Dubai Fitness Championship: Podium Picks
The 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship is set to kick off this weekend, celebrating the competition’s 10th anniversary. The event will feature a mix of big names, up-and-coming athletes, along with new competitors looking to make a name for themself.
The programming has yet to be released, but looking at past performance and the trends in programming typically seen at Dubai, here are our podium picks and dark horses for this weekend.
- Jamie Simmonds: Five-time CrossFit Games veteran and 2019 podium finisher, Simmonds is the most experienced competitor in the women’s field, bringing a wide range of strengths to one of the most diversely programmed offseason events. She is among the best in the world at high volume gymnastics and anything featuring a classic couplet or triplet.
- Lena Richter: Back-to-back runner up in the team division, Richter has been a crucial part of CrossFit Oslo’s consistent success over the last couple of years. If she’s able to execute and manage the demands of individual competition, she definitely has the physical fitness to fight for a podium spot at Dubai.
- Matilde Garnes: After her recent 14th place finish at the Rogue Invitational, Garnes showcased the breadth of her fitness, taking fourth in the trail run and second in the ring muscle up, hill run and goblet squat workout. Garnes did something similar at the 2022 CrossFit Games, where she finished 19th overall. She finished 10th in Shuttle to Overhead “A” and fifth in Shuttle to Overhead “B,” which tested fitness on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. Anytime an athlete displays such a wide range of strengths, it makes them a major threat to the rest of the field.
- Brent Fikowski: Coming off his recent win at ELFIT in Egypt, Fikowski has a good chance of winning his second Dubai Fitness Championship this weekend. The seven-time CrossFit Games veteran is among the top of the field in swimming, max lifting, chippers and endurance events. Dubai’s programming typically offers a broad test including all of these elements. If Fikowski can stay in the top of the field during classic couplets and triplets, it will be hard to beat him with his ability to dominate in these other areas.
- Jonne Koski: The eight-time CrossFit Games veteran recently finished 11th at the Rogue Invitational, continuing the incredible consistency he has showcased over the course of his career. Koski is known as the most dominant swimmer in the CrossFit space, which is something we are likely to see at this years event. If he can hit home runs on his strengths and finish close to his direct competitors in damage-control workouts, expect to see Koski be in contention for the gold this weekend.
- Lazar Djukic: After finishing eighth at the 2022 CrossFit Games, Djukic won the Madrid Championship in September, but suffered an ankle injury during the Rogue Invitational roughly one month ago. If Djukic has recovered and is healthy, his balanced fitness make him a podium contender that could contest for the top of the leaderboard if the events line up correctly for him.
- Karin Freyova: The three-time CrossFit Games veteran finished 20th in 2022, with her best events being the sandbag ladder and sled push/kettlebell clean and jerk workout. She also finished second at the 2019 Dubai Fitness Championship, making her someone who could easily knock one of our picks off the podium.
- Khan Porter: The seven-time CrossFit Games veteran recently finished second in the team division at the Down Under Championship. Porter had a transformational season in 2022, uprooting his life and moving to Iceland to train with Jami Tikkanen and the Reykjavik crew. He’s openly expressed that he’s made improvements in the past year he didn’t think were possible and it will be exciting to see him compete as an individual for the first time since making these changes.
The bottom line: Athletes who have experience competing at the CrossFit Games or Dubai will have a major advantage this weekend. The chaos and uncertainty of these events can create stress and throw athletes off their game if they’re not prepared. The combination of experience and incredible balance of fitness make these eight athletes our top picks heading into the 10th Dubai Fitness Championship.