“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”- Archimedes
Six Takeaways from the Madrid Championship
Over 120 elite individual CrossFit athletes and 30 elite teams converged on the “Caja Mágica” (The Magic House) in Madrid, Spain this past weekend for the Madrid Championship. Those athletes attempted to crack the code of Mat Fraser’s HWPO programming over the course of the three-day competition with familiar names finishing atop the leaderboard.
Here are six key takeaways as we recap the competition:
No Games hangover
Despite what Lazar Djukic says about his current level of fitness after placing 8th at the Games, the Serbian showed that despite a month off from high-level training he is still one of the fittest men on earth and reasserted himself as the “Fittest” in Europe.
Djukic led at the end of Day 1 and never was threatened as he finished with seven top-10s with his worst finish being 19th. He was one of two athletes in the field with multiple event wins, winning two.
It’s a testament to his fitness that he can take time off after the Games including a week of doing zero fitness and still win at a high-level competition that featured fellow Games athletes.
Emma Tall and David Shorunke didn’t have the most ideal 2022 Games season. For the Brit Shorunke, a 2020 Games athlete, he has been dealing with injuries since the 2020 Games and has been slowly rehabbing from those ailments.
Tall, a two-time Games qualifier, was favored to make her third Games heading into the Strength in Depth Semifinal but ended up withdrawing just days prior to the competition due to suffering from asthmatic bronchitis.
For Tall it was especially disappointing as she was coming off her career-best Open performance (27th worldwide) and sixth in the Europe Quarterfinals. In her words she was in the best shape of her life leading up until she got sick. She was coming off a 19th place finish at the 2021 Games, her best showing in her two trips to Madison.
The two JST Compete athletes, who are also dating, train together and are considered one of the fittest men and women in Europe but had to watch the Games from their home in Sweden.
Madrid offered them an opportunity to have a conclusion to their less-than-ideal 2022 season. Those two certainly capitalized. Tall placed second in the final workout, “Dirty Saiga”, to jump Emma McQuaid for the Madrid title. She was consistent throughout the competition, placing no worse than seventh in any event while winning two events.
Shorunke joined his partner on the podium, placing an impressive third in his first live competition since placing second to Mat Fraser at Strength in Depth on January 26, 2020. He had six top-10 finishes including an event win and was sitting in second place for most of the competition till the final event.
Their results bode well for the upcoming season and both showed that if they are fully recovered they are serious contenders for Games spots in Europe.
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In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil and Preslie Hirsch were at the Madrid Championship and absolutely crushed it. Check out some of their coverage on our Instagram page, and of course, our YouTube channel. Kalil had some great interviews in her videos and Hirsch spoke to the man himself, Mat Fraser, about programming the whole weekend.
Off to Oz: 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games winner Justin Medeiros will be meeting and greeting at the Down Under Championship, Nov. 18-20 in Australia. 🇦🇺
Local love: Great story about how Skip Chapman kicked off his CrossFit box in Manasquan, NJ after a severe martial arts injury.
New HWPO Athlete Sam Kwant Sets Sights on Topping Games Podium
HWPO Training announced last Thursday that Sam Kwant, fresh off his fourth-place finish at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, has become an HWPO athlete heading into the 2023 season. He joins Mal O’Brien and Jayson Hopper, as well as three other Games veterans—Katrin Davidsdottir, Thuridur Helgadottir and Amanda Barnhart—on the growing HWPO team.
Kwant will likely continue to train with his long-time personal coach Harry Palley, who announced he joined HWPO Training’s coaching team in July, in his quest to achieve his ultimate goal of winning the CrossFit Games.
“I don’t think I would still be doing it if I didn’t think I had a chance to win. I’m not doing it for fun,” the 26-year-old Kwant told the Morning Chalk Up last week.
Madrid Championship Day 3 Recap: Lazar Djukic and Emma Tall, Madrid Champions
Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil is boots on the ground at the Madrid Championship and takes us through the final day of competition with our men’s and women’s elite podium, athlete interviews and highlights from the day.
Sam Briggs on Returning to Firefighting: “I honestly believe I was born to be a firefighter”
Looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, Sam Briggs took a rather long break from her initial career to be a CrossFit athlete. From 2004 up until 2013, Briggs, a UK native, worked for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service. Briggs held a number of roles at various posts during this time, and as everyone knows, in 2013 she won the CrossFit Games.
Now living in the US, Briggs is back as a firefighter, recently sworn in this August at the City of Hamilton’s Fire Department, so on completion of the academy in December she’ll “be out on the pumps” as a Firefighter slash emergency medical technician.
Briggs explained what it is that makes firefighters so unique, and why she is returning to her previous career that she put on hold to chase her CrossFit Games career dreams.
“Not everyone is wired to go into a burning building when everyone else is running out,” said the 40-year-old who is now a nine-time CrossFit Games competitor. “To have the ability to be very aware of the dangers but to be able to zone in on the job in hand and be able to potentially save someone’s life is a special gift that shouldn’t be wasted. Some people are born to be writers or chefs, they have something innate in them that drives them to write or cook, I honestly feel I was born to be a firefighter.”
Why “Good” or “Bad” Doesn’t Exist When it Comes to Posture
In the world of mobility, we have determined what we as a society believe is bad and good when it comes to posture. But what if we told you that there is no such thing as "good posture", and that what might work for you might not work for the person next to you?
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