"We come from a war country, and we never give up."
~Carla Nunes da Costa
Johannesburg is a City of Gold. At least that’s what we locals affectionately call the city that’s host to the 2013 Africa Regional.
And it’s been a day of gold all around. Starting with a marriage proposal after the first team heat of the day. A shaking Ryan Trent slipped a gold band onto fellow Ballistix CrossFit team member Hesphia Short’s finger as she whispered, “Yes.”
Then, of course, there were the athletes who fought hard as the sun arched its way across the African sky.
A tense crowd waited for the final clash between the women who dominated for most of the event. And especially between the two top females—Rika Diedericks and Carla Nunes da Costa.
On Event 7, it was among Mona Pretorius and Nunes da Costa and Diedericks the whole way through.
Pretorious sped through the first rope climb and was off the rope first, sprinting across the floor with Nunes da Costa and Diedericks in her wake.
Pretorius pulled ahead, getting back to the rope and working her way up her second climb as Nunes da Costa began her first climb of the second round. Both were off and back on the bars while Diedericks was still navigating the rope.
Diedericks lost ground as Pretorius kept her lead with Nunes da Costa just behind her.
On the final stretch, Pretorius and Nunes da Costa readied themselves for the last set of squat cleans, as Diedericks descended the rope for the final time. With all three on the lifting platform, the crowd was frantic.
Pretorius took the event with a time of 5:40. Nunes da Costa second and Diedericks followed in second and third, respectively.
The moment was gold for Nunes da Costa whose win makes her the 2013 Fittest Woman in Africa.
“All I can think about is Angola and my Mom and Dad,” Nunes da Costa said. “They didn’t get to see it. We come from a war country and we never give up.”
1. Mona Pretorius (5:40)
2. Carla Nunes da Costa (6:01)
3. Rika Diedericks (6:03)
1. Carla Nunes da Costa (18)
Spectators expected a clash of the titans as the event heavyweights took to the floor for the final event of the Regional.
David Levey hung back as Richard Smith, Neil Scholtz and Hannes du Toit took the lead.
While Smith and Scholtz paced each other for most of the event, du Toit’s fast squat cleans earned him a full length’s lead.
By his third set of rope climbs, du Toit was going it alone on the ropes. He passed Smith and Scholtz on his way back to the bar.
He continued to set the pace. He was off the bar and back to the rope where he climbed solo once again. All the while Levey was moving at an almost leisurely pace compared to the frantic du Toit.
du Toit took to the bar for the final time for what the crowd expected to be the winning set of lifts. But, like a clock winding down, du Toit slowed and suddenly Scholtz was on the platform to win the event. The action unfolded too fast to follow as du Toit, Smith and Levey sped through the final lifts.
The speed of the finish left the crowd stunned and it was a second before the cheering commenced for the 2013 Fittest Man in Africa, David Levey
“That was good fun,” Levey said. “I’m excited to go to the Games and give it my best!”
1. Neil Scholtz (5:39)
2. Hannes du Toit (6:30)
3. Jason Smith (6:35)
1. David Levey (17)
The final heat was a face-off between only two teams: Platinum and PBM.
PBM took an early lead on the ropes, living up to Wilna Appel’s promise in the previous heat: “Even though we can’t win we’ll still give it our all.”
Platinum was already so far ahead in points that a loss wouldn’t cost them their title.
The tables soon turned and Platinum pulled ahead with Julian Reichman finishing the sprint while PBM was still struggling with the bar.
Platinum maintained a comfortable lead throughout the event and their final lady, Cindy Ellis, hopped up onto the rope while the last PBM lady still waited anxiously on the sideline.
Platinum was the clear winner even before the judge called time, but from the stands it wasn’t clear whether there are cheers or tears on the floor. Ellis’ knee buckled as she came off the rope. She looked to be in pain, but the extent of the injury isn’t known.
“We were super excited about Regionals,” Reichman said. “Now we’re concerned about Cindy, but we’ll see what happens. She’s tough.”
1. CrossFit Platinum (20:17)
2. CrossFit PBM (20:25)
1. CrossFit Platinum (11)