CrossFit Games

Dawon Jung Makes a Move; Seher Kaya Solidifies her Spot on Moving Day in Korea

June 3, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Erin Henderson | @erinhendrsn
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With only two spots up for grabs at the Far East Throwdown Semifinal in Busan, South Korea, there is arguably less room for error than at competitions where more invites are available, and 

Turkey’s Seher Kaya seemed to be well aware of this on Saturday in Korea.

The 25-year-old started and ended her day with event wins, and heads into Sunday with a 52-point buffer from the cutline. 

Meanwhile, Korea’s Dawon Jung, who entered the day in fifth overall, put forth three solid performances, vaulting her into third overall, just four points behind the unknown Russian athlete Anastasya Dodonova, yesterdays’ surprise leader.

The details:

Test 3: While not a single athlete in Korea finished Test 4—Semifinals Linda—Kaya came the closest, giving the 2022 CrossFit Games rookie her first event win of the weekend.

  • Japan’s Yuko Sakuyama, another contender coming into the weekend, finished second, Jung helped her cause to move into the top three with a third place finish, and Dodonova had her lowest finish of the competition so far, finishing outside of the top 10 (11th).

Test 4: Jung turned around on Test 5—the max snatch after an 800 meter run—posting the second best lift (175 pounds), helping her momentarily pass Dodonova to overtake second place.

  • Dodonova, though, didn’t give Jung too many points. She, too, put forth solid performance, as did Kaya (sixth and fifth respectively).
  • Sakuyama finished 19th, dropping her further down the leaderboard.

Test 5: The final test of the day—an 800-meter run after 20 snatches at 125 pounds—belonged to Kaya, who took the event easily, winning with a time of 3:25, a full 16 seconds over the next competitor in the sprint event.

  • Dodonova, too, proved she can run. She finished third, doing enough to stay ahead of Jung (sixth on the event) heading into the final day of competition.
  • Meanwhile, Sakuyama appeared to have injured herself on her first snatch of the test. She fell to the floor and soon walked off the competition floor, failing to finish the event.

The big picture: With a 51-point buffer on the cut line and two events to go, it’s arguably the veteran Kaya’s to lose in Korea. The bigger question is who will take the second spot from Asia. 

Will it be the unknown Dodonova, who proved on Saturday that Friday was no fluke,  or Korea’s Jung, who missed qualifying to the Games by just one spot last year? Just four points separate them heading into the final day of competition.

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