On Day 3 in Dubai, action moved to a more traditional setting inside the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
There were as many points on the board for today as there was in the previous two days of competition, as individuals and teams tackled three very different tests in hopes of making a push up the leaderboard before the final day.
The competition day kicked off with a max snatch event, and for leader Sam Briggs the event was all about damage control
“Since my surgery, I haven’t quite gotten the same range of motion that I had before in my elbow,” Briggs revealed before the event. “I hit a (post-surgery) PB of 165 not to long ago, so if I can hit 155 or 160 I’ll be happy and it should keep me in it.”
Briggs’ exceeded her own expectations with a 76kg/167lb lift that would place her 27th in the event but more importantly keep her in the overall lead heading into event 5. From an earlier heat, Mia Akerlund stole the show from a earlier heat with a 104/228lb lift that is now the heaviest recorded snatch by a female athlete in CrossFit competition.
In event 6 Jamie Greene, who showcased her muscle-up prowess by winning Amanda 45 at the Games her rookie year, was the only female athlete to do one of the three sets of 10 ring muscle-ups and easily won the event, jumping ahead of Sam Briggs for the overall lead by 4 points, but would give back the lead to Briggs to close the day in Event 7.
After a surprisingly poor finish in the desert run yesterday, Laura Horvath’s struggles continued as she was one of only 4 athletes to DNF event 6. Handstand push-ups have been a weakness for her in the past, and they all but dashed her chances of winning the event today. She failed to complete the 15 reps on the parrallete that were part of the buy in for the workout. Winning event 7 salvaged the day and moved her back into the top 10 overall, but any chances of her earning a trip to the Games this weekend have been squashed by the 118 point spread between her and leader Sam Briggs.
Sara Sigmundsdottir has quietly kept herself in the hunt after moving up to 3rd place on day 3, but made a huge mental mistake in the final event by not paying attention to the PA announcer counting down to the event start, and was standing in the middle of the floor when the event started and had to run back the start line before beginning the workout behind the rest of the top heat.
— Women: 1). Samantha Briggs (509), 2). Jamie Greene (475), 3). Sara Sigmundsdottir (473), 4). Karin Frey (461), 5). Bethany Shadburne (416), 6). Dani Speegle (411), 7). Harriet Roberts (409), 8). Alessandra Pichellis (403), 9). Laura Horvath (391), and 10). Gabriela Migala (375).
It was fun while it lasted, but the time of anyone else not named Mat Fraser on top of the leaderboard is pretty much over.
Fraser, who came into the day in 3rd, showed poise under pressure in the max snatch event, by quickly but calmly reloading after a missed snatch attempt, and hitting a 137kg/301lb snatch as the time cap drew close to literally snatch the event win away from Jason Smith and his 136kg/299lb lift from the previous heat.
The win moved Fraser into 1st overall, and after a 1st and 2nd in the next two events, he’s opened up a 40 point lead over 2nd place Willy Georges. Fraser has now won 3 events, and no other athlete, male or female, in the field has more than one.
Although both lost ground to Fraser after starting the day ahead of him on the leaderboard, Willy Georges and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson have set themselves up nicely for a podium spot as a consolation prize for making the trip to Dubai.
For Georges, he’s displayed the same consistency that made him a rookie sensation at games. After an 11th place finish at the beach to start the weekend, every finish has been 6th or better. If he can get through the handstand walks tomorrow unscathed he should leave Dubai with some hardware this weekend. Georges finished the handstand walk course at the Games second-to-last.
Gudmundsson is the only other athlete besides Fraser to finish every event so far inside the top 10, and doesn’t have a finish lower than 7th.
— Men: 1). Mathew Fraser (535), 2). Willy Georges (496), 3). BK Gudmundsson (493), 4). Travis Mayer (445), 5). Streat Hoerner (420), 6). Roman Khrennikov (409), 7). Connor Duddy (405), 8). Jason Smith (398), 9). Alex Kotoulas (371), and 10). Lazar Dukic (362).
In probably the most unorthodox day of team competition I’ve ever seen, a single athlete took center stage.
Tola Morakinyo straight up put his team, CrossFit Pro1, on his back for the first 2 events of the day. It started in event 4, the max snatch event, when Morakinyo lifted a ridiculous 150kg/330lbs, making it the heaviest snatch ever in CrossFIt competition history.
Shortly after in event 5, he was chosen as the lone athlete on his team to walk out onto the floor as each team selected one male to perform the same event 5 workout as the individuals as the team’s score. Confusing I know, but after going heavier than any athlete ever in the previous event, Morakinyo out dueled Travis Williams, Rasmus Andersen, Adrian Mundwilier, and Sam Dancer to win the event for his team.
For the final event of the day, the only workout where all four team members competed together but in an individual relay was won by…a team of Individuals. The aptly named Cassidy, Jenn, Adrian, Lukas team took home the win behind some impressive machine work by Lukas Esslinger. Esslinger, who won the marathon row at the Games this year, consistently held a 1:20-25 split time on the SkiErg, Rower, and BikeErg.
— Teams: 1). Invictus (555), 2). Team Sweden (535), 3). Team Omnicide (503), 4). Cassidy, Jen, Adrian, Lukas (501), 6). Training Think Tank (472), 7). Superheroproject (460), 8). CrossFit Pro1 (459), 9). Central Beasts (451), and 10). Team Butchers Lab (423).