Games Invitations Await Athletes at the Brazil CrossFit Championship

March 4, 2020 by
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The world-famous Brazil “Carnivale” may have ended over a week ago but another celebration awaits in São Paulo for athletes competing to earn their 2020 CrossFit Games invitation at the Brazil CrossFit Championship. The Sanctional competition takes place on March 6-8 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium.

What’s on the line: The coveted Games invitation is up for grabs for the top male and female individual finisher as well as the top team. Podium finishers will receive a cash prize. The podium finishers also receive a direct invite to the Down Under CrossFit Championship as part of a partnership between the two Sanctionals.

  1. $3,000 USD
  2. $2,000 USD
  3. $1,000 USD

Who to watch: Athletes from 13 different countries are represented in an individual field primarily dominated by competitors from Latin America.

The women’s division: Only two of the 32 women in the field have received their Games invitation. Three women have competed at the Games while 18 have competed at Regionals either as individuals or on a team. The host nation is well represented as 11 of the top 20 Brazilian women who competed in the CrossFit Worldwide Open will be battling for the Games invite.

  • Melina Rodriguez has her Games invitation in hand as the repeat national champion for Argentina finishing an impressive 28th in the Open. She has two Games appearances finishing 97th as an individual last season and competing at the 2017 Games with BIGG CrossFit Recoleta. This is her second Sanctional appearance this season, she finished sixth at the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge. She is one of the top returning athletes from last year’s Brazil CrossFit Championship when she placed sixth.
  • Fellow Argentinian Sasha Nievas secured her very first Games invite through the Open after finishing 36th overall. Last year she placed ninth at the Brazil CrossFit Championship.
  • Another pair of Argentinians, Delfina Ortuno and Sol Lupo, competed as teammates at the 2018 Games with Codigo CrossFit. Ortuno has experience competing as an individual at the Sanctional level. She finished tenth at the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge and eighth at the Brazil CrossFit Championship last year.
  • Anita Pravatti is among the favorites for the host country. The six-time Regional athlete finished fifth in Brazil in the Open. At the 2018 CrossFit Latin America Regional, she placed fifth in the women’s individual division.
  • Antonelli Nicole tied for second in the Open for the “Fittest in Brazil”. She is a six-time Regional athlete including a third-place finish in 2014.
  • Luiza Dias was the athlete Nicole tied for second “Fittest” honors. She is a three-time Regional athlete.
  • Cecilia Ramirez Villamil just missed her Games invite through the Open after finishing as the second “Fittest” in Mexico. She is a four-time Regional athlete with her best finish being third at the 2018 Latin America Regional. She is the top returning athlete from the 2019 Brazil CrossFit Championship, placing fourth last year.
  • Sweden’s Antonia Falt-Kottulinsky is competing in her second Sanctional of the season after placing ninth at the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge.
  • A trio of Americans are among the contenders for the Games invitation. Brynn Kurlan makes her second Sanctional appearance in less than a month after competing at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship. Dani Davis is a two-time Regional athlete with CrossFit 8035. Mia Edgar has also made two Regional appearances with a team, finishing seventh at the 2018 East Regional with Ocean State’s Finest.

The men’s division: Just one athlete in the field has a Games invitation secured. Ten athletes have Games experience and sixteen have appeared at a Regional. Seven of the top-ten Open athletes from Brazil will be competing.

  • Two-time Venezuelan national champion Omar Martinez returns to the Games after finishing 66th last year.
  • Paul Castillo looks for his third Games invitation. The 2017 CrossFit Central Regional champion did not participate in the Open this season. He finished 98th at last year’s Games.
  • Marquan Jones has made one appearance at the Games as an individual in 2018. The three-time Regional athlete finished 40th in the Open this year. This is his second Sanctional of the season.
  • Josh Miller made his first Games appearance last season, finishing 82nd. The four-time Regional athlete finished 83rd in the Open this year.
  • 2019 Argentina national champion Agustin Richelme is attempting to return to the Games after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery and prevented him from defending his title in the Open. Last year he placed 50th at the Games.
  • Richelme’s countrymen, Ivan Gaitan and Santiago Scarafia, have appeared at the Games on a team. Gaitan competed at the 2017 Games with BIGG CrossFit Recoleta. Scarafia was a member of Codigo CrossFit at their 2018 appearance at the Games.
  • Adam Davidson finished just below the Open cutline for a Games invitation at 41st place. The three-time Regional athlete competed in his second Sanctional of the season after placing third at the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge.
  • Josh Woodhull has competed in four Sanctionals in his career, he has finished second in two of them, and is seeking his first career Games invitation. The five-time Regional athlete just missed the Games invite three weeks ago at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship, finishing as the runner-up.
  • Joshua Al-Chamaa is the busiest athlete in this year’s Sanctional season as he seeks his first-ever Games invitation. This will be his fifth Sanctional this season and third as an individual competitor. Interestingly, he already received a Games invitation when his team finished third at Wodapalooza two weeks ago, but the invite was declined.
  • Justin Stewart is a four-time Regional athlete who competed at the 2018 Games with Cape CrossFit.
  • Spencer Panchik is still looking for his first-ever Games invitation after just missing out at the Open, finishing 36th. He returns to the competition that almost made that possible last year. Last year he placed third at the Brazil CrossFit Championship.
  • The host country’s hopefuls include Anderon Primo (second in Brazil, four Regional appearances), Lucas Almeida (fourth in Brazil, one Regional appearance), and Guilherme Domingues (seventh in Brazil, three Regional appearances).

The team division: There are 16 teams competing for the ninth team invitation to the Games this season. Six different countries are represented in the field.

  • Four Americans make up Invictus Brazil and they look to be the early favorite. Jenn Ryan has three Games appearances including two on a team with CrossFit Invictus. Tammy Wildgoose was a teammate of Ryan’s on those Invictus teams. John-Paul Hethcock made his first Games appearance last season as an individual, finishing 46th. Grant Belrose has one Regional appearance under his belt.
  • Team Paraguay is an experienced team that features its country’s national champions. Carol Colling and Diego Kemper both repeated as Paraguay’s national champions this season, giving them each their second Games invitation. Colling placed 47th and Kemper 77th at the Games last season. Maisa Ghanem was the runner-up to Colling for the “Fittest in Paraguay.” William Guillen completes the team that all competed together at the 2018 Latin America Regional as Team PY.
  • Canadian team Taranis Lifetree features four Regional veterans including Steve Howell who has nine Regionals and two Games appearances. Christina Seeley competed at the 2016 Games as an individual. Caileigh McDade and Caleb Woiwod round out the team.
  • Happy Hearts is a team competing out of France that features Regional athletes Alizee Andreani, Celia Gabbiani, Stephane Ossanga and French national champion runner-up Alexandre Pinsolle.
  • Training Think Tank is a team out of the United States that boasts regional athletes Breona Wallin, Alye DeRoma and Joey Szwec.
  • Brazil has ten teams competing with CFP9, Team Hopper, Team Park and Team Treta Blacksheep standing out among the group due to their Regional experience.

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Paul Castillo finished 16th at the 2019 CrossFit games. Also that Steve Howell had six Reginal and one Games apprentice.

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