Rookie Lazar Đukić Surges Into the Top Ten
Four-time Fittest in Serbia Lazar Đukić gave an impressive performance on day three of the CrossFit Games, securing one event win and moving into the top ten heading into day four of competition.
Remind me: Đukić has qualified for the CrossFit Games three times: 2019, 2020, and 2021. In 2019, he denied his invitation, telling Morning Chalk Up before the Games that he “didn’t feel proud that he qualified;” he wasn’t ready to take the stage with the Fittest on Earth.
- “If I come [to the Games],” he said, “I want to crush everybody.”
This year, Đukić was ready. Winning the title of Fittest in Serbia once again, he ranked 14th in Quarterfinals and beat out by seven-time Games athlete Jonne Koski, took second place in the CrossFit German Throwdown.
Competing in his first-ever in-person CrossFit Games alongside his younger brother and Games rookie Luka, Đukić had two goals: to finish in the top 10 and to be named rookie of the year.
- He started the competition with an impressive performance, earning a second-place finish in event one, a one-mile swim followed by a three-mile kayak.
- After placing 10th or worse in consecutive events, Đukić ended up in 14th place heading into day three.
Event 10 was where he began to shine. Starting in the middle of the pack during the 1.5-mile runs, Đukić caught up to Baydon Brown, the Australian athlete leading the event. Fast toes-to-bar — what Đukić says is his best movement — cycling put him in the lead, and Đukić beat out Brown by about four seconds to secure a first-place finish.
- Staying composed while pushing his pace, Đukić once again dominated the field, taking second place in event 11.
- A 15th place finish in event 12, the one-rep snatch event, knocked Đukić from eighth to ninth place.
The bottom line: One of the reasons Đukić gave for denying his invitation to the Games in 2019 was because he didn’t want to “be the one guy that’s not important” on the field. Waiting to debut at the Games until 2021 proved to be a good choice, because it was clear, from the end of event one, day one, that the 25-year-old athlete was not going to fade into the background.
Now, situated in ninth place, 23 points back from eighth-place finisher Koski and 53 points above Royce Dunn in 10th place, with a performance as impressive as today’s, it looks promising for Đukić to meet his goal of a top-10 finish.