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.
Event 7 was another example of the total fitness carnage the team competition is known for. In the final heat, 60 athletes and 40 judges jumbled together to sort out which teams would be in possession of the Games spots going into the final event.
After moving some air with the rowers and skipping ropes, Team Tegen and Team CrossFit Nordic thumped out their deadlifts and were the first to get pairs to the toes-to-bars. They didn’t have much separation from their peers, though they were able to stay slightly ahead and got the first duos through the three stations.
Overall, the floor saw few log jams, most likely due to a sound strategy of putting the faster pairs in front to avoid bottlenecks that cost precious seconds. CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben, sitting third after Day 2, had two athletes waiting on two others, and the delay pushed them into seventh place when the lane was finally clear.
Team DC sported matching apparel—the “best outfit of the weekend,” according to one member—for Day 3, and Andy Edwards said the team tried to balance strengths and weaknesses between athletes.
“We went for complementary pairs,” he said. “As a team, we did fantastically well working in our pairs. Communication was great.”
He was right. His squad finished behind first-place Team CrossFit Nordic (16:10) by only five seconds, giving DC an outside chance at a Games spot in the final event.
“We’ve just got to put in our best shot … and see where the dice roll at the end of the day,” he said before the team huddled up to talk strategy for the finale.
Team Tegen was third in 16:28.
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)
Team Tegen led Event 8 most of the way, and though CrossFit Sport and CrossFit Stödin passed them in the early going, Tegen re-established a lead and never gave it up again.
Boasting three men over 220 lb., Tegen had a great blend of gymnastics skill and strength and was the only team to finish all reps under the 16-minute time cap.
Andreas Bergkvist said the strategy was to put the fast athletes first to amass as many reps as possible, and it worked perfectly, allowing Tegen to finish 26 seconds before the final horn stopped the other teams.
The win assured the Swedes the second Games spot, and Bergkvist said he was happy to represent Sweden in the competition. He said he thought the crew would do well.
He added: “We hit a couple of hiccups along the way but we managed to get by.”
According to Bergkvist, the plan for Games training is to “just have fun” after taking a year off.
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.
“I kind of expected we would be in the top three,” Goulden said, while teammate Frída Ammendrup noted that four of the six athletes have either individual or team experience at the Games.
She’s been there as a team member before and is excited to go back.
“I love the atmosphere there,” she said.
Goulden said the team will prepare for California “by working out very hard, I expect. Specifically, I don’t know, but I expect we’ll be coming together very often.”
In third place going in, the members of CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben had to hit refresh on their phones faster than they had done pull-ups, and when the results were posted, they turned to roar toward their fans in the crowd, who replied in kind. They needn’t have worried: they were five points ahead of Team CrossFit Nordic.
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)