The Best in South America Competing for Coveted Games Invitations at Brazil CrossFit Championship

June 9, 2021 by
Photo Image: Brazil CrossFit Championship
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Six automatic 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games invitations are on the line this weekend for the athletes competing at the Brazil CrossFit Championship on June 11-13. The online Semifinal will send the top two individual men, women and teams to Madison, WI to represent South America.

What’s on the line: Along with a Games invite, the top-five finishers in each division will take home prize money from a total prize purse of $45,000 USD. Individual athletes who finish 3-5 earn a spot to the Last Chance Qualifier that will be held online June 28-July 4.

  • First – $5,000
  • Second – $4,000
  • Third – $3,000
  • Fourth – $2,000
  • Fifth – $1,000

Who to watch: The Semifinal features the top athletes from South America including many who have appeared at the Games. If the Semifinals mirror the continent’s Quarterfinals, look for some close battles for those Games invites across all three divisions.

Individuals (Women): The women’s field could have as many as five women battling for the two Games spots. Three of the women in the field competed at the 2019 Games as their respective country’s National Champion. There is a depth of Sanctional experience in the field with many of the women competing at either at last year’s BCC or the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge. 

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  • Larissa Cunha was preparing for her first Games appearance last season before the COVID-19 pandemic took that opportunity away from her. The 30-year old Brazilian was her country’s national champion and gained valuable experience competing against the best athletes in the world at the Dubai CrossFit Championship and Wodapalooza. She also finished 39th in the worldwide Open. This season she improved her worldwide standing, finishing 23rd. She followed that performance by winning the South America Quarterfinals. Though she didn’t win an event in the Quarters she was the most consistent athlete in the field, placing in the top-five in all five tests.
  • Melina Rodriguez is looking for her third-straight Games appearance. The Argentinian competed in 2019 as a national champion, her first as an individual after competing at the 2017 Games with BIGG CrossFit Recoleta as a 21-year old. The defending BCC Champion placed 17th at the Games last year thanks in part to three top-10 event finishes including a 4th place in the Handstand Hold. The four-time “Fittest in Argentina” finished 41st in this year’s Open and finished second behind Cunha in the Quarters.
  • Sasha Nievas has been overshadowed by her fellow countrywoman Rodriguez the last few seasons but has made a name for herself this year when she finished 25th in the Open. The 23-year old finished third behind Rodriguez by four points in the Quarters, picking up four top-10 finishes including a win in Test one.
  • Victoria Campos is a relative unknown in the Games competition season despite placing fourth in the Quarters. She has competed in just one CrossFit sanctioned event, placing fourth at the 2018 Asia CrossFit Championships. The Brazilian has competed at the Pacific Regionals three times as an individual placing as high as 21st in 2018.
  • Dark Horse Pick: Gabriella Moratti at 21-years old is one of the youngest athletes in the field. During the Quarters she was the only athlete to record multiple event wins. She showed her strength with a win in Test four with a four-rep max front squat of 302 lbs and then showed her ability to take on short time domain workouts with a win in Test 5. She would end up placing fifth in the Quarters.

Individuals (Men): Five of the athletes in the men’s field competed at the 2019 Games as National Champions but it’s an athlete who is seeking his first Games appearance that looks to make a name for himself not just in South America but in Madison.

  • Nicolas Bidarte struggled in the Open but the understudy of Underdogs Athletics Justin Cotler rebounded by winning the Quarters, showing consistency across all five tests. The programming for the virtual events favors the Argentinian who traveled from Las Vegas back to his home country to do the Semifinals events.
  • Guilherme Malheiros at just 21-years old is the most experienced athlete in the field. He made his first Games appearance at the 2017 Games, placing second in the 16-17 year old boys division and causing a stir with his lifting exploits. In 2019 he made his individual Games debut, placing 48th. Malheiros qualified last year as Brazil’s national champion before the pandemic cut down the field. This year he had his best Open finish, placing 84th and followed that by placing fourth in the Quarters. In the Quarters he won two events, the four-rep max front squat test with a lift of 425 lbs and test five with a time of 2:05.
  • Agustin Richelme represented Argentina at the 2019 Games, finishing 50th. In the Quarters he had four finishes within the top-6 including a second place finish in Test 2 which featured GHDs which will also make an appearance in the Semifinals.
  • Omar Martinez competed at the 2019 Games placing 66th as Venezuela’s national champion. This year he was the runner-up in South America in the Open.
  • Dark Horse Pick: Guilherme Domingues finished a disappointing 13th in the Quarters but is experienced enough to shrug off a bad performance and punch his ticket to Madison. He has competed in three Regionals and is consistently among the top athletes in Brazil.

Teams: In the past few years, the sport of fitness has grown exponentially in South America and it shows in the team division as the field has many strong teams. Regional and Games athletes are littered throughout the top teams as only two teams will receive an invite to the Games.

  • Fourmixx Brazil: After dominating the leaderboard in the team quarterfinals in South America and finishing first overall with a 15 point lead over the second place team, Fourmixx Brazil, hailing from Etto CrossFit, is a strong candidate for the Games spot in South America this year. If they qualify, it will be the first trip to the Games for all teammates, but Susana Etto, who competed as a masters athlete in the 35-39 division in 2019. If they qualify, they will be the first Brazilian team to compete at the CrossFit Games.
  • Q21: Had it not been for one event, Q21 would have won the Team Quarterfinals in South America. However, their 18th place finish in the GHD and rope climb workout put them in a deep hole that was difficult to climb out of. Despite their deficiencies in the second workout, they had no other finish outside the top four in quarterfinals and their team roster boasts former regionals athletes, like Sabrina Dellagiustina and Masters 35-39 Games competitor, Jimena Delamer.
  • CrossFit Villa Luro: After a 99th place finish worldwide in the Open, CrossFit Villa Luro went on to finish just four points behind second place team, Q21. Most notably, they are the only team in the top three to have former Games competitors from the team division on their team. Gonzalo Duro, who competed on Bigg CrossFit Recolete in 2017, and Delfina Ortuño, who competed on Codigo CrossFit in 2018, are currently featured on their roster, providing the leadership this team might need to punch their ticket to the Games.
  • Dark Horse Pick: CrossFit CFP9 came in 8th overall, their two first place finishes on the first two events of the team quarterfinals make them potential candidates for that Games ticket given the right workouts.

What to watch for: Due to the Semifinal going to an online format CrossFit has programmed the events. The six events that Dave Castro has prepared for the individuals and teams is well-balanced. Look for some impressive times in Event four and in Event six, “Grettel”.

  • The Morning Chalk Up will be providing recaps and tracking the action as it unfolds. You can follow our coverage on our BCC event page and on Instagram.

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