CrossFit Games

Arthur Semenov Punches Ticket Back to NOBULL CrossFit Games

June 4, 2023 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit
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The Far East Throwdown came down to a frantic end on June 4 as the top athletes competed in the Republic of Korea. Only two tests stood between them and a trip to the NOBULL CrossFit Games. Arthur Semenov used them both to get back to Madison while Morteza Sedaghat secured his first Games berth. 

Test 6: 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). 

  • The first test of the day created questions about the bigger athletes in the field due to the mandatory handstand walk pirouettes. They had strength and power, but did they have gymnastic abilities? 
  • The pirouettes were less of a factor than the strict handstand push-ups. The majority of athletes went unbroken on their opening walks, but they had to take multiple breaks on their push-ups. 
  • Andrei Fedotov was the man to beat during the opening test. He flew through his movements and built up a massive lead by the time he got back to the rower. He easily won the event with a time of 10:02.13.
  • Morteza Sedaghat kicked off the final day with his fifth top-three finish of the weekend. He maintained his hold on second place on the leaderboard heading into the final test. 
  • Sedaghat put himself within striking distance of points leader Semenov, but he needed some major help in the final test if he wanted the Semifinals win. The reason is that Semenov finished sixth overall and minimized the damage done in the points standings. 

Test 7: The Far East Throwdown 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. 

  • The final test had no shortage of fireworks. Kyungsun Kang jumped out to an early lead in the first round, but he fell to third during the second as Ant Haynes and Ilyas Kuliev completed synchronized toes-to-bars.
  • This battle between Haynes and Kuliev continued into the final round, but there was a major turning point – the toes-to-bars. Haynes went unbroken while Kuliev had to drop down for a quick break. 
  • Semenov used this as his moment to strike. He passed Kuliev and jumped into second place. He then tried to chase down Haynes on the final sandbag bear-hug carry.  
  • The final push did not deliver a win; Haynes had too big of an advantage. Semenov still crossed the finish line second overall to secure his Semifinals win.
  • Sedaghat crossed the finish line with the 12th-best time in the final test, but it did not make a difference in the final standings. He had built up too much of a points advantage over Haynes, so he still finished second overall by virtue of 13 points.

Worth noting: Semenov now returns to the CrossFit Games after making his debut during the 2022 season. He finished 39th after getting cut, but he will now have an opportunity to pursue a stronger finish. 

Sedaghat, for comparison, has never competed in Madison. He finished fifth in his first two Semifinals appearances and narrowly missed out on a trip to the NOBULL CrossFit Games. 2023 told a different story as he won the Asia Quarterfinals and finished above the cutline in the Far East Throwdown. 

The bottom line: After seven tests, the final week of Semifinals has come to a close. The top athletes across the world have set themselves up for a trip to Madison. They can now begin preparing for a schedule full of training, as well as how to best adjust to the time and climate changes.

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