At 16 Years Old, Emma Cary Becomes Youngest Ever to Win an Open Workout

April 2, 2021 by
CREDIT: Emma Cary (instagram.com/emmacaryy)
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16-year-old Emma Cary set the world record in 21.2 with a time of 8:51, making her the youngest athlete to win an Open workout.

One big thing: Cary finished the Open in second place, just 40 points behind four-time “Fittest on Earth” Tia-Clair Toomey. This was the highest Open finish by any teen division athlete in CrossFit history. 

  • According to Instagram, her only strategy in 21.2 was to “go fast and have fun.”
  • Cary performed well in every Open workout this year, finishing 14th in 21.1 with a time of 11:48, 14th in 21.3 with a time of 8:28, and 37th in 21.4 with a weight of 218 pounds (the latter two scores are yet unofficial).
  • On Monday, if the leaderboard remains the same, Cary’s runner-up finish stands to net the youngster $10,000 on top of the $2,021 she earned for her 21.1 win. Because the CrossFit Games does not offer money for the teens division, this will be the most money she has earned through a prize purse. 

Why it matters: It has been 10 years since a teenaged athlete has come out on top of the worldwide leaderboard in an Open workout.

  • In 2011, 19-year-old Jean-Claude Jardim won 11.2 and 21-year-old Annie Thorsidottir took first-place in 11.3, but no athlete that young has won an Open workout since. 
CREDIT: Emma Cary (instagram.com/emmacaryy)

What’s next: Cary will advance to the Quarterfinals competition and will be considered as part of the individual women’s division. She is also eligible to compete in the Age Group Online Qualifier in May. 

  • This online competition will take place from April 8-12, and all athletes will be required to submit a video for review. 

The bottom line: After winning the 2019 “Fittest 14-15 Year Old on Earth” title, Cary has come back this season hungry for more. Her strength has exploded over the past few years, and she will be one to watch leading into Quarterfinals. 

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