Justin Medeiros Joins Historic List With Back to Back Titles
The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games have come to an end for the men after a packed five days featuring 13 difficult tests of fitness. Forty elite males made the trip to Madison, WI, for the annual event, but none were able to take down the defending champion, Justin Medeiros.
Medeiros joined a historic list with this win. He is now the third man in CrossFit Games history to win back-to-back titles. Rich Froning Jr. won four between 2011-2014 while Mat Fraser went five straight from 2016-2020. No other male athlete has won more than one time.
A top-10 finish: Medeiros did not need to win the final event, Jackie Pro, to secure his second consecutive title. All he needed was a ninth-place finish in the event. Well, he left nothing to chance by going out and doing everything he could to end the year atop the podium.
- Medeiros started his thrusters behind Jayson Hopper, Roman Khrennikov, Ricky Garard, and some of his fellow competitors. However, he finished his 50 thrusters first and headed to the bar for his 30 bar muscle-ups.
- Khrennikov retook the lead on the rig and finished second overall with a time of 8:09.71, just behind Lazar Djukic in an earlier heat. This was enough to secure the silver medal. Medeiros finished second in his heat and fourth overall with a time of 8:26.34.
Mr. Consistency: Medeiros didn’t dominate with a multitude of event wins like Froning and Fraser in past years. He didn’t need to. He just remained consistent throughout the weekend and only finished outside of the top 10 two times. Medeiros also posted top-three finishes in five total events.
- Medeiros started the week off well with a third-place finish in Bike to Work, but it was Garard who won the opening event and took the leader’s jersey.
- The Aussie kept the white top and red shorts through the first three days with two total event wins while Medeiros and Khrennikov attempted to chase him down.
The turning point: There were questions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday about whether Garard would give up the leader’s jersey. He was simply a dominant force early. However, the conversation changed on Friday night in the Coliseum.
- Garard hit the time cap on Echo Press after struggling with the block handstand push-ups while Medeiros and Khrennikov both secured top-five finishes. He lost out on crucial points with his 28th-place finish.
- Garard had a 25-point lead heading into Moving Day, but Medeiros erased it with more consistent performances. He finished seventh in Rinse N’ Repeat, third in Hat Trick, and fifth in the Sandbag Ladder.
Medeiros had the leader’s jersey on his back, but he was only 17 points ahead of Garard entering the final three events. He couldn’t afford to take his foot off the gas. Medeiros responded to the pressure by posting fifth, third, and fourth-place finishes in the final events.
The future is bright: Medeiros joining Froning and Fraser on a historic list was the biggest storyline of the weekend, but there was another that should stand out in the coming months.
This battle between Medeiros, Khrennikov, and Garard was endlessly fascinating, and it provided a glimpse at the possible greatness in future seasons. Having other younger athletes in Samuel Kwant, Jeffrey Adler, Guilherme Malheiros, Hopper, and Djukic among others in the mix only further guaranteed that the future of the sport is in good hands.
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