2 Michael Piliotis (England)
3 Jesse Lujan (United States)
4 Wilhelm Jasinowski (West Germany)
5 Calvin Nyuli (Canada)
6 Reijo Kivioja (Finland)
7 Antonio Venegas (Netherlands)
8 Park Yung Chul (Korea)
9 Didier Cabrol (France)
10 Ali El Rahman (Lebanon)

1 Herman Hoffend (West Germany)
2 Antonio Stella (Italy)
3 Alain Leroy (New Caledonia)
4 Fatholomein Ali (Singapore)
5 Katsumi Ishimura (Japan)
6 Sadakatsu China (Japan)
7 Kit Meejom (Indonesia)
8 Greg Dwyer (Australia)
9 Megahed Hassanein (Lebanon)
10 Bachtiar Zarmi (Indonesia)
11 Paul Thill (Luxemburg)
12 Peter Lotriet (France)
13 Song Ye Shieh (Vietnam)