The first block of competition for the 2020 CrossFit Games is in the books, and through two events we already have some massive surprises — both good and bad — for some established names in the sport and newcomers crashing the party. Below are my biggest takeaways from Friendly Fran and the Max Front Squat.
Iceland Goes Cold: Sara Sigmundsdottir (26th) and Katrin Davidsdottir (22nd) did not have the start to the competition that many including themselves had hoped for. Two events in and it already looks like an almost insurmountable deficit to make up to get back to a top five spot that many had assumed at least one of them would occupy.
- Sigmundsdottir finished in the bottom four for Friendly Fran, and based on the highlights from the event looked like she may have burned a little too hot in the opening rounds, struggling to make it through the 85-lb thrusters, a typically manageable weight for her, during the final round. Clearly fatigue played a factor because Sara then only front squatted nine more pounds than what she clean and jerked in Dubai after three events.
- Davidsdottir had a decent enough finish in Friendly Fran but the Front Squat workout crushed her. Her 230-lb lift placed her in the bottom four for the event and she clearly felt the effects of Fran as well considering she cleaned 230-lbs at the Games last year after 7 prior events.
New Dudes Start Strong: It should come as no surprise that Mat Fraser is in the overall lead after the first two events, but the remaining four athletes currently behind them certainly raised some eyebrows to start the weekend.
- Bayden Brown, Griffin Roelle, Justin Medeiros, and Jeffrey Adler round out the top five party with Fraser, and combined they have a total of two, yes two, previous CrossFit Games appearances under their belt. For reference, Fraser has three times as many with 6.
- Roelle took home the top spot in the front squat with a monstrous 490-lb lift, 33-lbs clear of 2nd place in the event Tyler Christophel. The remaining three men finished the event in 7th or better as well to lift their way up the leaderboard.
- The results so far are a bit of a redemption moment for Bayden Brown who was cut after the first event last year at the Games, and finished 104th overall after a 17th place finish worldwide in the 2019 Open.
- Medeiros could be the breakout youth star on the men’s side at just 21 years-old, and even if he doesn’t hold on to a top 5 spot, staying anywhere in the top 10 would be an amazing result.
Worth noting: Patrick Vellner, Brent Fikowski, and Roman Khrennikov — three athletes that many were excited to see towards the top of the leaderboard this weekend — had a similar start to Sara Sigmundsdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir, with all three men sitting outside of the top 20 after the first two events.
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