CrossFit Games

Data Crunch: Probability of Finishing Top 25 Given Week 1 Performance

February 27, 2019 by
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Week 1 of the 2019 Open is in the books, so it’s time to crunch the numbers, do a little analysis and make some predictions.

While only the top 20 in the Open are guaranteed a ticket to the CrossFit Games, with the top athlete from
each country also getting a Games ticket and their “top 20” ticket getting passed down, it’s likely the cutoff will extend to around the top 30.

To be conservative in our estimates we backed that number down to the top 25 and calculated the probability of an athlete finishing in the top 25 given their event 1 performance. This is shown in the graph below:

In the past 4 years, there have only been 10 athletes who were outside the top 250 after event 1 that ended up in the top 25. Oddly, 6 of those 10 occurrences were last year, with Scott Panchik making the largest jump from 631st to 13th. Open 19.1 has some obvious similarities to 18.1, so it will not be surprising if we see a similar shakeup this year.

The charts below contain the top 19.1 finishers and their odds of finishing in the top 25, as well as the Sanctional winners and their current rank. How these champions do will have major impacts on the other top finishers in their Sanciontals. If these champions can qualify for the Games through the Open, this can create a cascading effect as their Games invite from their Sanctional win is passed down one or more spots. However, some champions have a much better chance of making this happen than others.

[chart title=’Top Male Finishers on 19.1 + Sanctionals Winners’]

2
RANKNAMECOUNTRYSCORECOUNTY RANKPROBABILITY OF FINISHING TOP 25COMP
3
1
Snorre Fjaagesund
Norway411 Reps149%
4
1Lazar DukicSerbia411 Reps149%
5
3Alex WertheimU.K.409 Reps147%
6
4Niklas HechtU.S.403 Reps146%
7
5Travis MeadU.S.400 Reps244%
8
5Jason CarrollU.S.400 Reps344%
9
7Travis MayerU.S.399 Reps439%
10
7Zachery BuntinU.S.399 Reps539%
11
7
Jean-Simon Roy-Lemaire
Canada399 Reps139%
12
7BK GudmundssonIceland399 Reps139%
13
7Simon MantylaSweden399 Reps139%
14
7Lukas HogbergSweden399 Reps239%
15
13Kristof HorvathHungary398 Reps133%
16
13Adam KlinkU.S.398 Reps633%
17
13Matt MortonU.S.398 Reps733%
18
60Mathew FraserU.S.387 Reps2812%Dubai
19
194Patrick VellnerCanada378 Reps143%WZA
20
221Sean SweeneyU.S.376 Reps852%Cape Town
21
309James NewburyAustralia371 Reps20<1%ACC
22
469
Bronislaw Olenkowicz
Poland365 Reps9<1%SiD

[/chart]
[chart title=’Top Female Finishers on 19.1 + Sanctionals Winners’]

2
RANKNAMECOUNTRYSCORECOUNTY RANKPROBABILITY OF FINISHING TOP 25COMP
3
1Olivia LeeperU.S.371 Reps150%
4
2Mikaela NormanSweden366 Reps149%
5
3Danielle SidellU.S.361 Reps247%
6
4Annie ThorisdottirIceland358 Reps145%
7
4Karin FreyovaSlovakia358 Reps145%
8
6Sam BriggsU.K.355 Reps143%Dubai
9
7
Sara Sigmundsdottir
Iceland350 Reps242%SiD
10
8Lotte HeemstraNetherlands349 Reps141%
11
9Amanda BarnhartU.S.348 Reps339%
12
10Alison StallU.S.346 Reps437%
13
10Melissa DollU.S.346 Reps537%
14
12Abigail GrahamU.S.345 Reps635%
15
12Rachel GreenU.S.345 Reps735%
16
14Jillian SmithU.S.344 Reps831%
17
14Dani SpeegleU.S.344 Reps931%
18
14Lucy CampbellU.K.344 Reps231%
19
55Katrin DavidsdottirIceland333 Reps313%Cape Town
20
89Tia-Clair ToomeyAustralia327 Reps38%WZA
21
201Madeline SturtAustralia321 Reps133%ACC

[/chart]

A caveat on these odds, one thing we know from simulating tournament outcomes is that the best athletes are consistent, and even if they have mediocre starts (by their standards) they usually find a way back to the top. So MatFraser and Tia-Claire Toomey have a much better chance of finishing in the top 25 than their 12% and 8% chances respectively…if they want to. And that’s the question we don’t yet know the answer to. How much does the Open really matter to the athletes who have already secured their tickets to the Games?

Finally, there were many questions about how height influenced athlete performance in 19.1, and it certainly did, but only weakly for the elite athletes. The impact of height was quite significant for athletes whose talent puts them around the 90th percentile or 50th percentile alike, but for athlete’s in or above the 99.99th percentile it’s not as significant. For this reason, it was hard to make sweeping adjustments to the scores for the top athletes, though logically we can assume that some of these top athletes with the best scores on 19.1 will regress back in upcoming workouts. Or maybe not, and they came into the 2019 Open just that prepared.

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