Week Three Semifinals Team Preview: Europe and Asia
This weekend, the final teams will earn their tickets to the CrossFit Games this summer. After two weeks of competition around the world, Europe and Asia will close out the Semifinal season and send twelve more teams to the CrossFit Games.
Europe: This weekend, ten European teams will earn their ticket to the CrossFit Games. While The United States has historically dominated the team space in CrossFit, Europe has made substantial gains in the team division over the past several years.
- In 2013, CrossFit Nordic of Sweden became the first European team to crack the top ten with a ninth-place finish at the CrossFit Games.
- However, it wouldn’t be until 2021 that a European team would stand on the podium at the CrossFit Games, with CrossFit Oslo of Norway and CrossFit Genas of France finishing second and third respectively.
- In 2022, CrossFit Oslo found their way back to the podium finishing second overall again with CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue.
This year, Europe has continued to prove its newfound dominance in the team division.
- At the conclusion of the Team Quarterfinals competition, Europe boasted an average worldwide rank of 121 for its teams, the lowest of any division by 20 spots.
- North America East held the second-lowest average worldwide rank at 141.
- Europe is also home to the worldwide fourth-seeded team coming out of Quarterfinals and seven teams seeded in the top 20 worldwide.
Three Big Stories to Watch this Weekend:
- Coach Joakim Rygh believes that at least four of those teams have a realistic chance of punching their ticket for the 2023 CrossFit Games this weekend.
- If Oslo does manage to pull this off, they will break CrossFit Invictus’ record set last weekend of three teams qualifying for the CrossFit Games out of one Semifinal from a single affiliate.
|TEAM||WW RANK||EUROPEAN RANK|
|CROSSFIT OSLO NAVY BLUE||8||2|
|CROSSFIT OSLO BLACKOUT||51||16|
|CROSSFIT OSLO NAJS||60||19|
|CROSSFIT OSLO VAMOS||75||24|
|CROSSFIT OSLO RBLS||105||32|
|CROSSFIT OSLO PINK PANTHERS||121||36|
- Motivated by the prior success of Oslo Navy Blue and Kristin Holte, CrossFit Oslo has created what is arguably one of the deepest boxes in the world, with six teams and several individual athletes competing this weekend at Semifinals.
- “Kristin [Holte] was always such a good role model. She put a lot of effort into small, small details, and this has contributed a lot,” Rygh said in an interview earlier this spring, adding that Holte showed athletes at the gym what was possible if you “go all in” on your goals.
In the past two years, Oslo has continuously grown the success of its athletes. In 2021 and 2022, CrossFit Oslo took second at the CrossFit Games.
- 2022 also marked the first year that CrossFit Oslo qualified two teams to the CrossFit Games, with CrossFit Oslo Purple Red taking 21st.
- Oslo is also home to 2022 individual CrossFit Games rookies Matilde Garner and Seher Kaya.
No Shortcuts Hopes to Continue Their Dominance after Quarterfinals: This year, the three-time fittest man in Denmark, Andre Houdet, will take the Semifinal floor in Europe with Team No Shortcuts CrossFit.
- Houdet will be joined by former CrossFit Butcher’s Lab athlete, Julian Kragh-Maschivitsz (3-time Games Veteran), 4-time Games veteran Nienke Van Overveld, and 2-time Games veteran Dr. Julie Hougard Nielson.
- This absolute powerhouse of a team absolutely dominated Quarterfinals, ranking top two in every workout except the final.
- Houdet will not only be an athlete this weekend, but also a coach to other individual athletes representing the No Shortcuts training program, he revealed in an Instagram post on Sunday.
- With more than 10 combined CrossFit Games under their belts, CrossFit No Shortcuts will be the team to watch for the top of the podium this weekend.
Wildcard Teams to Watch: As we’ve seen the past two weeks with ten spots up for grabs at the North American East and West Semifinals, the bottom few qualifying spots have proved to be one of the more interesting parts of the competition. This weekend in Europe will be no different with nine qualifying spots available for teams.
CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Kriger: Hailing from the Kriger program that supports a majority of CrossFit Oslo’s semifinal athletes and developed by Games legend Kristin Holte, CrossFit Butcher’s lab had a solid performance during Quarterfinals this year.
- While they are currently seeded outside the top ten, tied for eleventh, CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Kriger only had one finish outside the top twenty during Quarterfinals.
- The team consists of several Games veterans who have represented CrossFit Butcher’s lab at the Games before.
- If they can utilize their previous in-person competition experience to their advantage this weekend, they should be able to slide themselves into a qualifying position by the end of the weekend.
Blueprint CrossFit Team AOD: While this team is currently seeded 17th overall, they finished two of five workouts during Quarterfinals in the top ten, including a third-place finish in workout 3B.
- The UK team is currently ranked 55th worldwide after Quarterfinals and 4th in the UK after the Open and consists of several Team Games veterans.
- Their current 17th-place ranking is largely driven by a 37th and 51st-place finish on workouts one and four respectively.
- A smaller field and time to work on their weaknesses could play to their advantage this weekend and allow them to earn a qualifying position on the leaderboard.
CrossFit Aylesbury: Another UK team, currently seeded 14th overall, CrossFit Aylesbury finished two of five Quarterfinals workouts in the top ten and one in 11th place.
- Their final Quarterfinals ranking was largely driven by a 43rd place finish in workout 3a.
- Similar to Blueprint CrossFit Team AOD, a smaller field could play to their advantage this weekend.
With only two spots up for grabs this weekend, Asia will be in a similar place as Oceania and South America last weekend. Despite having no teams in the top 20 worldwide, Asia’s teams still have a high level of competition among themselves
- Coming out of Quarterfinals, the top five teams were only separated by 15 points, almost half of the point gap that Europe holds between its top five teams.
- With no team clearly dominating the field, the top five teams will have to fight for those coveted two positions at the top of the leaderboard.
Top Five Teams Post Quarterfinals:
|1||CROSSFIT FLY HIGH KOLESNIKOV TEAM||CrossFit Fly High||8|
|2||STUD CROSSFIT TEAM STUD||Stud CrossFit||14|
|3||CROSSFIT MARVEL BLACK||CrossFit Marvel||17|
|4||RED TOWER CROSSFIT RED TOWER CROSSFIT||Red Tower CrossFit||20|
|5||SOYUZ CROSSFIT SEYM||Soyuz CrossFit||23|
CrossFit Fly High Kolesnikov Team: With no finish outside the top five during Quarterfinals and three event wins, CrossFit Fly High Kolesnikov Team is currently the favorite to win amongst a competitive top five teams.
- However, with Stud CrossFit Team Stud trailing just six points behind them during Quarterfinals, Kolesnikov Team will be up against some fierce competition this weekend.
Stud Crossfit Team Stud: Similar to Kolesnikov Team, Stud CrossFit finished every Quarterfinals workout in the top five.
- While they are currently Kolesnikov Team’s biggest competitor for the top of the podium, they also have a very solid chance at earning a qualifying spot, even if they don’t beat Kolesnikov Team.
- If they end the weekend in first or second, Stud CrossFit Team Stud will be the first team to represent China at the CrossFit Games.
CrossFit Marvel Black: With an event win in workout one and no finish outside the top five during Quarterfinals, CrossFit Marvel Black is also looking to fight for one of those qualifying positions after finishing just three points behind Stud CrossFit Team Stud during Quarterfinals.
- If they earn themselves a spot in Madison this weekend, they will be the first team to represent Korea at the CrossFit Games.
Red Tower CrossFit: Finishing Quarterfinals just six points out of second and three points out of third, Red Tower CrossFit only had one finish outside the top five.
- Their final ranking was largely driven down by a sixth-place finish in week one.
- Unlike other regions, where a smaller field of play can help to hide weaknesses, the competition in Asia this weekend will be fierce amongst the top five, meaning Red Tower CrossFit will need to work on their weaknesses in order to avoid placing too low over the course of the weekend.
Soyuz CrossFit Seym: Sitting just three points behind Red Tower CrossFit and 15 points out of first, Soyuz CrossFit Seym took home two second-place finishes during Quarterfinals, but also two 7th place finishes, which ultimately landed them in fifth.
- Similar to Red Tower CrossFit, they will need to hone in on their weaknesses to avoid lower finishes this weekend due to the intense competition amongst the top five teams.
CrossFit We Can Do It Teambusan: Aside from their can-do attitude, reflected in their name, CrossFit We Can Do It Teambusan had two top-five finishes during Quarterfinals and was largely driven down by a 12th-place finish in workout 2.
- If they can hone their weaknesses to tighten up their rankings and lean on the energy of the crowd on the competition floor this weekend, they could cause some serious leaderboard upsets or potentially push their way into a qualifying position over the course of the weekend.