Competition

Gabi Migala Leads TYR Wodapalooza Field After Day 1 in Rainy Miami

January 11, 2024 by
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With the two most recently crowned Fittest Women on Earth—Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Laura Horvath—sitting out this year’s 2024 TYR Wodapalooza, all eyes turned to Poland’s Gabi Migala as the most likely woman to finish on top of the podium this weekend in Miami, FL.

And after the first day of competition, Migala—fourth at last summer’s CrossFit Games and the 2023 European Semifinals champion—is sitting right where she was expected to be. She leads Emma Cary by six points, while veteran Danielle Brandon sits in third.

Behind them, but still well within podium position, are 2023 CrossFit Games rookie, Sweden’s Rebecka Vitesson, and 2023 Games bronze medalist Arielle Loewen, who was also expected to contend for the top spot.

The Details

Event 1: Double or Nothin’ 

Athletes had two attempts to hit one snatch plus one hang snatch in a 45-second window. The event saw many athletes miss their first lift as they worked out their first event nerves.

  • Australia’s Julia Hannaford, however, showed no signs of apprehension. She topped all competitors with a 195-pound snatch (plus five overhead squats, which acted as the tie-break), while veteran Dani Speegle—the heavy favorite to win the event—finished second.
  • Speegle, too, hit 195 pounds, but instead of logging overhead squat reps, she opted to quickly add more weight and attempt again at 205 pounds. She hit the lift but was given a no-rep from her judge. 
  • Newly-turned 18-year-old and 2023 Games Individual rookie, Olivia Kerstetter finished third, with a 190-pound lift, while overall leaders Migala, Cary, and Brandon finished fourth, 12th, and eighth, respectively.

Event 2: Cortadito 

As rain poured down on Miami, three of the four originally intended movements in Event 2 were changed to ensure athlete safety. As originally programmed, the workout was supposed to include parallel bar dips, hang power cleans at 125 pounds, shoulder-to-overhead at 125 pounds, and bar muscle-ups. However, because of the slippery conditions, deadlifts, front squats, and burpees over the bar were substituted instead. 

  • These changes arguably helped Loewen, who came up big for an event win. She finished 22 seconds ahead of Cary, while third place belonged to 2022 Games athlete Rebecca Fuselier. 
  • Migala and Brandon were both solid again, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

One big thing: High-rep pulling, namely movements such as muscle-ups, have long been known as Migala’s weakness. There were supposed to be 36 bar muscle-ups in Event 2, but they were swapped for burpees because of the weather.

Events 3 and 3b: The final event of the day asked athletes to work through a chipper of 20 rowing calories, 30 wall balls, 14 strict pull-ups, 30 box jump overs, and 25 dumbbell snatches. 

  • First, they had the movements as a three-minute AMRAP to get as far into the chipper as they could, and after a one-minute rest, they did it again but for five minutes this time. Then, after another one-minute rest, they had eight minutes to complete the chipper. 
  • Athletes received one score for their total reps completed across all three rounds, and a second score for their total time on the third attempt.
  • Worth noting: A major change was also made in this event due to the rain. Originally, the 14 strict pull-ups were supposed to be 35 chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Both portions of the event belonged to Cary, who came up big with event wins in both. 

Brandon logged a fifth and second, while Migala finished her day with two more solid performances—fourth and seventh. Migala and Brandon are the only two athletes who finished in the top 10 on all four tests on Day 1.

The big picture: Though we have a whole day of competition to go in Miami, two-thirds of the events are complete, and with only two events remaining, it’s hard not to imagine Migala finding herself on the podium, likely in the top spot.

Cary and Brandon are also sitting pretty in second and third, while Loewen has some work to do. She sits 39.5 points out of podium position, but if anyone can do it, it might just be the 2023 Games medalist. Two events will determine their Wodapalooza fate.

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