CrossFit Games

Is the Open a Good Predictor for Performance at the CrossFit Games?

February 16, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Athlete's Eye Photography
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Just like last year, we kick off the CrossFit Games season with the Open. However, unlike most of the Open’s history, it is now only a three week event, and it qualifies a large group (10% by continent) to the next stage of competition. This makes it far less significant for the athletes at the top of the sport who are hoping to eventually qualify for the Games than the Open used to be. The question we’re after today is, does less importance on the Open mean it is a bad predictor for eventual results at the Games? 

The 2021 season is the only truly relevant data we have because it was the first season with the Quarterfinals stage. Since 40 men and 40 women eventually would qualify for the CrossFit Games, we have gone ahead and compared the top 40 Open finishers to the 40 Games athletes in each division. 

Here’s a quick rundown of how the top 40 men, and top 40 women, from the Open, fared over the course of the rest of the season: 

Men: 

Open Rank Athlete Season Finish
1 Jeff Adler Games
2 Scott Panchik Games
3 Travis Mead DNP QF
4 Saxon Panchik Games
5 Rich Froning Games (team)
6 Noah Ohlsen Games
7 Sam Cournouyer Games
8 Cole Greashaber LCQ
9 Agustin Richelme Games
10 Oleg Lascenko Semis
11 Cedric Lapointe LCQ
12 Giorgos Karavis Games
13 Stas Solodov Gamse (DNP)
14 Jonne Koski Games
15 Elliot Simmonds Semis
16 Logan Collins Semis
17 Jay Crouch Games
18 Colten Mertens Games
19 Jayson Hopper Games
20 Pat Vellner Games
21 Alex Kotoulas LCQ
22 Brent Fikowski Games
23 Hunter Holifield LCQ
24 Cody Anderson QFs
25 Mitch Wagner Semis
26 Phil Toon LCQ
27 Alexksandar Ilin Games
28 Joshua Al-Chamaa LCQ
29 Frederik Aegidius Semis
30 Spencer Panchik LCQ
31 Fabian Beneito LCQ
32 Sean Gordon Semis
33 Khan Porter LCQ
34 Lazar Dukic Games
35 Michael McKenna DNP QF
36 Lukas Grouleff Semis
37 Nick Mathew LCQ
38 Reggie Fasa Semis
39 Tyler Christophel LCQ
40 Lucas Heuze Games (teams)
Individual Games17
Team Games2
Last Chance Qualifier10
Semifinals8
Quarterfinals1
Did Not Participate or Pass Quarterfinals2
Total40
Final stage of competition for the Top 40 Individual Men in the 2021 Open | Photo Credit: Brian Friend

Women: 

Open Rank Athlete Season Finish
1 Tia-Clair Toomey Games
2 Emma Cary Games
3 Kara Saunders Games
4 Kristi Eramo O'Connell Games
5 Mallory O'Brien Games
6 Emma McQuaid Games
7 Dani Speegle Games
8 Elena Carratala Sahanhuja LCQ
9 Brooke Wells Games
10 Haley Adams Games
11 Matilde Garnes LCQ
12 Gabriela Migala Games
13 Danielle Brandon Games
14 Katrin Davidsdottir Games
15 Emma Lawson Games (teen)
16 Kari Pearce Games
17 Kristin Holte Games
18 Amanda Fusuma Semis
19 Andrea Nisler Games (teams)
20 Amanda Barnhart Games
21 Bethany Shadburne Games
22 Chloe Gauvin-David Games (teams)
23 Larissa Cunha Games (DNP- PEDs)
24 Amy Morton Semis
25 Sasha Nievas Games
26 Carolyne Prevost Games
27 Paulina Haro Games (teen)
28 Caron-Ann Reason-Thibault Injury
29 Thuri Helgadottir Games
30 Kristine Best Semis (injury WD)
31 Madeline Shelling Games (teams)
32 Karin Freyova LCQ
33 Mekenzie Riley Games
34 Shelby Neal Semis
35 Ellie Turner Games
36 Jacqueline Dahlstrom Games
37 Mandi Janowitz DNP QF
38 Sydney Michalyshen Games
39 Paige Semenza LCQ
40 Marnie Sykes Games (teams)
Individual Games24
Team Games4
Teen (Age Group) Games2
Last Chance Qualifier4
Semifinals4
Did Not Participate or Pass Quarterfinals2
Total40
Final stage of competition for the Top 40 Individual Women in the 2021 Open | Photo Credit: Brian Friend

Notable Highlights:

  • 42.5% of the eventual men’s Games field also finished in the top 40 of the Open in 2021
  • 60% of the eventual women’s field also finished in the top 40 of the Open in 2021
  • That means over half (51.25%) of the eventual Games field also finished top 40 in the Open

On the opposite side of things, there were a total of five athletes who made the top 40 in the open (three men and two women) who did not participate in Semifinals or the Age Group Online Qualifiers. Of those five, four of them were either injured or chose not to compete, and only one of them actually tried and failed to make Semifinals. 

What About the Games Athletes Themselves?

If half of the Games field was also in the top 40 of the Open, what about the other half? 

Men: 

Top 4017
41-10015
Top 2003
200+5
2021 CrossFit Open Finish of eventual Games athletes – Individual Men | Photo Credit: Brian Friend

Women: 

Top 4024
41-1009
Top 2004
200+3
2021 CrossFit Open Finish of eventual Games athletes – Individual Women | Photo Credit: Brian Friend

To categorize it a different way: 

  • The average Open finish for the 40 men at the Games was 83rd
  • The average Open finish for the 40 women at the Games was 61st
  • If you drop the lowest four Open finishes for the men that average drops to 53rd
  • If you drop the lowest four Open finishes for the women that average rops to 38th
  • If you drop the next four lowest those average drop to 40 for the men and 29 for the women
  • That means that 80% of the eventual Games averaged a finished of 40th for the men and 29th for the women in the Open

And ultimately that means that despite the fact that the Open is less important than ever for the best CrossFitters in the world, it was still a very, very good predictor for the rest of the season.  

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