This weekend Brent Fikowski will make his sanctioned event debut as a heavy favorite taking the competition floor at the Asia CrossFit Championship in Shanghai, China.
The competition represents the halfway point of the sanctional schedule, but for the man dubbed “The Professor” the stakes make this weekend’s test is more of a final exam than a midterm.
Fikowski does not have a spot at the Games yet and failed to earn one from the CrossFit Games Open. Admittedly, he’s not a great “Open athlete,” and typically shines in the live competition environment of Regionals and the Games.
It’s the reason why he planted his flag firmly in China before the season started, stating his intent to compete in the sanctioned event there before all the final details of the competition were even released.
At first glance it was another strategic maneuver by the Professor to give himself an edge in making it back to Games. As the season has unfolded however, he may have painted himself into a difficult corner if he doesn’t win in China.
After this weekend there will be seven sanctioned events left where Fikowski could potentially compete again if he needed too. Unfortunately, the timing and rules of those events realistically narrows it down to two upon further inspection.
Reasons why these seven are out:
- Reykjavik CrossFit Challenge: Takes place the weekend after Asia. The travel and turnaround takes it off the table
- Down Under CrossFit Championship, The Rogue Invitational, and Brazil CrossFit Championship: All three take place at the same time, the weekend of May 18th. Only one is an option. Both Brazil and Down Under have set their rosters and would require extensive travel.
- The Lowlands Throwdown and The Granite Games: Takes place the same weekend at the end of May, beginning of June. Can only choose one, and could potentially get a wild card invite from the Granite Games. The Lowlands event’s travel makes it not ideal.
- The French Throwdown: All potential athletes must do the qualifier, and there are no special invites. Fikowski is not doing to the qualifier since is it coincides with China this weekend.
That leaves the Rogue Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, and the Granite Games, in St. Cloud, Minnesota as the only viable options after this weekend.
Fikowski revealed in his recent appearance on the Talking Elite Fitness Podcast that given his recovery and the travel back from China, that the turnaround for Rogue would leave him at less than 100%. Still, the prize money, talent pool, and the fact that nearly all of the athletes that are confirmed have a spot already make it attractive. It’s possible that a top ten finish at Rogue could earn an invite.
In a worst-case scenario, Fikowski lines up at the Granite Games without a spot and having competed at two events on different continents in less than a month. The likelihood of that happening is low – he’s by far the most accomplished athlete in the men’s competition – but given the what’s left on the table it’s paramount that he handles business at the Asia CrossFit Championship.