Under Fire, Lefteris Theofanidis’ 20.3 Video Receives Backlash

Oct 30, 2019 by

We’re three weeks into the CrossFit Games Open, and there has been no shortage of drama regarding penalties, video submissions, and standards. Now Greece’s 2019 national champion, Lefteris Theofanidis, the current worldwide leader on the men’s side, is in the crosshairs of some criticism over his 20.3 video submission. The resulting backlash has even drawn a response from Theofanidis via Instagram.

One big thing: The issue isn’t the movement but the standard of his video submission and how Theofanidis and his helpers take the measurements for his handstand pushup line for the Diane portion of the workout.

  • Red flag #1: When establishing the initial line at the top of Theofanidis’ head, rather than using a flat object to measure the line, the measurers appear to eyeball the measurement and place a finger on the wall that appears lower than the top of his head.
  • Red flag #2: The camera repeatedly lets the measurement lines, and process in general, move out of frame from camera view. The measure also switches which finger he’s using to mark the line on the wall, switching from his index finger to his middle finger, and it’s unclear whether the measurement line moves as a result.
  • Red flag #3: When measuring the length of his forearm from his elbow to the knuckle furthest from the wall (as stated in the workout standards), his forearm clearly measures between 35 and 36 centimeters. As stated by the rules, half of that measurement, roughly 17.5-18 centimeters, should be added to the measurement line, but the helpers only add 16 centimeters to the line.

It should be noted: As of Wednesday at 5pm, Theofanidis’ video has been formally voted on the CrossFit Games website 103 times in total.

  • 36 people judged the workout saying the workout is good, 39 people judged the workout as the score needing modification, and 28 people judged the workout as the entire workout submission being rejected.

CrossFit Inc. has yet to make any official announcement or ruling, and since Theofanidis is in a qualifying spot, his video will be reviewed by CrossFit Games officials.

The implications of the impending ruling are huge. We’re talking about the worldwide leader in the Open, and if the workout receives a major penalty or the submission as a whole is invalidated, it would be a death blow to Theofanidis’ chances of qualifying through the Open.


CrossFit Open

Lefteris Theofanidis



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