Five Quick Takeaways from 2024 TYR Wodapalooza
While the weather in Miami was gloomy, the action at TYR Wodapalooza was anything but dull.
We had the opportunity to see many of the sport’s top elite athletes go head-to-head and evaluate which of them are looking the best to start off 2024.
After two days of individual and two days of team competition, we now have a handful of takeaways that stood out.
Below, we have included five of the most interesting insights to come out of 2024 TYR Wodapalooza Miami:
1. It’s Anyone’s Game at the Top of the Men’s Division
Out of the top five men at the 2023 CrossFit Games, three of them competed at TYR WZA: Patrick Vellner, Roman Khrennikov, and Brent Fikowski.
The battle among these three was already going to be difficult enough, but then, of course, we also had the addition of Garard, who was the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza champion and 2022 Games bronze medalist.
Many of us, including myself, predicted either Vellner or Khrennikov would win it all here in Miami, considering their recent top finishes at the Games, Rogue Invitational, and Dubai Fitness Championship.
At the end of the weekend, however, neither of them was on the podium; instead, we saw a battle between Garard and Fikowski, with Samuel Kwant not far behind.
- Ricky Garard – 440
- Brent Fikowski – 420.5
- Samuel Kwant – 413
- Patrick Vellner – 384.5
This goes to show that the men’s division doesn’t have any clear favorites at the moment. Any one of these athletes, along with several others (including Jeffrey Adler), have a chance to win on any given day.
2. Canada Isn’t Going Anywhere
Going back to the men’s division for a second, four out of the top six positions were occupied by Canadian athletes.
- Brent Fikowski
- Patrick Vellner
- Jack Farlow
- Samuel Cournoyer
With Farlow and Cournoyer stepping up their game, Canada’s 2024 prospects are looking even better than ever.
Once again, adding Jeffrey Adler to this list is only going to solidify their current dominance even more.
3. Keep Your Eyes on Scandinavia in 2024
First, if you haven’t yet read our latest profile on Swedish rookie Rebecka Vitesson, we recommend checking that out.
In the individual elite women’s division, Vitesson finished fifth overall, which is phenomenal considering all four of the women who finished ahead of her finished in the top 10 at the 2023 CrossFit Games.
She also had the highest finish among other 2023 Games female rookies who were present at TYR Wodapalooza, including Olivia Kerstetter, Sydney Wells, Abigail Domit, and Emily de Rooy.
But Vitesson wasn’t the only one representing Scandinavia this weekend.
As you can see, three out of the top four women’s elite teams hailed from Scandinavian countries.
Let’s also not forget that Scandinavian teams also made up four of the top 10 teams at the 2023 Games, including two of the top five.
As a reminder, Sweden even had three female individual athletes present at the 2023 Games, and Norway had one, meaning Scandinavian athletes made up 10% of the total women’s field.
Keep an eye on this region in 2024.
4. Stop Building Strength Once You’re Strong “Enough”
Although we, the fans, love to see the big lifts, many of the athletes who focus primarily on strength-building tend to struggle to maintain the level of aerobic capacity and endurance to place highly on the final leaderboard.
It is becoming apparent that by making strength their priority, they are sacrificing improving other weak areas.
- For example: Eight of the top 10 women and six of the top 10 men in Event 1’s snatch complex strength event did not finish in the top 10 on the overall leaderboard at the end of the competition.
Here are the final overall positions of the top three men and women from the strength event:
- Guilherme Malheiros (9th)
- Jack Rozema (25th)
- Brent Fikowski (2nd)
- Julia Hannaford (12th)
- Dani Speegle (19th)
- Olivia Kerstetter (17th)
If these athletes were to get better in all other areas, especially in their running, swimming, and high-rep gymnastics, they would have much better overall results, even if they lost a couple of places in the strength event.
5. Watch Out for Emma Cary
Nineteen-year-old Emma Cary has some incredible momentum right now, and it looks like she is going to be dangerous during the 2024 season.
She had two out of her first four event finishes in 39th place and 40th at the 2023 CrossFit Games, but she still managed to make it back up the leaderboard to finish eighth overall. In the end, she was only 10 points behind seventh.
Two months later, she improved and took sixth at the Rogue Invitational.
Now, to begin the year, Emma Cary went against many of the world’s top women and won the entire thing, closing out the competition with five straight event finishes in the top two.
At the end of the 2023 season, Cary left Brute Strength and now trains at CrossFit Mayhem with her longtime coach, Dom D’Agostino, and a group that includes other members of her former camp, Jessica Androsik and Nate Ackermann.
While the rest of the community may still underestimate Cary this year, we’ll be watching closely.