For the second weekend in a row, a fresh group of athletes have joined the 2019 Games field. After four days of competition for individuals, and three for teams, Katrin Davidsdottir, Sean Sweeney, and Vondelgym walked away as champions of the CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town, earning themselves invites to the CrossFit Games.
In a hotly contested men’s division, the “CrossFit Cowboy” Sean Sweeney managed to buck off Cole Sager and a handful of other Games athletes to win a competition filled with parity and lead changes.
The first three days of competition ended with a different man atop the leaderboard, with Sweeney donning the top spot after day two on the heels of a strong beach event to finish the day. Although he’d relinquish the lead to a fast charging Cole Sager at the end of day three, just six points separated them at the top with three workouts remaining.
The two horse race on the final day started with Sweeney getting the better of Sager on the first two events, giving Sweeney a 24 point lead with one workout remaining. No stranger to epic comebacks, Sager did his part by winning the final heat to finish the workout second overall. Sweeney was hot on his tail though and finished a dozen seconds later in third to seal his victory.
Sweeney – who’s previously qualified twice for the CrossFit Games – rebounded nicely from a less than stellar 22nd place finish at the Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival just two weeks prior. Despite having what he described as “by far the worst performance of my competitive fitness career,” in Miami, the former professional Saddle Bronc rider got back on his horse and rode it to the top of the Cape Town podium.
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After the last heat of the electric clean ladder we asked our visiting Cowboy if he could model our surprise gift to the individual athletes – only trick is that they obviously have to wear their new personalized Weight vests during tomorrow’s Sprint Murph before we give it to them. —- Thx @mifitness_za for making our athletes these to save as a (hopefully) great memory of Cape Town, but first we test them out tomorrow morning right? 😎 #CrossFit #FiCT2019 #Sanctionals #poweredbymifitness
It may have been a closer race than she anticipated, but heavy favorite Katrin Davidsdottir still accomplished her mission by out-dueling Mia Akerlund, and Alessandra Pichelli to earn her invite back for her 7th trip to the Games.
After finishing the first day of competition in 5th place overall, Davidsdottir showed the competitive drive that led her to two consecutive CrossFit Games titles by battling her way back to the top to finish each of the following three days in the overall lead.
By the end of day two, she’d built a twenty-six point lead over Akerlund, and it looked as if she’d start to run away with the competition. The powerful Swede came back swinging, winning back to back workouts to finish day three in second and pull within six points of Davidsdottir.
The Icelandic champion never flinched, and on the final day Davidsdottir shut the door on Akerlund and the rest of the women’s field by winning the first two workouts of the day en route to a fifty plus point victory that was much closer than the point spread would indicate.
Davidsdottir has now secured her chance to build off a strong performance at the Games in 2018 that landed her on the podium in 3rd.
In a massive field of more than seventy teams from South Africa, Vondelgym – the lone team from the Netherlands – took home the top spot and invite to the Games.
With so many teams in the field, The Fittest in Cape Town organizers utilized a scoring system with a 300 and 150 point scale for teams – typical scoring is on a 100 or 50 point scale – that made for a larger point spread between finishes amongst teams in individual events.
Despite the larger spread, the Vondelgym team eeked out a narrow 4 point victory over 2nd place Superheroproject from Sweden.
The Vondelgym team, who finished 33rd at the 2018 CrossFit Games, only won three events to Superheroproject’s six, but they capitalized on a pair of mistakes by the Swedes.
Two of Vondelgym’s wins came in 300 point events where Superheroproject finished in 7th – their two lowest finishes of the weekend – and helped Vondelgym make up a massive 160 points. Going into the final, Superheroproject held a 5 point lead meaning the final workout was winner-take-all.
Vondelgym’s second place finish came seven seconds ahead of the Swedes and gave them the overall win and a second consecutive trip to the CrossFit Games.