Jason Smith Wins REBEL Renegade Games, Punches Ticket to Madison
The REBEL Renegade Games came to a close on Sunday with two final events in Johannesburg, South Africa. There were multiple male athletes with a realistic opportunity to take the single qualifying spot for the NOBULL CrossFit Games, but none could take down veteran competitor Jason Smith.
Event Six: The final day began with a chipper workout. The athletes had to complete 20 overhead squats (185 pounds), a 500-meter row, three handstand walk pirouettes, two seated legless rope climbs, 20 strict chest-to-wall handstand push-ups, two seated legless rope climbs, three handstand walk pirouettes, 500-meter row, and 20 overhead squats (185 pounds).
- Smith may have won the REBEL Renegade Games with outright consistency throughout the weekend, but there was another competitor that continued making moves of his own. Ruan Potgieter won the second event with his methodical pistols and then he added another win on the final day.
- This win kept Potgieter in contention for a top-three position, but it was not enough to fully challenge for the Semifinal win. The reason is that Smith finished fourth and continued to build his advantage.
- A new day began in South Africa, but a trend from Saturday continued. Conrad Winnertz just kept delivering strong performances. Event six was a fitting example as he crossed the finish line third behind Smith and Darren Zurnamer after completing all of the movements in 13:17.00.
- Winnertz added another 92 points to his total, and he continued his steady move up the leaderboard. A trip to Madison was out of his grasp, but he was able to further put the field on notice.
Event Seven: The REBEL Renegade Games finale was all about speed, quality of movement, and pushing through the pain. The athletes had to complete three rounds of 15 calories on the Echo Bike, 20 toes-to-bar, and a 60-foot sandbag bear-hug carry (200 pounds). They also faced a six-minute time cap.
- With a fast-paced event on tap for the finale, CrossFit set the stage for some fireworks. The athletes had to just go full send in an effort to fight for a potential event win. Nothing else mattered considering that there were no more events on the schedule.
- It was only fitting that Smith would use the event to lock up his second event win of the weekend. He blasted through the three rounds with a time of 4:29.00, which was five seconds ahead of runner-up Josh Kernot, and he showed his versatility as an athlete with gymnastics and strength.
- Smith kicked off his weekend with an event win and then he capped it off with another event win. It was an exclamation point on the weekend, which only added to his legacy in the sport.
Worth noting: A three-time CrossFit Games athlete, Smith will now make his fourth trip to the most important event on the season schedule. He will do so as an individual athlete at the age of 39. This puts him in the category of a Masters athlete, but he continues to contend in the individual field.
The bottom line: After seven events, the first week of Semifinals has come to a close. What we learned is that there are some standout athletes who can represent Africa well into the future. Conrad Winnertz, Ruan Potgieter, and Daniel Griesel are only some examples. Though they will be hard-pressed to take the crown from Jason Smith who doesn’t seem to lose a step.