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Misstep Costs Brent Fikowski Title as Fabian Beneito and Karin Frey Lunge to Victory at Dubai Fitness Championship
The final day of competition in the UAE at the Dubai Fitness Championship started with a jam-packed men’s leaderboard and some big unanswered questions on the women’s side, namely whether Karin Frey would be able to hold off 2019 CrossFit Games medalist Jamie Simmonds to take the title.
The details: The day kicked off with an interval-style event of shuttle runs, burpee box clears and dumbbell thrusters and was followed by a triplet of double-unders with a heavy rope, a sandbag carry and 50 chest-to-bar pull-ups.
Two noteworthy athletes in the first two events were Emily Rolfe and Fabian Beneito. Rolfe used the first two workouts of the day to jump from fifth into third thanks to fifth and second place finishes on Events 5 and 6. Meanwhile, Beneito, a two-time Semifinals and Last Chance Qualifier competitor, catapulted from seventh to second thanks to back-to-back wins to start the day.
The second to last event of the day—”Barbell Furious”—was indeed a fast and furious one: 10 cleans, 10 front squats and 10 shoulder to overhead with a four-minute time cap.
On the women’s side, it was no surprise to see Frey, a strength athlete who won the max hang clean event, dominate. She finished the 30 repetitions at 70 kg (154 pounds) in 1:22, well ahead of the next competitor.
Spanish competitor Oihana Moya Oliver, who entered the event in fourth and just five points behind Rolfe in third, did herself no favors on the event. The strong, but small athlete, struggled on the shoulder-to-overhead, failing a number of reps, eventually finishing 10th overall. And while Rolfe also had a hard time, she managed to stay just ahead of Moya Oliver in ninth, keeping her in the top three, 25 points behind Simmonds (11th), with one event to go.
Heading into the final workout, there were still six athletes who had a shot at the podium—Frey, Simmonds, Rolfe, Moya Oliver, as well as Hanna Karlsson and Garnes in fifth and sixth respectively, and who were both only 10 points out of third.
On the men’s side, it was, once again, Beneito who made a statement, cruising through his 30 reps and winning the second heat, however, he was unable to best Reggie Fasa’s time from Heat 1. But he did enough to find himself with the same number of points as the previous leader Fikowski with one event to go.
Meanwhile, thanks to a fourth place finish, Fiebig managed to pull himself back into third, and although he had been quiet much of the weekend, Games veteran Jonne Koski did enough on Event 7–third—to jump from sixth to fourth overall, 20 points out of third.
The task in the final event was a 90-foot handstand walk, 20 ring muscle-ups, 30 devils press and a 90-foot dumbbell overhead walking lunge, and the drama for the final podium spots didn’t disappoint.
On the women’s side, Frey was more or less a mathematical lock for the title, but five other women were fighting for the other two podium spots.
It was Garnes, in sixth at the time, who attacked the event like she was fighting for her life, finishing the 30 devils presses first and effortlessly lunging her way to the finish line, locking up an event win.
Rolfe, who was in third going in, also did what she needed to do and stayed close to Garnes, but dropped her dumbbells a few steps from the end, giving Frey just enough time to pass her at the line.
And while it looked like Simmonds—second going in—had a big enough buffer on her challengers, she struggled on the walking lunges, so it would become a numbers game to see if enough people from Heat 1 had faster times than Simmonds to knock her out of the top three for the first time all weekend.
They did. Simmonds wound up 10th overall, dropping her to fourth, while Garnes propelled herself to second, and Rolfe did just enough to hang on to the final podium spot.
The men’s race was equally as exciting, with Fikoswki and Beneito tied in points, so it would come down to who bested who.
It was a tight race the entire way, with all 10 men making their way through their devils presses at the same time, but it was Fiebig who finished them first and had no trouble with the double dumbbell overhead walking lunge. He wrapped up an event win and secured his podium finish.
But everyone’s eyes were on Fikowski and Beneito. Fikowski finished his devils press first and took a few deep breaths before starting his lunges and with Beneito close on his heels.
Both athletes dropped their dumbbells and exchanged the lead a number of times throughout the 90-foot lunge, however, it looked as though Fikoswki had the edge. But just as Fikowski was crossing the finish line, his elbow buckled and he was given a no rep on his final lunge, allowing Beneito to sneak by him on the final step.
The excitement didn’t end there. After the numbers were crunched, Beneito ended with the same number of points as Fiebig—Beneito won the tiebreaker and took the title—and Fikowski’s misstep and seventh place finish caused him to drop to third.
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The 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship finished up after three days and eight events of competition. Karin Frey dominated the women’s field, winning by 120 points and taking her second podium finish at Dubai. Fabian Beneito had a breakout performance, with a come-from-behind win over Brent Fikowski.
He ended up tying Moritz Fiebig in overall points, but won the tie-break for having more event wins throughout the weekend. Looking back at the weekend, we’re breaking down the programming based on the modality, time domain and the stimulus tested.
"Thank you everyone for your support, I love you." Dubai Fitness Championship crowns 2022 winners
The final day of the Dubai Fitness Championship has crowned its 2022 champions. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil takes you through all the major moments of each event, brings you to the competition floor with athlete interviews, and reveals who ended up on top of the podium.
Djukic Brothers' Parents Take First Flight to Watch Luka Compete for First Time at Dubai Fitness Championship
Luka Djukic has always been fit, but he has often been in his brother Lazar’s shadow.
Luka, 23 and the younger of the two Serbian brothers, first broke through and qualified to the CrossFit Games in 2021, placing 29th as a rookie, but last year he had a heartbreaking finish at the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown Semifinals when he placed sixth and missed qualifying to the Games by one spot.
Meanwhile, his brother Lazar, 26, also qualified to his first Games in 2021 and placed an impressive ninth in his rookie season, a finish he improved upon in 2022—eighth. So while rightfully earned, Lazar has often been touted as the fitter brother, and has received more attention than Luka.
But this weekend at the Dubai Fitness Championships in the UAE, it was Luka who bested his older brother. And it was Luka who picked up an impressive event win before Lazar did.
And the best part of the experience was that his parents were there cheering him on live after they traveled in an airplane for the first time, something that made the moment even more special for Luka, he explained.
“This is the first time for them to watch both of us at this level of competition,” Luka said after embracing his family moments after his Event 3 win. “Last time they watched only Lazar in 2018 at the Regionals. At that time I was in the stands.”
“So when there was the opportunity for them to come, my heart was full. And that’s just additional motivation. I had people in the stands that I couldn’t let down.”
Dubai Fitness Championship Emcee Omar Alsharhan Helping Bring Fitness to the Middle East
There is a special way that sporting announcers use their oratory talents to educate, entertain, and help make a live-viewing experience memorable.
Knowledge of the sport, and a knack for color commentary all add to the fluidity and excitement to the event during action and inaction on the workout floor.
Kuwaiti Omar Al-Shahan tries to apply his play-by-play technique that was perfected during football (soccer) announcing to fitness competitions but aims to use his notoriety gained from big-ticket events like MCing the Dubai Fitness Championships to help inspire more people to get healthy.
Scaling Sunday’s Dubai Fitness Championship Workouts for Your Gym
The Dubai Fitness Championship wrapped up yesterday and we’re going to give you scaled options for the final day’s workouts to try at your gym.
Event 5 (Dubai version):
4 rounds, intervals of 2:30 on / 1:00 off 10 shuttle runs (30-ft down/30-ft back) 10 burpee box clears (24/20) Max dumbbell thrusters (70lbs/50lbs)
When you get to the 40-rep mark, drop the dumbbell weight to (50s/35s).
4 rounds, intervals of 2:30 on / 1:00 off 10 shuttle runs (30-ft down/30-ft back) 10 burpee box jump overs (24/20) Max dumbbell thrusters (50lbs/35lbs)
Shuttle runs: These should take less than 75 seconds so modify the distance as needed. You can also replace the shuttle runs with a 200m run if your gym does not have the space.
Burpee box jump overs: You can give the clears a try if you’re confident in your jumping ability, but can also substitute regular burpee box jump or step-overs for each rep. Just make sure you are facing the box every rep and not doing them laterally.
Dumbbell thrusters: Athletes were doing big sets with heavy dumbbells, so choose a weight you can do at least 10 unbroken reps in the first round. If your gym has enough dumbbells to accommodate a weight drop at the 40-rep mark, grab a pair of dumbbells 15 lbs less than your starting pair.
The holidays are fast approaching, and *some* of us like to wait until the last minute to do our shopping. If that’s you and you have a fitness lover you need to shop for, here are our top picks for this year’s holiday season.
Editor’s note: Some of these deals are exclusive to Morning Chalk Up. Order fast while supplies last to ensure delivery before Christmas.
Owning a gym in January is a bit like planning a wedding: Exciting, but with a big dose of overwhelm. Your members want to dial in their nutrition and you better be ready for them. Use these FREE resources to help you prepare.
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The Macro Barista is here to bring you all the healthy alternatives to your favorite Starbucks drinks, and he’s got a good one with the Sugar Cookie Shaken Espresso. Make this drink before you go out caroling with your friends this holiday season.
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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.
Congratulations to Coach Susannah Wingfield from Core City Fitness in Detroit, MI on hitting three new lifting PRs— power clean, push jerk, and clean and jerk all at 145 pounds/67.5kg.
Congratulations Susan Plakke from CrossFit Zwolle in the Netherlands on her first place finish in Rogue’s L-Sit Challenge with a 1 minute and 25 second hold.
Congratulations to CrossFitter Kaitlyn Johnson from Morgantown, WV on qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Trials in the 50m freestyle swim.
Congratulations Helena Collins from the UK on the 220 pound/100kg power clean, squat clean, front squat complex.
Move Lift Live Fitness Village in Miami, FL is hosting a number of fundraiser events in the coming weeks to support their member Tito Ignar, who suffered a spinal chord injury during a workout that has left him partially paralyzed and in a long road to recovery. Part of his journey now includes making his home fully wheelchair accessible. A GoFundMe has been created for Tito and his family, and you can follow along with Move Lift Live in their Community WOD December 10th.
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