The Team heats kicked off the brutal overhead squat and burpee-muscle-up combination, and proved to be an uphill climb for the majority of teams, with only three out of the 20 surviving the second half of Day 2.
The massacre continued with the Women’s heats, with the burpee muscle-ups proving too big a challenge for a large number of otherwise well-rounded athletes.
The excitement from the crowds only grew when the male athletes took center stage, particularly local Korean CrossFit stars such as Young-Jun Kim, who has been a regular at the Asia Regional weekends.
“I have participated in the Asia regional for the past three years and I am very happy to be back again,” says the ever-smiling CrossFit Sentinel Beachside athlete.
CrossFit Asia, CrossFit Misawa and CrossFit Sentinel One all want to go to the Games, and as luck would have it, they are the only three teams left in the competition.
Aside from the ability to lift heavy, their proficiency in muscle-ups helped these teams make short work of the Leaderboard.
“All our women have muscle-ups, that set us apart,” said Tara McCall of the CrossFit Asia team. The team not only punched in overhead squat reps as high as 235 pounds for men and 185 for the women, but also managed to get 17 muscle-ups for the female athletes, which placed them first at the end of Day 1.
CrossFit Misawa managed the minimum number of reps for women and knocked out 66 muscle-ups for the men, keeping them firm in the number two spot after Event 3.
CrossFit Sentinel One barely scraped through by executing six muscle ups for the women and ended the day in third place.
1. CrossFit Misawa (1140)
2. Reebok CrossFit Asia (1125)
3. Reebok CrossFit Sentinel Downtown (1070)
1. Reebok CrossFit Asia (84)
2. CrossFit Misawa (72)
3. Reebok CrossFit Sentinel ONE (29)
It was clear who was gunning for the top spot in Event 2 even before the athletes walked into the arena. While the rest of the athletes remained conservative and started at 125 lbs., Candice Howe and Nicole Tainatongo both had ‘155’ pasted next to their names.
What followed was a synchronized climb up the weight ladder by the top two athletes in the region. Slapping on an additional 5 lbs., each time after completing a successful attempt, both Tainatongo and Howe were tied at 175 pounds.
Then Howe pushed into overdrive and knocked out one rep at 180 pounds to reach the top of the Leaderboard.
“The second event was important to me. I knew I had to make all my squats count if I wanted to top the Leaderboard,” said the current No. 1 female athlete.
This race to the finish continued with the burpee muscle-ups, where Howe and Tainatongo went neck-and-neck until the sixth muscle-up, where Howe overtook the athlete from Guam and finished with a commendable 16 reps.
1. Candice Howe (180.10)
2. Nicole Tainatongo (175.30)
3. Kyung Sim Jang (145.30)
1. Candice Howe (16)
2. Laura Apollonio Bergen (13)
3T. Nicole Tainatongo (12)
3T. Rhett Chase (12)
3T. Moe Sakio (12)
The heavyweights came out to play with Heat 4, and loaded the bars to their brims. Yousef Albaqsami, Joseph Rank, Tanner Shuck and Michael Mogard all started off with 255 lbs., and looked determined to make their reps count.
With 255 in his back pocket, Rank raced ahead and quickly loaded his bar with an extra 20 lbs., which he managed to snatch-balance, rather than the traditional jerking of the bar into the overhead position.
“Weightlifting is my thing and I am more comfortable doing a snatch balance than a jerk, so I thought I’d pull a quick rep in,” said T-Rank, who in the end even managed to achieve one-rep at 285 pounds.
Mogard, on the other hand, adopted a wait and watch strategy and ensured neither Shuck nor Albaqsami overtook him in Heat 4.
“My goal was to get 255 lbs. overhead," Mogard said. "Once I got that I didn’t want to push too hard, just enough to edge out Yousef and Shuck."
Mogard’s strategic mindset became more evident in Event 3, where he kept the pace and mechanically finished his muscle-ups with precision and poise.
“I wanted to do a muscle-up every 10 seconds and I managed to do exactly that,” said the athlete who sits in first place at the end of Day 1.
Closing the day in second place was Rank, who managed to crank out all 30 reps, with 26 seconds to spare.
A disappointing day came to an end for Albaqsami, who started this morning in first place in Asia, but fell to 26th by the end of Event 3.
“I was aiming for a heavier weight but that didn’t happen in Event 2. In addition, I got no repped six times, which made me lose focus,” he said.
1. Joseph Rank (285.10)
2. William Sullivan (275.30)
3. Sul Min Choi (275.10)
1. Ben Thomson (04.54)
2. Michael Mogard (05.08)
3. Back WooHyun (05.42)