CrossFit Games

Rookie Record Setter Punches Ticket to Madison

June 7, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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Eight snatches at 185 pounds, and an 800m run on the Assault Runner with a six-minute time cap. Over the last month, individuals competing on multiple continents have completed Test 5 while battling for a coveted ticket to the Games. Spectators have seen markedly fast times at each Semifinal, but in Berlin, they witnessed a new world record. 

Remind me: Jeffrey Adler first set the time to beat on Test 5 at the North America East Semifinal with a time of 3:00.79. But the record was short-lived, as both Patrick Vellner and Brent Fikowski edged him out at the North America West Semifinal, finishing with the only two times under three minutes up to that point, placing 1st and 2nd respectively in the test. Vellner held the new world record of 2:56.39. 

As all Semifinals have concluded, the name Jelle Hoste, with a time of 2:56.25, will now sit atop Vellner’s on Test 5, as the Semifinal rookie holds the fastest time for the workout. But this was not the only victory for Hoste that weekend. He also fought for a 1st place finish on Tests 1 and 7. 

On his Test 5 win and new world record, Hoste expressed his excitement and gratitude for the crowd.

  • “(This moment) is very special. Especially all the people that came all the way from Belgium, I heard them in the background. It’s crazy. I cannot put it into words,” said Hoste.

The Belgian athlete was unknown to many, upon setting foot on the Europe Semifinal stage in Berlin. While he has competed in Quarterfinals since 2021, this was the first year Hoste qualified for Semifinals. 

Training with the No Shortcuts crew along with fellow 2023 Games rookie Rebecka Vitesson, and under the guidance of coach and Games veteran Andre Houdet, seems to have made all the difference. 

  • “Champions aren’t made on game day, they’re made in the shadows,” mentioned Hoste on social media, leading up to the Europe Semifinal. “It’s the countless hours of hard work, dedication, and discipline that sets them apart. Embrace the grind and trust the process.” 

With three wins over seven workouts, and a 4th place finish at the Europe Semifinals, the newcomer is now a force that fellow Games-bound competitors are likely to keep in mind as they train over the upcoming months. 

  • It all has to soak in. I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time. A lot of early mornings, late nights. Finally it comes together,” said Hoste. 

The bottom line: Hoste’s debut at Semifinals was a dramatic one. While up against Games veterans and powerhouses like Djukic, Koski, and Gudmundsson, Hoste not only held his own, but racked up more test wins than any individual competing in Berlin. He has no doubt proven himself as a major contender, and fans are anxious to see what he can do in Madison this summer.

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