“We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice.”- Albert Pike
2022 Quarterfinal Rundown: North America
The Quarterfinal stage of competition officially came to a close for individuals last weekend and even though the leaderboard is still in the process of being finalized, some bigger picture storylines in North America have emerged that should factor into the season discussion moving forward.
Even with increased focus globally on athletes and growth outside of the sport’s home continent, North America is still the leader in terms of participation and representation, keeping it in the driver’s seat for many of the discussions that surround the sport at each stage of competition.
The inclusion of a worldwide leaderboard for Quarterfinals this year provided us an easy tool for comparison of athlete cohorts across the globe. Given the potential for reallocation of Games spots, and Semifinal events, tools like this are helpful in understanding the broader impact each continent has on the leaderboard.
The popular sentiment is that Europe needs more of everything, and naturally the focus turns to North America as the place to concede spots to make it happen. But the performance from the continent during Quarterfinals may say otherwise.
Looking at the top 300 men and women worldwide, remember 300 each move on to Semifinals, North America still rules the roost occupying 49.5% the field which percentage-wise is above the their allocated amount of spots for Semifinals (40%), and nearly identical to the amount of the Games field they currently occupy (50%).
Taking that a step further, North America occupies 52.5% of the top 40 athletes worldwide (the cutoff for Games spots) which falls in line with the previous numbers as far as allocations go. Expected top performers like Justin Medeiros, Mal O’Brien, Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith, Amanda Barnhardt, and Danielle Brandon have anchored things while newcomers have emerged to bolster the numbers that suggest that North America handing over spots isn’t necessarily a guarantee.
In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Leah Storen about her meteoric rise to the top and how she plans to keep climbing. 🧗🏻♀️
“My main goal right now is to continue working on my weaknesses. Even though some of the things came pretty naturally for me in CrossFit, I still need to work on my strength, which is my weakest part right now.”
CrossFit mastermind and HWPO CEO Matt O’Keefe was on Hey Preslie’s podcast talking about “doing the next right thing”.
Rogue Fitness is hiring a number of positions to work out of its Columbus, OH headquarters including an HR generalist and senior project engineer.
Eight Sleep, who do temperature controlled beds and sponsor a number of CrossFit athletes including Justin Medeiros and Brooke Wells, have acquired Span Health, a data-driven, health coaching company.
2022 Quarterfinal Rundown: Europe
Although from both a participation and elite competition performance perspective there’s a case for more European Semifinals and Games spots, there are still only 60 spots for men and 60 spots for women at Semis, and five spots for each at the Games. This makes the Quarterfinals leaderboard extremely competitive for both men and women, and brings a series of interesting conversations to be had. Here we’ll focus on three big themes:
The Top Ten after Quarterfinals
Games Contenders from Outside the Top Ten
Notable Names who Missed the Cutline
The Games Contenders
At the top of both leaderboards are many familiar names, many of whom will also be the favorites to eventually take Games spots once Semifinals roll around. Looking at the top ten men and women in Europe (remember they only get 10 Games spots), how many can we actually expect to hold down a top ten spot at the next stage?
The Oceania region consists of 14 countries but in the case of CrossFit, Australia and New Zealand reign supreme. This point is further driven by looking at the leaderboard of the Oceania Quarterfinal which concluded this past Sunday and is still awaiting finalization. Here are five takeaways from looking at the unofficial leaderboard.
1. Tia doing Tia things. Those who were looking for a dip in Tia-Clair Toomey’s performance after taking time away to train in the bobsled for a qualifying run to the 2022 Winter Olympics greatly underestimated the fitness of the five-time reigning and defending “Fittest Woman on Earth”. After just missing out on winning her second-straight Open, she not only laid waste to the Oceania Quarterfinal field but the whole Quarterfinal field in its entirety.
She was the only athlete, man or woman, to finish with a single digit point total in their respective Quarterfinals. She won three of the five workouts and placed second in the other two, the only athlete to do that worldwide. Her feat is more impressive when compared worldwide. She was the only athlete to record top-10 finishes in every workout with her worst finish being seventh in Workout 4, the “Other Total”. Even more impressive was that her closest competitor both in her Quarterfinal and Worldwide was her fellow Australian Kara Saunders who finished 107 points behind Toomey in the worldwide leaderboard. Toomey’s average place finish on the worldwide leaderboard was 3.6, the next best average was Saunders with 25th.
2022 Quarterfinal Rundown: South America, Asia, Africa
These regions were grouped together due to the combined number of NOBULL CrossFit Games invitations on the line.
A total of 10 Games invites will be available for the combined men’s and women’s field for these three regions. Asia and Africa will receive two invites per division with Africa getting just one. One hundred and eighty athletes will be competing for those coveted spots across their respective Semifinals.
Below we take a look at the unofficial leaderboard for these continents and discuss stand out performances.
The much-touted youth movement within the Games the last few seasons has not made its way to Africa, specifically the men’s division where the average age of the top-30 athletes moving onto the Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal is 29.5 years of age, the highest of any region and in any division.
Perennial African champion Jason Smith at 38 years of age continues to be the measuring stick for the men’s field in Africa. No one has stepped up to the challenge of unseating the three-time Games athlete who heads into the Semifinals as the favorite to win the Semifinal and represent the country once again.
Many thought 29-year old Kealan Henry was ready to unseat Smith after recording back-to-back wins in Workouts 1 and 2. However a 34th finish in the “Other Total” was what stopped him from winning the Quarterfinals. He was just one of two men to win three workouts in their Quarterfinals, joining Guilherme Malheiros.
Michelle Merand heads into the Semifinals with a little momentum as she won the Quarterfinals by 14 points over last year’s winner Michelle Basnett. The 2019 Games athlete placed third at last year’s Quarterfinal and again third at the Semifinals.
Basnett burst onto the scene last year as a 23-year old, qualifying for the Games after a convincing win in the Semifinals. She started slow to this year’s Quarterfinals but finished up with a second place in Workout 5 to move past fellow South African Lee Keyrouz for a runner-up finish to Merand.
Do the Best of the Best Make it to the CrossFit Games Each Year?
The ultimate goal of the CrossFit Games has and will always be to determine the fittest men and women in the world. That being said, CrossFit LLC has also long had a secondary mission: To turn CrossFit into a worldwide sport.
In light of this, the need to represent the fittest athletes in the world at the Games is also generally balanced by ensuring there’s representation from all continents.
What this looks like in 2022: For the second year in a row, 40 men and 40 women will compete at the Games, with 50 percent of the berths hailing from North America, 25 percent from Europe, 7.5 percent from Oceania, five percent from each of Asia, South America and the Last Chance Qualifier, and 2.5 percent from Africa.
Where we’re at now: With two rounds of competition complete, we are down to just 300 men and 300 women, who will compete for 38 spots at their respective Semifinals—with the Last Chance Qualifier determining the final two—thus providing a perfect opportunity to take a look at how well, or how poorly, this year’s format did at finding the fittest 300 men and women to advance to Semifinals.
BREAKING: Anikha Greer’s 2022 Games Season Comes to an End After Workout Five Submission Issue
Anikha Greer’s 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games season has come to an unceremonious end after her time for Workout 5 of the North American Quarterfinal failed to post before the 12 PM PT deadline on Sunday. She finished 391st in North America with just four scored events, 271 spots below the cutline (top 120 athletes) to advance to the Semifinal stage of the season.
In an Instagram post today, Greer wrote: “I finished [Workout 5] Saturday afternoon, a full DAY before it was due, uploaded my video and my score and shut my phone down after a long, LONG weekend and even longer 2 weeks.”
“It wasn’t until 12:20 the next day (20 mins past deadline) while at breakfast with the crew that I noticed my dashboard for event 5 was empty,” she continued.
“What happened when I clicked submit is an absolute mystery to me.” Greer said, “Whether it be an iPhone glitch or an internet glitch, ultimately, CF never received my score.”
“I fully take responsibility for not double checking and screenshotting as I normally do, but I was so certain it was in, and so mentally exhausted/ready to be done and move on,” she concluded.
Both kipping and strict ring Muscle Ups have their place, but developing strict strength is a necessity for being great at either. Learn how to build the strength and technique needed to start swinging around the gym with ease.
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Is There a Shift in What Makes a Good CrossFitter?
With lower weights showing up more often and elements like shuttle runs being introduced, do we need to start adapting our thoughts on what a top CrossFit athlete is? Training Think Tank addresses this, the quarterfinals in general, and no reps in their latest pod.
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16-year-old Olivia Kerstetter sits unofficially in 8th place on the North American Quarterfinal leaderboard, largely thanks to her score of 713 pounds/323kg in the Other Total (clean, bench, overhead squat).
Congratulations to Ricky McCauley from CrossFit 5000 in Pooraka, South Australia on a new clean PR of 308.5 pounds/140kg.
Congratulations Sayed Hasona from FitRepublik in Dubai, UAE on the 407.5 pound/185kg clean PR.
Ricky Garard logged PRs for all three lifts in Quarterfinal Workout 4, with a total score of 1048 pounds/475kg.
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