Hometown Favorite David Shorunke Gets Strength in Depth Games Invitation
Earning your first trip to the CrossFit Games as an individual is an accomplishment most athletes in the sport only dream about. Earning your first individual trip in front of thousands of your countrymen and women, in your hometown, was a dream-come-true for the UK’s David Shorunke at Strength in Depth this past weekend.
Seven years in the making: Shorunke burst onto the scene in 2014, qualifying for Regionals in his first year and finishing 10th at a stacked Europe Regional that included 7 different athletes that now have individual Games experience.
- Two years later Shorunke would get his first taste of the CrossFit Games, relocating to Sweden and qualifying as part of team Nordic Opex. They would go on to finish 6th overall in what would be the Games’ last year in California.
- Once the Games moved to Madison, it would be another 3 years before Shorunke would return to live CrossFit competition.
New system, new hope: After changes to the CrossFit Games system brought Sanctioned competition to his hometown of London, Shorunke nearly earned his first individual trip to Games last season.
- A third-place finish and podium at the 2019 Strength in Depth meant Shorunke was just two spots shy of earning an invite.
- A knee injury put a damper on the rest of Shorunke’s season last year, and 2019 Strength in Depth would be his only individual competition.
Fast forward to this season, and Shorunke nearly qualified through the 2020 Open — finishing 35th worldwide, just two spots away from a backfill invite for a top 20 spot and the national champion spot for the United Kingdom. Despite the near-miss, it was a career-best finish that put the wheels in motion towards qualifying.
- Shorunke would return to the competition floor first on a JST Compete team at the Filthy 150 in Ireland, followed by an Individual appearance at the Dubai CrossFit championship alongside his countrymen Elliot Simmonds and Zack George.
His shining moment would come in London, where he caught fire after day one — winning the on-water rowing event, and never finishing an event lower than 4th the rest of the way, setting up an exciting race with Lukas Hogberg for the invite on the final day.
- In the last event, with his invite on the line and only 9 points between him and Hogberg, Shorunke mounted a comeback on the final barbell to pass Hogberg and secure his first-ever individual invitation to the CrossFit Games.
- Shorunke on the moment: “I think anyone who’s worked at a goal like this, for as long as I have, like six, seven years, understands there are no words that can describe how wonderful it is, that the work you’ve put in, that the people that have put in work around you and supported you, it’s finally paid off.”
The added treat of getting to share his accomplishment with a hometown crowd was not lost on the London native.
“To do it on home soil, there’s no better place in the world to qualify.”