CrossFit Games

2022 Quarterfinal Rundown: Europe

March 30, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Charlotte Foerschler
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Although from both a participation and elite competition performance perspective there’s a case for more European Semifinals and Games spots, there are still only 60 spots for men and 60 spots for women at Semis, and five spots for each at the Games. This makes the Quarterfinals leaderboard extremely competitive for both men and women, and brings a series of interesting conversations to be had. Here we’ll focus on three big themes: 

  1. The Top Ten after Quarterfinals
  2. Games Contenders from Outside the Top Ten
  3. Notable Names who Missed the Cutline

The Games Contenders

At the top of both leaderboards are many familiar names, many of whom will also be the favorites to eventually take Games spots once Semifinals roll around. Looking at the top ten men and women in Europe (remember they only get 10 Games spots), how many can we actually expect to hold down a top ten spot at the next stage?

The Top Ten after Quarterfinals:

Rank in EuropeMenRank in EuropeWomen
1Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson1Gabriela Migala
2Willy Georges2Emma McQuaid
3Lazar Dukic3Jacqueline Dahlstrom
4Jonne Koski4Sara Sigmundsdóttir
5Moritz Fiebig5Lucy Campbell
6Alex Kotoulas6Emma Tall
7Joshua Al-Chamaa7Matilde Garnes
8Sam Stewart8Solveig Sigurdardottir
9Guillaume Briant9Laura Horvath
10Fabian Beneito10Lena Richter
2022 Individual Quarterfinals – European Region Top 10 | Brian Friend

The safe bets for Games spots at Semis are:

  • Men: Gudmundsson, Georges, Dukic, Koski
  • Women: Migala, McQuaid, Sigmundsdottir, Horvath

Some of these athletes most likely won’t compete at Semis as Individuals:

  • Men: Joshua Al-Chamaa (Team)
  • Lena Richter (Team)

All of the rest of them will be in contention for qualifying spots and will be carrying confidence into the next stage. However, placing in the top 10 in Europe for Quarters guarantees nothing when it comes to making the Games. 

Last year, only half of the men who were top 10 after Quarters, and seven out of 10 women who were top 10 after Quarters went on to make the Games. That means 65 percent of the eventual Games qualifiers in Europe came from outside the top 10 at Quarterfinals. So let’s look a little further down the European Quarterfinals leaderboards for athletes who could be looking to claim a top five spot at Semifinals—

Games Contenders from Outside the Top Ten:

Rank in EuropeMenRank in EuropeWomen
11Andre Houdet11Karin Freyova
12Henrik Haapalainen13Tayla Howe
13Uldis Upenieks14Thuri Helgadottir
14Adrian Mundwiler15Elena Carratala Sanahuja
19Elliot Simmonds22Katrin Davidsdottir
22Haraldur Holgersson24Emelie Lundberg
26Luka Dukic27Martyna Krysiak
35Zack George36Oihana Moya
39Giorgos Karavis37Evie Hollis
41Kristof Horvath50Andrea Solberg
2022 CrossFit Games Contenders from the European Region | Brian Friend

Seven of the men on this list have competed at the Games previously, highlighting the depth of field on the men’s side in Europe. 

Only four of the women on this list have previous Games experience, though many have been knocking at the door. And in particular in the women’s side, with Annie Thorisdottir (team), Kristin Holte (retirement), and possibly Sam Briggs (currently outside the cutline for Semis) not in the mix, there are potentially three doors wide open for women who have been close in Europe to break through and get to the Games, possibly for the first time. 

Outside Looking In

The leaderboards are not finalized, but as of this writing there are several notable names in Europe currently outside the top 60. 

Notable Names Who Missed the Cutline:

Rank in EuropeMenRank in EuropeWomen
62Jonas Mueller61Emiko Naets
65Felloneau Romain65Maria Langfors
68Jakub Cieslik66Samantha Briggs
71Pietro Anderloni68Mikaela Norman
74Bronislaw Olenkowicz71Lisa Eble
81Lukas Grouleff72Carys Webster
84Max Olivestrand73Hanne Short
90Jeremy Reijnders80Rebecka Vitesson
94Boris Judin83Lauren Stallwood
99Stefano Migliorini91Louise Wickstrom
Notable Names Outside of Europe’s Top 60 in Quarterfinals

There are two real questions here:

  1. Should Europe be awarded more Semifinal spots (like maybe 90)?
  2. Do any of these athletes actually have a chance if they did make it to Semifinals?

The best example for question 2 is probably Jakub Cieslik. He’s 27 years old and is currently the second fittest man in Poland (2022 Open). He missed Semifinals last year (67th), but eventually was able to compete due to backfills (and may very well again this year). When he was awarded the opportunity to compete last season he capitalized on it with a very impressive eighth place finish at the (online) Lowlands Throwdown. That was good enough to move him to the Last Chance Qualifier where he placed 15th. If he does earn another chance to compete at Semis, and does well there again, he alone seems to be a great example of why only taking 60 athletes for Semis in Europe might not be casting a wide enough net. 

Fun Facts: 

In year two of the Quarterfinals/Semifinals format we can start looking at the “turnover” rate of Semifinalists by continent. This can be another clever way to assess the relative level of competition around the cut line. 

From last year to this year in Europe:

  • 13 men who competed at Semifinals in 2021, and attempted to qualify this year, are outside the top 60 in 2022
  • For the women that number is 11
  • Additionally, there were 18 other men who compete at Semis last year and either did not participate, or did not finish, the quarterfinals workouts 
  • For the women that number is 16
  • All told the turnover rate for male semifinalists in Europe from 2021 to 2022 is 52%
  • The turnover rate for European women is 45%
  • We would expect a higher turnover rate for men, so nothing unusual there
  • These do seem like higher percentages than would have been expected though. 

The Big Picture: Overall, we know the Quarterfinals test to be a good test of fitness and as a whole very successful, however, in the case of Europe it doesn’t seem to be a matter of whether the test is good or not, but rather that the system is could be better in terms of adequately representing the depth of field that exists in that region. Either way, the European Quarterfinals were very tight, and the Semifinals are going to be extremely competitive and fun to watch with so many great athletes, and so few Games spots available for them. 

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