If the Open Ended Today, Who Would Get Sanctionals Invites?

Mar 20, 2019 by

Four of five weeks are in and the 2019 CrossFit Open is nearly over. With national champion races and top 20 close to set, it will have broad implications on backfilling at Sanctionals.

The Games qualifying cutoff looks to be around 28th place for men and 32nd for women. There is certainly the possibility of a two-part workout showing up in 19.5, and that would shake things up, but it’s very likely this year’s Games athletes are on the first page.

Consider This: No athlete from outside the top 50 after week 4 has finished in the top 30.

Also coming into focus is who is poised to receive the Games invite from the first 5 Sanctionals that have already taken place: Dubai CrossFit Championship, Wodapalooza, Australian CrossFit Championship, Fittest in Cape Town and Strength in Depth.

Remember, if an athlete qualifies for the Games through the Open and they have an invite to the Games from a Sanctional, that Sanctional invite is passed down to the next athlete without a Games invite.

One quick observation: Keep your eye on Patrick Vellner. His first place finish at Wodapalooza secures him a ticket to the Games, but he currently sits in 38th, well within striking distance to qualify through the Open.

The silver lining: If Vellner does qualify through the Open AND Travis Mayer — currently 14th worldwide, who placed 2nd at Wodapalooza — qualify through the Open, then Noah Ohlsen (Wodapalooza, 3rd) will get the invite. Ohlsen currently sits in 73rd overall.

If the Open were to end today, these are the athletes who’d receive invites via Sanctionals:

Sanctionals Invites – Men
Roman Khrennikov
Dubai CF Championship 5
Bronislaw Olenkowicz
Strength in Depth 1
Sean Sweeney Fittest in Cape Town 1
James Newbury Australian CF Championship 1
Patrick Vellner Wodapalooza 1
Sanctionals Invites – Women
Bethany Shadburne
Dubai CF Championship 7
Thuridur Helgadottir
Strength in Depth 4
Mia Åkerlund Fittest in Cape Town 2
Maddie Sturt Australian CF Championship 2
Taylor Streid Wodapalooza 9

Some observations.

Dubai is STACKED — Looking back, the Dubai CrossFit Championship was deep in terms of athlete talent, so be ready to see the Dubai Games invite fall as far back as 7th for the women to Games veteran Bethany Shadburne. While it’s not looking like Bethany’s year in the Open, all 6 athletes in front of her in Dubai are currently top 30 in the Open and 4 of the 6 are ranked number 1 in their country.  On the men’s side the invite would currently fall back to Raman Khrennikov in 5th. However, Roman is second in Russia and if he ends up winning the Russian title the Dubai invite could fall all the way back to Connor Duddy in 8th.

Vellner is Noah Ohlsen’s BFF — Noah Ohslen should be Patrick Vellner’s #1 fan for the remainder of the Open. Patrick Vellner currently sits in 49th place overall, but if he can get back into the top 30 then Travis Mayer, who came in 2nd at Wodapalooza, likely has his training partner covering as he sits in 6th overall in the Open. After finding himself in 19th place after day one, Noah went on a tear at Wodapalooza to finish 3rd. Wodapalooza is currently Noah’s best shot at the Games because he took a 738th place finish in 19.1, which is keeping him outside of the top 100 in the Open currently. Then on the women’s side, the top 8 women at Wodapalooza are all currently in the top 25 in the Open. Again showing just how much talent was competing in these early Sanctionals. So the Wodapalooza Games invite would currently fall all the way back to Taylor Streid who finished 9th.

Right Place, Right Time — Two potential rookies are slated to find themselves at the CrossFit Games for the first time: Mia Akerlund who took second at Fittest in Cape Town and Taylor Streid who placed NINTH at Wodapalooza. We’ve said it time and time again, but every position counts in these early qualifying events and nowhere is that more evident that in Miami.

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