FitFest UK Team Recap: Team Brandon Wins Slugfest in Birmingham

December 12, 2023 by
Photo Credit: @daniellebrandon7
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At this past weekend’s FitFest in Birmingham, UK, three stacked teams of the world’s most elite athletes competed in a slugfest of events, forcing everything to come down to a tiebreaker, with nothing being decided until the very last event.

Ultimately, Team Brandon and Team Lawson both finished with 17 total points, with the tiebreaker for the championship going to Team Brandon, thanks to their win in Event 1.

Here’s a rundown of the athletes on these three teams:

Team Brandon

  • Danielle Brandon
  • Arielle Loewen
  • Dallin Pepper
  • Thuri Helgadottir
  • Jayson Hopper
  • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson

Team Lawson

  • Emma Lawson
  • Brent Fikowski
  • Nick Mathew
  • Jennifer Muir
  • Lucy McGonigle
  • Enrico Zenoni

Team Wunger

  • Ella Wunger
  • Patrick Vellner
  • Jelle Hoste
  • Alex Gazan
  • Jack Farlow
  • Kels Kiel

Every Event Mattered

Although the community predicted that Team Brandon would win the competition, it was still expected to be close. But no one could have predicted exactly how close.

All the teams traded wins through the nine events, with no one pulling away from the rest:

  • Team Brandon: 4 event wins (1 tie)
  • Team Lawson: 4 event wins (1 tie)
  • Team Wunger: 3 event wins

Surprise Underdogs

Team Lawson, which had the least CrossFit Games experience of the three teams, still ended up giving Team Brandon a run for its money despite the experience gap.

Keep in mind that Team Lawson had two athletes 18 years old or younger, including 16-year-old Lucy McGonigle and 18-year-old team captain Emma Lawson.

They may not have been favored to win it all, but it was clear from the beginning that Emma Lawson and Brent Fikowski were not going to go down without a fight. In fact, they were only seven seconds away from victory in two events.

In Event 4, ‘Midline Motoring,’ Team Lawson finished in third, just seven seconds behind second place, and in Event 7, ‘Showdown,’ they finished in second, just seven seconds behind first.

Speaking of close finishes…

Team Wunger Missed Out By a Handful of Seconds

On multiple occasions, Team Wunger ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard by just a handful of seconds, with one third-place spot decided by a single second.

  • Event 5 ‘Tribute’: Team Wunger finished in second place by four seconds.
  • Event 7 ‘Showdown’: Team Wunger finished in third by one second.
  • Event 8 ‘Chipper’: Team Wunger finished in second by eight seconds.

Some Final Thoughts

This was an awesome competition to watch, especially in the new format. It’s not often that we see the world’s best individual athletes join up and compete as a team, giving us a fresh perspective on just how different team and individual competitions truly are.

The team competition was announced as an exhibition among greats, but we all knew that these athletes came to win.

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