Who to Watch Live at the Zelos Games
This time next week we’ll be gearing up for the Zelos Games live showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada, where 12 elite-level men and women will throw down across four workouts. Who are the big names we are excited to see? And who should you keep your eye on? We’ve got you covered with who to watch as the action unfolds.
As a reminder, in an innovative two-part fashion, spectators can watch the event (streaming online or in-person as a spectator), and then compete themselves to earn substantial prizes in the online version of the same workouts which takes place November 11-21. To register, get spectator tickets, see the workouts and learn more, visit our event page here.
The ladies are bringing the heat to the desert with three 2022 team first place semifinal finishes among them (Alexis Johnson, Brittany Weiss and Devyn Kim).
In workout 1.3, “Ace of Spades”, athletes will work through a relatively small set of double-unders in between a snatch ladder on a 90-second clock. If you clear all the bars, you get three minutes to find a 1-rep max snatch — and who doesn’t love a little strength test after getting your heart rate up?
According to their CrossFit Games profiles, Christine Kolenbrander has the heaviest snatch on record at 215 lbs/97 kg, followed closely behind Ro Scott with 207 lbs/94 kg.
Michelle Basnett, the only other athlete in the field who snatches over 200 lbs/90 kg, narrowly missed her chance at the Games this year after finishing third individually at the Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal (where only one Games spot is allotted). While she was tied for first with Michelle Merand going into the final day, the last two workouts were her lowest finishes of the weekend (7th and 12th, respectively). Given the reduced volume of this competition overall, we anticipate Basnett will fight for a podium spot.
In workout 1.1, “Snake Eyes”, athletes are tasked with sprints of 26/18 calories on the Echo bike, followed by 14 dumbbell box step-overs and max ring muscle-ups in the remaining time of the 3-minute interval. While the ability to go fast here is crucial, the capacity to recover and repeat the effort is even moreso; the final and third interval has one extra minute allotted, leaving time to empty the tank on the rings. Quick, lung-burner workouts are commonly found in the Open, and it’s worth noting that competitor Brittany Weiss finished 30th in the world in the 2022 CrossFit Open.
Alex Gazan, a rookie at the 2022 CrossFit Games, and Kyra Milligan, 14th at the MACC Semifinal this year, have home court advantage. The Underdogs training camp, led by Justin Cotler and Kiefer Lammi, train out of Camp Rhino where the Zelos Games is held. If you’ve never seen Cotler get fired up when his athletes take the floor, then you’re in for a treat.
The field of women is fierce and while these are just a few of our thoughts, we know there will be some surprises and upsets that we look forward to reporting back on.
On the men’s side, there’s a few familiar faces from competition floors in the last few months: Leo Franco competed at the Madrid CrossFit Championship, James Sprague as a Games Demo Team member, and Josh Al-chamaa who stood on the podium at the Games with Team Invictus, just to name a few. With only four workouts during Zelos Games, we anticipate these guys will recover quickly and bring their all to each event.
Pete Mason of CrossFit Free is coming in with the highest 2022 Quarterfinal ranking (22nd), followed closely by Tudor Magda (56th). Madga finished 34th at the Games this year, his first of four total Games seasons not in an age group division.
Workout 1.2, “Royal Flush”, doesn’t look too bad on paper — small sets of relatively light power cleans (165lb/75kg for men), followed by quick bar-facing burpees, thrusters, and burpees again, all in less than seven minutes. However, if you know anything about CrossFit, you know not to trust when something looks too good to be true.
Underdogs athlete Matt Dlugos is the tallest in the group (6’3”), but we haven’t seen that slow him down in a classic CrossFit workout yet. And, coming off a knee injury that pulled him from the Last Chance Qualifier, we expect to see him hit the competition floor hungry to win.
The final workout, 1.4 “Full House”, packs a lot of gymnastics, some wall balls and rowing, and heavy devils presses (2 x 70lb/31kg). Tola Morakinyo, who competed with CrossFit Reykjavik for the 2022 Games season, is one of the stronger amongst the group, with a 500 lbs-plus deadlift and 350 lbs clean and jerk. Being able to move those dumbbells quickly and efficiently will be key to not getting lost in the chipper-style event.
There’s a wealth of competition experience between these gentlemen and we can’t wait to see them duke it out Saturday and Sunday.
Click here for the full roster and don’t forget, the Morning Chalk Up team will be on the ground bringing you updates from the city that never sleeps all weekend long — connect with us on Instagram and YouTube to not miss a beat.
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