The Norwegian CrossFit Championship Next on Tap for Games Hopefuls
A winter wonderland awaits CrossFit athletes looking for their ticket to the 2020 CrossFit Games at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship. The seventh Sanctional of the season will be held February 14-16 in Gol, Norway, one of the northernmost cities to host a Games qualifying event.
What’s on the line: Elite individuals and teams will be competing for the coveted invitation to the 2020 CrossFit Games. The top three finishers in the elite individual and team divisions also receive a cash prize.
- $1,300 USD
- $543 USD
- $326 USD
Who to watch: The men’s and women’s divisions feature a combined 56 athletes competing for the Games invitation. Thirty teams will compete to become the sixth to punch their ticket to Madison, Wisconsin.
- Twenty six countries will be represented in the individual divisions, among them are five CrossFit Games Open national champions who have already received their invitations to the Games. Those athletes include Nicolay Billaudel (Norway) and Linus Bresander (Sweden) for the men, and Gabriela Migala (Poland), Emiko Naets (Switzerland) and Lisa Eble (Germany) in the women’s division.
The women’s division:
- Migala heads into the Sanctional as the favorite after her runner-up performance at the Strength in Depth Sanctional two weeks ago. The 21-year old also competed at the Dubai CrossFit Championship where she finished fourth in a stacked field. Migala finished 17th in the Open this season, repeating as the Polish national champion and earning her third invitation to the Games, her second as an individual. In 2016, she competed in the teen division, finishing third in the 16-17 year old age group.
- Norway’s very own Andrea Solberg is among the favorites as well after earning her very first Games berth at the Filthy 150. Like Migala, this will be her third Sanctional of the season after her fourth place finish in Ireland and third at the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge.
- Jacqueline Dahlstrøm is not only one of the most experienced athletes in the field, but arguably the most successful when it comes to Sanctionals. The Norwegian is just one of four athletes with multiple Sanctional event wins in her career, joining the likes of Tia-Clair Toomey, Sara Sigmundsdóttir and Samantha Briggs. Despite winning two Sanctional events last year, Dahlstrøm received her Games invitation through the Open when she finished 22nd overall.
- Four female athletes have competed at the Games on a team and look to make their first appearance as an individual. American Bailey Meraviglia has seen the most success on teams at the Games. She has competed twice at the Games with CrossFit Milford, finishing as runner-up for the Affiliate Cup in 2015. Rebecka Vitesson has two Games appearances with CrossFit Butcher’s Lab and Johanna Julia Juliusdottir has appeared at the Games once with CrossFit XY. Filippa Ferm is just 19-years old but has competed at the Games on a team once and three times as a teen athlete.
- Speaking of teen athletes, American Sophia Grimmer makes her Sanctional debut in Norway. The youngest competitor in the field at 18 years old, she has made two Games appearances in the teen divisions, finishing as the runner-up last year in the 16-17 year old division.
The men’s division:
- Look for Nicolay Billaudel to be the early favorite as he competes in front of his home crowd. Repeating as the Norwegian national champion, he finished 40th in his first Games appearance last year.
- A pair of former teammates with Games experience look to earn their first individual invites. Swedes Alexander Elebro and Viktor Langsved led CrossFit Alioth to an eighth place finish at last year’s Games. Elebro has three Games appearances on a team. Langsved was the runner-up to Bresander for the title of “Fittest in Sweden” this season.
- Luka Đukic makes his Sanctional debut after just missing out on qualifying for the Games through the Open. The 21-year old Đukic tied his older brother Lazar for the title of “Fittest in Serbia” in point total, but lost the tie-breaker.
- Haraldur Holgersson, Ingimar Jonsson and Julian Kragh-Maschvitsz all have appeared at the Games on a team and seek their first individual Games invitation. Twenty-one year old Holgersson competed with CrossFit XY in the 2017 Games after competing in the 2016 Games in the 16-17 year old teen division. He finished second behind Björgvin Karl Guđmundsson for the Icelandic national championship in this year’s Open.
- A pair of Americans are among the favorites in the men’s division. Griffin Roelle finished 98th in the Open and made the Games in 2018 as a member of CrossFit Dwala. Josh Woodhull is a five-time Regional qualifier and has Sanctional experience, competing in three last season.
The team division:
- In the team division, look for The Athlete Program to battle for the Games invite. The team consists of Carolyn Prevost, Alec Harwood, Charlotte Spence and Mike Catris. Prevost has qualified for the Games for the second-straight season as an individual after finishing 26th in the Open. Last year she placed 12th at the Games.
- The PROGRM also boasts an experienced Games roster. Joshua Wichtrup was the German national champion last year and finished 18th at the Games. Matilde Garnes finished this year’s Open second behind Kristin Holte for the Norway national championship. She competed on a team at the 2018 Games with CrossFit Maxpuls.
- Kristin Holte was originally set to compete with CrossFit Oslo Warriors but had to withdraw to recover from wrist surgery. The defending Norwegian national champion and 2019 Fittest Woman on Earth runner-up is expected to make a full recovery by May.
- Team RXPerformance boasts a lineup that includes Hanne Short, Hanna Venemyr and Espen Hellesøy who all competed on CrossFit Asane at the 2018 Games, finishing 28th.
- Two teams field national champions. The French team, CrossFit Serval features Tunisian national champion, Alexandre Bradley. Team Mexico has their own national champion, Manuel Gallegos on the roster.
- This is just the second Sanctional ever not to have a team representing the USA. Last season, the Fittest in Cape Town in South Africa was the first.
What to watch for: Under the direction of Phil Hesketh, Prepared.Programming designed the events for the competition. They have released the entire slate, starting with an outdoor run through the high elevation and frigid weather of the venue, the Storefjell Resort.
- As part of the Morning Chalk Up’s media partnership with the Norwegian CrossFit Championship, Justin LoFranco and Tommy Marquez are onsite to provide daily recaps, analysis, feature stories and interviews. The Morning Chalk Up will also provide the live stream on our website and YouTube Channel.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect that Gol is not the northernmost city to host a Sanctional event. Reykjavik holds that distinction with Gol being the send northernmost.