Moving Day Brings “Comical Flip Flop” on Leaderboard, Leaves Podium Wide Open

October 24, 2020 by
Photo courtesy of CrossFit LLC.

While Saturday has generally been called moving day at the CrossFit Games, this year’s format, with just five athletes and huge point swings, added even more volatility to the day. “It’s almost comical how much flip flop there is,” said CrossFit Games commentator Bill Grundler, after Jeff Adler climbed from fourth to second, and Noah Ohlsen plummeted from second to fourth, after the Snatch Speed Triplet.

  • The leaderboard shuffle continued during the final event of the day, when, thanks to a second place finish on Happy Star, Sam Kwant moved from fifth into third, while Medeiros fell out of the top three for the first time since day one.
  • The same jumping and moving happened on the women’s side all day as well. Brooke Wells entered the day in fifth, jumped into third after two events, but then dropped back into fifth after events eight and nine. Meanwhile, Kari Pearce started the day in fourth, momentarily dropped to fifth, and then moved into third for the first time of the entire competition after a great comeback in event nine.

One big thing: For the first time in Games history, with one day to go, every single athlete in the field still has a mathematical, and very real chance, of ending up on the podium. 

  • Pearce and Ohlsen, currently in third and fifth respectively, admit they have been paying attention to the constant leaderboard shifting.
  • “I’m definitely aware of where I am,” Ohlsen said in a press conference after Saturday’s events, adding that there haven’t been very many wins for him yet this weekend. With the points being so close and, and with there being “so many shifts back and forth… (it) gives me a little bit of hope,” he said.
  • For Pearce, the shifting means you “can’t get ahead of yourself,” she said. Knowing the standings are changing all the time has also allowed her to enter each event with a fresh mind, Pearce added.

The bottom line: Usually moving day helps clear the fog by separating the point spread and painting a picture about which competitors still have a realistic shot at the podium. That’s not the case this year.

  • On the men’s side, only 20 points (or one event placement) separate third from fifth, and on the women’s side, 55 points separate fifth place Wells from Pearce in third. But as Saturday showed, those points can easily be made up with just one good event on Sunday morning.

Current leaderboard after day 2.

  1. Mathew Fraser – 875 | Tia-Clair Toomey – 770
  2. Jeffrey Adler – 440 | Katrin Davidsdottir – 480
  3. Samuel Kwant – 415 | Kari Pearce – 455
  4. Justin Medeiros – 395 | Haley Adams – 415
  5. Noah Ohlsen – 395 | Brooke Wells – 400

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