As most people know, the top three athletes from each region earn a spot at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games ("World Championship") in LA this July. The competition was super tough in Europe this year, and it wasn't clear until the very end who was going to LA. In the end, the defending champion (and super fit!) Samantha Briggs from England didn't even make it to the top 3. The following coverage will mostly be on Icelandic athletes with the exception of interesting contestants and other top 3 finishes - so unless otherwise stated, the people in question are Icelandic.
46 men, 43 women and 30 teams - the fittest in Europe - competed at this years Reebok CrossFit Games European Regional.
CrossFit legend and two time fittest woman on Earth, Annie Thorisdottir
, proved herself to be the fittest in Europe once again - even though she is still recovering from injury (both back and knee). Right behind Anníe, in second place, was upcoming CrossFit star and olympic weightlifter Björk Óðinsdóttir
. Daugthers of Thor and Odinn - coincidence?
Norwegian Kristin Holte came 3rd.
Annie Thorisdottir won the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games European Regional despite never taking first in an event. She never finished worse than seventh place at the regional and is going to the CrossFit Games for the fifth time. Defending champion Sam Briggs however didn't make it to the Games despite taking 1st place three times and 2nd place once. (See table below with event results).
Annie Thorisdottir's won every regional she's competed in (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014)
Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
finished 6th but was very close to doing much better. She was 1st in Europe after day 1 and even after 4 events but sadly got 24th place in Event 5, which kind of killed her dream of being on the podium. Katrin Tanja set the Event 2 record by handstand walking 405 feet.
This is what Katrin Tanja said after Day 2 last weekend:
"I knew that Event 5 legless rope climb ... would be my true test for the weekend and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed with the outcome. I think we all learned from Stacie Tovar last weekend that whatever happens we come back smiling, have FUN and leave all we got out there on the comp floor! #welovewhatwedo
Miss Sam Briggs taught me that we sure as hell do not give up without a fight and that we will be there tomorrow fighting 'til the very end ... everything I got in me WILL be left out on that competition floor." (See Katrín Tanja in the 'CrossFit Games Update: Europe - Day 2' way below.)
Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir surprised everyone by taking 9th place at the CrossFit Games European Regional, but Anna hardly trains CrossFit but has rather been focusing on her successful Olympic Weightlifting career.
Lucky for us, she might just come even heavier into the CrossFit world next year but she wrote this on her Facebook page after the Regionals:
"Had so much fun this weekend placed 9th overall and I am so happy with that. Experience like this makes me want to train more crossfit congrats to all the awesome athletes going to the games @anniethorisdottir @holtekristin @bjorkodins @hogberglukas Björgvin and Jonne."
Other Icelandic women in the top 20 were Ragnheiður Sara Sigmundsdóttir (12th) and Hjördís Óskarsdóttir (20th). Oddrún Eik Gylfadóttir was 22nd.
These are the women's results:
Icelanders took 5 places in the top12 (1st, 2nd, 6th, 9th and 12th)
Europe will send three male rookies to the Games: Jonne Koski, Lukas Högberg and Björgvin Karl Gudmundsson.
As in the women's devision, Scandinavia ruled the men's division.
Jonne Koski (19 years old!) from Finaland won the individual men's competition and Lukas Högberg from Sweden was second. Icelandic Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson was third.
Sadly Frederik Ægidius from Denmark (competing out of Iceland) was battling his good friend Björgvin towards the end and eventually took 4th place, leaving him out of the Games - but Frederik has been a Games competitor for the last couple of years. This proves once again how strong the competition in Europe was.
Númi Katrínarson was 5th and Jakob Magnusson 12th. Eiríkur Baldursson came in 22nd but his 3rd place in Event 5 (3:42) beat Rich Froning's time and will probably keep Eiríkur happy through most of the summer.
Arnar Sigurðsson was 33rd , Sigurður Þrastarson 42nd and Frosti Gylfason 43rd.
Following are the men's results:
After three days and eight events, Europe has selected its fittest teams: CrossFit Sport from Kopavogur, Iceland; Team Tegen from Stockholm, Sweden; and CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben from Falun, Sweden.
Things were promising right from the start for CrossFit Sport from Iceland and they held their first place position throughout the competition. Very well done!
After seven events, CrossFit Sport had all but claimed first place, holding an almost unassailable 19-point lead over Tegen (45 points). CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben sat third with 48, and Team CrossFit Nordic and Team DC were locked up at 54, with Nordic holding the tiebreaker and sitting fourth.
Event 7 Results
1. Team CrossFit Nordic (16:10)
2. Team DC (16:15)
3. Team Tegen (16:28)
Event 8 was a formality for CrossFit Sport, who had huge lead going in.
After taking only five points on Day 1, Sport’s strategy was to stay consistent and target top-five finishes, said James Goulden, a Brit living in Iceland. The team failed only once, taking 11th in Event 5, but still managed to win by an impressive 18 points.
Iceland sent two teams to the Games last year, and Sweden sent one. In 2014, the numbers are reversed, and the rest of Europe now goes back to the gym to train for 2015, when another batch of teams will attempt to wrest Games spots from Sweden and Iceland.
Event 8 Results
1. Team Tegen (15:34)
2. CrossFit Sport (16:03)
3. Team CrosFit Nordic (16:14)
CrossFit Games Qualifiers
1. CrossFit Sport (28)
2. Team Tegen (46)
3. CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben (52)
Other Icelandic teams at the Regionals were CrossFit Stöðin (10th), CrossFit Reykjavík (18th) and CrossFit Hafnarfjörður (CFH) (24th).
As you can see, the Nordic countries owned the competition in Europe this year. Many have pointed out the ridiculous unfairness in having all of Europe as one region, while the United States is divided into 10 regions. This obviously means that the USA gets to send 30 men and 30 women to the CrossFit Games, while Europe only gets to send 3 of each. Canada for example is already divided into 2 regions (West and East). Still the same, Europe has for example ruled the women's competition for the last 3 years (Iceland (Anníe) 1st place twice and England (Sam Briggs) once). The women's division in Europe is so strong that defending champion Samantha Briggs only made 4th place this year and therefore doesn't even qualify for the Games. Doesn't that tell you something. And many were expecting her to defend her title this year.
Dividing Europe would still be a tough job. People don't agree on how to divide it. North and south? East and West? Scandinavia and the rest? The problem is that most of the strong athletes come from Scandinavia (or Northern Europe) - so maybe it would not be suitable to divide Europe at all, but rather allow more people to go through to the Games. That way Sam Briggs and Frederik Ægidius would have made it to the Games this year - and they most likely belong there.
Or as Mikael Henriksson puts it on Facebook:
"Australia gets 3 slots on 20 million people. USA gets a gazillion slots on 300 million people and Europe gets 3 slots on 733 million people. Arguably US has the most Crossfitters but still. It's f***ed up is what it is.
To see better how the European CrossFit Regionals went watch the following videos:
Photos in the article above are courtesy of CrossFit, Inc.
Below are a few photos from News of Iceland, taken on site.
Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir, Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir and Björk Óðinsdóttir
Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir
Members from Team Reebok CrossFit Reykjavík - Herdís, Hinrik and Högni
Anníe working towards her one rep max snatch
Númi Snær Katrínarson
Loyal supporters of Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson
The fittest women in Europe
Team Reebok CrossFit Reykjavík
Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson had loyal supporters accompanying him at the Regionals
The fittest women in Europe - Björk, Annie and Kristin
Ebba Karen Garðarsdóttir from Team Reebok CrossFit Reykjavík
Björk Óðinsdóttir and Kristin Holte
Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson
These two will go to the Reebok CrossFit Games 2014
The Fittest Woman on Earth
Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
Annie and Sam Briggs
Frederik Ægidius and Lukas Högberg
CrossFit Sport being interviewed
Eiríkur 'Eiki' Baldursson
Hinrik Ingi Óskarsson from Reebok CrossFit Reykjavík
Númi Snær Katrínarson
Team CrossFit Sport (from Facebook)
The following photos are courtesy of CrossFit, Inc.
Katrín Tanja Davidsdottir
Sam Briggs: "Do you even lift?"
Thuridur Erla Helgadottir
Ragnheiður Sara Sigmundsdóttir
Fittest on Earth
Katrín Tanja, Björk Óðinsdóttir and Annie