CrossFit Games

Roman Returns: Khrennikov’s Consistency Puts Him in the Lead After Day One

August 3, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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The individual athletes kicked off the first day of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games on August 3. The first day tested endurance, stamina and skill over the course of three tests.  

Roman Khrennikov was consistent in the first day of competition, taking all top five finishes and heading into Friday wearing the leader’s jersey for the first time in his career. The most impressive part of Khrennikov’s performance was the balance he showed across three vastly different fitness domains. 

Engine beyond the machines: It’s well known that Khrennikov is in a league of his own when it comes to work capacity on the cardio machines and he showcased his amazing engine during Test one on Thursday. He traded punches with Jonne Koski, Jeffrey Adler and Jay Crouch throughout the grueling 40 minute AMRAP, finishing the first test in fourth place. This was an improvement from his 2022 mountain biking result “Bike to Work,” where he took sixth.

Khrennikov didn’t wait long to grab his first win for 2023, taking first in the “Pig Chipper” ahead of Lazar Djukic. Khrennikov was calculated with his breaks during the pyramid-style chipper, taking short rests to sustain his output. This proved to be the separator, as most of the athletes who started fast seemed to fall off as Khrennikov found his rhythm in the back half of a devastating test.  

The final test of the day was all about handstand skills, and the shift from grit to graceful didn’t trip up Khrennikov. The “Inverted Medley” followed a similar pyramid format to the “Pig Chipper,” where athletes moved through a series of handstand skills and peaked with 16 pull-overs before making their way back down to where they started. Khrennikov looked controlled and relaxed throughout the entire test, once again taking deliberate breaks and running his own race to finish fifth in a gymnastics specialists test. 

A three-peat is unlikely, but not impossible for Justin Medeiros: The 2023 CrossFit Games did not start how we expected for the two-time reigning champion. Medeiros took 29th in “Ride” after falling off his bike twice during the test. He followed this with a 37th finish in “Pig Chipper,” where he didn’t look like the consistent competitor we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Before today, Medeiros’ worst career finishes were a 15th in 2021 and 18th in 2022. 

Medeiros bounced back to finish Thursday strong, taking second place in “Inverted Medley,” moving him back inside the top 25 heading into Friday. Medeiros will start Friday 154 points behind Khrennikov and 100 points outside the podium. He has a lot of ground to make up, but if there’s one thing we should know by now, it’s to never count out the two time champion.

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