The beautifully quiet grounds of Kyunghee University in Seoul seem an unlikely location for the banging of barbells and the screams of spectators, but the Asia Regional is happening right here, right now, and summer has arrived early.
The opening ceremony led by Regional Director John Frankl, was met with applause and friendly cheers when he spoke of “trying to help this great sport move and grow.”
Nerves and excitement were bubbling below the heat of the late morning sun as judges finalized their responsibilities, athletes sought shade under the Rogue pull-up station and spectators debated the requirements for legitimate handstand push-ups and whether or not all athletes would be able to perform them well.
1. CrossFit Shogun (7:07)
2. Reebok CrossFit Asia (7:53)
3. CrossFit Chikara (122 reps)
The tension in the air was thick as the first heat began, but the crowd quickly warmed up when Team Chikara CrossFit started pumping out deadlifts easily. The women for all three teams struggled to get the handstand push-ups, but the spectators were rooting for them and the audience got to see a couple of firsts from the girls, much to the delight of their other teammates.
Heat 2 picked up the pace, with CrossFit Asia and CrossFit Shogun giving each other a run for their money, but Shogun had a clear game plan and focus, which led them into 1st place.
1. Christen Wagner (4:01)
2. Candice Howe (4:47)
3. Feng Yi Chew (4:52)
2012 is seeing some strong ladies emerge from the Asia region, with many of the girls speeding their way through the deadlifts. However, as predicted, the handstand push-ups proved to be a big challenge, with Jennifer Herrington of CrossFit Chiang Mai unfortunately having to drop out mid-workout.
Heat 3 saw the energy pick up significantly with the top three female competitors delivering the goods. Feng Yi Chew from Singapore whipped through the first two rounds and the last set of deadlifts, but struggled with the last couple of handstand push-ups and allowed Christen Wagner of Rebook CrossFit Asia and Candice Howe of CrossFit LifeSpark to overtake and lead into 1st and 2nd place respectively.
It was great to see Howe cheering on her fellow athletes as soon as she finished her final rep of Diane.
1. Young-Jun Kim (2:20)
2. KH Lee (2:28)
3. Charles Winship (2:37)
The men’s five heats took the athletes and the crowd deep into the sweltering midday heat, and once again there was a battle with the gymnastics element of this workout.
The first heat saw Charles Winship from CrossFit Singapore take everyone by surprise with a lightning time of 2:37 -- not bad for the 59th ranked male competitor in the region.
Ashley Booth of Reebok CrossFit Asphodel was having difficulty squeezing out the last few reps, but fought to the end, with a bevy of fans sporting bright yellow wigs and encouraging him and entertaining the rest of the crowd. And the surprises kept coming, with another dark horse Young-Jun Kim shaving a full 17 seconds off from the initial top score.