Karin Frey Secures Lead, Claudia Gluck Jumps from Fourth to Second on Saturday in Dubai

December 9, 2023 by
Photo Credit: @dxbfitnesschamp
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Three of the top four women after Day 2 in the Duty Free Tennis Stadium at the Dubai Fitness Championship are the same as they were after Day 1.

Slovakia’s Karin Frey held onto the lead she established on Friday, while France’s up-and-comer Claudia Gluck jumped from fourth into second, thanks to a win in the second event of the day. 

Meanwhile, Italy’s Elise Fuliano held her third-place position from Friday. The Netherlands Noortje Bleeker and Norway’s Andrea Solberg, a 2020 Games athlete, round out the top five.

The details: Saturday started with Event 3—a 10-round workout of 1 legless rope climb, 15 wall balls, and 35 double-unders with a heavy rope—a workout not a single woman in the field was able to finish before the 12-minute time cap.

  • Two women from earlier heats—Spain’s Elena Carratala Sanahuja and American Kyra Mulligan—got the furthest. Their scores were the top two of the day.
  • Frey had another solid performance that was good enough for third, with Fuliano and Gluck close behind in fourth and fifth. 

The day continued with Event 4–an EMOM-style workout in which athletes had to complete 25 toes-to-bar in the first minute, 12 calories on the Echo bike in the second, before logging max reps of front squats at 65 kg (143 pounds) in the third minute. This was followed by one minute of rest, and the workout ended when the athlete hit 60 front squats (or max reps at the end of 15 minutes). 

  • It was a tight race between Gluck and Frey that came down to the wire, but Gluck did just enough for the win—her second event win of the competition—finishing her 60th front squat at 10:43, just six seconds ahead of Frey.
  • Veteran Jacqueline Dahlstom logged the third fastest time, while Fuliano finished eighth.

Saturday’s final event was a quick sprint elimination style event of a 15 calorie Bike Erg, followed by 10 burpees box jump overs and a 30 meter sandbag carry.

  • None of the top five athletes going into the event made the five-athlete final, a final won by Ingrid Hodnemyr, followed by a photo finish between Julia Kato and Solberg. 
  • As for the leaders, Frey logged a solid fifth place finish, while Gluck finished seventh and Fuliano had her lowest finish of the competition so far (21st), but it was still enough to keep her in third overall heading into Sunday.

One big thing: Gluck’s performance so far in Dubai is huge for her career. The French athlete has competed at European Semifinals for the last three years and has never quite been able to break through. She was 23rd in the highly competitive Semifinals last season and 10th the year before. A podium finish, or a win for her in Dubai, could go a long way in building her confidence heading into the 2024 season.

The big picture: It looks like the race for the podium is between five athletes—Frey, Gluck, Fuliano, Bleeker and Solberg, but with three events to go, there’s still plenty of room for veterans like long-time team athlete Mia Hesketh and 2023 Games rookie Manon Angonese to move up.

Hesketh sits in sixth and Angonese in seventh, both 30 points out of third, and with 37.5 percent of the total points still up for grabs in Dubai don’t count them out just yet.

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