Dubai Fitness Championship: Women’s Preview
The women’s division at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship will be a truly international field, with 70% of the female competitors coming from Europe, 15% from North America, and the final 15% being divided evenly between Oceania, South America and Asia.
The entire roster is a mix of big names, silent studs and those looking to make the jump from the Semifinals to the CrossFit Games. We’ll see 9 CrossFit Games veterans on the competition floor, 6 of whom attended the most recent 2022 Games (5 individual, 1 team).
The big names
- Jamie Simmonds: The New Zealand native is the most decorated athlete on the women’s side, having been to the CrossFit Games 5 times in her career. She finished on the podium in 2019 as an individual, and also in 2016 in the team division. She took 5th at the Torian Pro this past year, missing the Games by 36 points in a stacked field of competitors. Simmonds is extremely balanced and can beat anyone in the world when classic couplets and triplets are programmed.
- Emily Rolfe: The Canadian has been to the CrossFit Games 3 times in her career, but had to withdraw in 2022 for an emergency surgery due to a blood clot in her left arm. She looks to make Dubai her comeback competition in pursuit of her 4th Games in 2023.
- Freya Moosbrugger: The 21-year-old exploded onto the scene during the 1-rep-max sandbag clean event where she showed incredible grit inching the bag up her body and outlasting several peers. Moosbrugger finished her rookie season in 32nd and kicks off her 2023 season at Dubai.
- Lena Richter: The Norwegian has been dominant in the team division, taking back-to-back 2nd place finishes at the 2021 and 2022 CrossFit Games. She recently finished 6th at the Madrid Championship in September, and will be showcasing her individual fitness at Dubai in a couple of weeks.
Athletes to watch: They may not be household names in the CrossFit world (yet), but all five of these women are going to be threats at Dubai and should be respected for their insane levels of fitness.
- Karin Freyova: The runner up at the 2022 Lowlands Throwdown is the third most decorated CrossFit athlete in the entire women’s field. Freyova has been to the Games 3 times, finishing 20th at the most recent 2022 Games.
- Matilde Garnes: The two-time Games athlete from Norway finished 17th on a team in 2018 and 19th individually in 2022. Garnes showcased her incredible work capacity finishing 11th worldwide in the 2022 Open and recently took 14th place at the Rogue Invitational. She heads into Dubai as the fifth most established competitor in the field.
- Seher Kaya: After finishing 29th at her first CrossFit Games in 2022 and 2nd at the Far East Throwdown Semifinal, Kaya will kick off her 2023 season in Dubai looking to continue the success from her rookie season.
- Andrea Solberg: The Norwegian recently took 20th at the 2022 Rogue Invitational following a 14th place finish at this past year’s Lowlands Throwdown and 9th place in the 2022 CrossFit Open. She also has Games experience, competing in 2020, taking 27th place overall after performing stage one of the Games virtually during the COVID pandemic season.
- Hanna Karlsson: The final female athlete with Games experience attending Dubai is Hanna Karlsson, who took 37th at the 2019 CrossFit Games. Karlsson hasn’t competed at a Semifinal since 2021, where she took 11th at the CrossFit German Throwdown. She finished 58th worldwide in the 2022 CrossFit Open, and Dubai will be her first major live competition in some time.
Looking for a breakthrough: The final 11 females making up the women’s roster for Dubai are high level Semifinal competitors looking to take that next step to becoming CrossFit Games athletes.
- Oihana Moya: Last season, Moya took 8th at the 2022 Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal, followed by a 9th place in the Last Chance Qualifier.
- Tayla Howe: Last season, Howe finished the Strength in Depth Semifinal in 8th overall, followed by an 11th place in the Last Chance Qualifier. She also has notable experience competing in weightlifting, finishing 6th at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- Valentina Rangel: Representing the South America region, Rangel finished the CrossFit Copa Sur Semifinal in 9th place, followed by her most recent 4th place finish at the 2022 Madrid Championship back in September.
- Claudia Gluck: After finishing last season with a 10th place finish at the Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal, Gluck took 4th in the French Throwdown back in June and recently finished 4th at the German Throwdown.
- Aimee Cringle: Last season, Cringle finished 12th at the Strength in Depth Semifinal and recently took 10th-place at the 2022 Madrid Championship in September. It’s also worth mentioning that Cringle finished the 2022 CrossFit Open 32nd worldwide.
- Aoife Burke: Last season, Burke finished 14th at the Strength in Depth Semifinal, followed by a first place finish at the 2022 Arnold Fitness Games in September.
- Ella Kanona Wunger: Last season, Wunger finished 19th at the Lowlands Throwdown, followed by an 8th place finish at the 2022 French Throwdown in June.
- Maria Langfors: Last season, Langfors finished 20th at the Lowlands Throwdown following an impressive 35th place worldwide in the 2022 Open.
- Valentina Magalotti: Last season, Magalotti finished 25th at the Lowlands Throwdown and recently took 12th at the 2022 Madrid Championship and 11th at the 2022 German Throwdown.
- Dana Paran: Last season, Paran declined an invite to compete at the Syndicate Crown Semifinal stating on her Instagram that she has battled anxiety & depression for years and getting to a healthy place was her priority at the time. She went on to take 9th place at the 2022 CanWest Games in July and will be the only American representing the U.S. at Dubai this year.
- Manon Angonese: Although she hasn’t competed at a Semifinal since the 2021 Lowlands Throwdown (where she took 8th), Angonese recently placed 11th at the 2022 Rogue Invitational, 3rd at the 2022 Madrid Championship, and 10th at the 2022 French Throwdown.
The bottom line: The Dubai Fitness Championship is notorious for the broad range of tests it’s able to challenge the athletes with. Women with experience at the CrossFit Games will have a major advantage, having exposure to the outdoor elements often seen at Dubai. The mixed group of athletes will prove to be an exciting race from start to finish on the women’s side of the competition.