Europeans love Olympic lifting, and the biggest roars of the weekend were reserved for the athletes ripping weight overhead in the Snatch Ladder.
In an interesting turn of events, overall leader Annie Thorisdottir finished second for the first time in five events, and the men’s Leaderboard was shaken up when overall leader Lacee Kovacs revealed a weakness in the snatch ladder.
With only a few points separating first and second on both the men’s and women’s sides, the finish of the Europe Regional promises to be exciting.
Coming into Event 5, Mikko Aronpaa listed the best snatch PR of the top 4 male athletes. His 235.4-pound best was well above the 220.5 numbers (100 kg) listed by overall leader Lacee Kovacs and second-place Frederik Aegidius. Numi Snaer Katrinarson’s 204.6 (93 kg) didn’t look to be enough to move him into position to grab a Games spot, but anything can happen when you throw a skipping rope into a snatch ladder.
It was deep into the large men’s field before anyone lifted 225. Ramon Gysin was the first to make the lift, and he did so with relative ease before moving on to lock out 235 and 245. He made one attempt at 255 before rattling off some double-unders.
Went the top athletes entered, Katrinarson missed a rep at 175 before logging the lift with his judge and moving on through the next bars. He stalled at 215 after a PR of 205 and a jumping fist pump.
Aronpaa used a power snatch early, and Kovacs used a split while revealing a very early arm pull. That potentially cost the leader, as he was unable to complete 205.
Aronpaa pulled 235 to tie his PR, then deadlifted 245 before hammering out 35 strategic double-unders. While the Finn skipped, Aegidius timed his pulls perfectly and swung himself under 235 for a very pretty lift. With Aronpaa watching on the sidelines, Aegidius attempted 245 and failed forward with both knees down.
The final standings found Gysin in first (245 and 24 doubles). Aronpaa’s strategy proved to be a good one, as he took second with 235 and 35 doubles, while Aegidius put all his chips on the snatch and tried to get 245 rather than beat the Finn with skipping. The Dane finished third.
“It depended on how I felt on 225 and 235,” Aronpaa said of his strategy to deadlift 245. “Two-thirty-five felt heavy, and it was my max already. I played it safe and tried to hit as many double-unders as I could.”
Event 5 resulted in a huge change on the Leaderboard as Kovacs’ weakness in the snatch cost him dearly. He took 26th in the workout and dropped out of the top spot, falling to third, where he sits but a single point ahead of Katrinarson. Aronpaa has jumped to second with 27 points, and he’s only 1 point behind new leader Aegidius.
With such a small margin between the top two athletes and a 15-point cushion between second and third, the overall title comes down to Event 6. If Aegidius does reasonably well against the rest of the field, he has only to beat Aronpaa to win the Regional. On the other hand, Aronpaa can make a strong case to win the Regional if he beats Aegidius in Event 6. As for the final spot, Kovacs and Katrinarson will be in a battle, and the Icelander was very strong in Event 4, a long event with multiple movements, just like Event 6.
As the women entered the snatch ladder, 125 proved to be the early separator. Inga Ingadottir, the seventh athlete out of the chute, was the first to make the lift, and she did it after sitting and stabilizing for a good 2 or 3 seconds. She did the same thing on 130 pounds, but wasn’t able to hold 135 and had it clip her on the way down when she dumped it behind her.
Her mark stood until Nadine Leinweber of Germany channeled 2008 Olympic champion Matthias Steiner and nailed 140 pounds. She was the only woman to make a lift in the second tier of bars until Thuridur Erla Helgadottir joined her at 140 to a giant roar from the crowd. Helgadottir topped out at 145 and added a whack of doubles after her miss at 150.
Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir entered the ladder just before Annie Thorisdottir, and for the first time all weekend she stayed ahead of Iceland Annie for the entire workout. Both women easily ran through the first tier, with Davidsdottir looking confident, aggressive and very quick under the bar. Her pulls were incredibly accurate, and she almost never wavered on reception
Thorisdottir’s first trouble came at 145, when she did a small double pump on the squat coming out of the bottom. Her attempt at 150 was dramatic, and she had to chase the bar forward past judge and cameraman and into the vacant third tier of bars before she could get herself underneath the load. She had her form dialed in for 155, but missed 160 out front and didn’t leave herself enough time for a full second attempt.
As Thorisdottir bowed out, Davidsdottir had drilled 160 and then stuck 165 with rock-solid form. She missed at 170, but didn’t need the lift, as she was the last athlete on the floor. It was her first victory of the weekend, and the fact wasn’t lost on her.
“Finally after four second-place finishes!” she exclaimed.
She said she had tried 165 in warm-up and had missed the lift, which is just under her PR of 167.2 (76 kilos to the European).
“I felt really good,” Davidsdottir said. “I’m sore from yesterday, so I was just hoping to get a good lift.”
Incredibly, Davidsdottir has only been lifting since January, and she won a hybrid CrossFit-Oly competition at the end of January.
“They’re new to me … but I’ve been adding on weight quite well,” she said of the lifts.
Behind Davidsdottir and Thorisdottir, Helgadottir finished third with 145 and 43 double-unders that weren’t needed for the tiebreaker. Announcer Mads Jacobsen had been referring to the “Iceland mafia” all weekend, and Event 5 found the country taking care of business once again and holding the top 3 spots.
Overall, Thorisdottir is first with 6 points, Davidsdottir is second with 9, and Helgadottir has 34. Ellinor Rehnstrom has 37 for the fourth spot, which will be available if past champion Thorisdottir takes a Games spot.
Looking ahead, Davidsdottir can do muscle-ups, but “could be better. I’ll just have to get through them at a good pace. Once I get through the muscle-ups, I love the sixth workout,”
Thorisdottir has won four of five events, but only has a 3-point lead going into Event 6, setting up a very exciting finish to crown Europe’s fittest woman.
First place CrossFit Reykjavik sent Sigurlaug Gudmundsdottir, Jakobina Jonsdottir and Gigja Arnadotti into the snatch ladder early on Sunday morning, and the women had a goal of ensuring their team’s 13-point lead would be maintained in the overall standings.
“I think (the goal) was to finish the fifth lift. We wanted all to finish it,” Jonsdottir said of the bar loaded with 135 lb.
Jonsdottir only got to 125, but her teammates both locked out 135. Arnadottir actually had 140 overhead and stood up, but was no repped for a double press out on a lift very close to her max.
On the men’s side, CrossFit Dublin entered the ladder first, and one of the athletes broke out a piece of the Burgener Warm-Up and actually muscle-snatched the first 7 bars smooth as silk before failing on 225.
One of CrossFit Basel’s athletes fought with 225 at the bottom for a seeming eternity before standing up, and no other box completed the lift until a French Invictus Team athlete stood up under four blue plates as well.
Team Butcher’s Garage sent three men to 215, but only one – the one in the red singlet, of course – was able to hit it. He went on to nail 225 but got no further.
CrossFit Sport, who was in second place at the start of Day 3, put an athlete onto 235, and he had the lift before his hips popped up too fast while standing and dumped the bar out front.
When the male and female scores were added, CrossFit Reykjavik was in first for the fourth time (960), CrossFit Sport was only 5 pounds back in second (955), and Team Butcher’s Garage was in third (915).
Overall, CrossFit Reykjavik remains first with 6 points. CrossFit Sport is second (20 points), and Team Butcher’s Lab is third (22 points).
Looking ahead, Gudmundsdottir had a simple goal for CrossFit Reykjavik in the final event: “Win it.”
The three Icelandic women said they can all do muscle-ups, though the team reported Jonsdottir is easily the best of the three on the gymnastics movement.
With a host of movements in the final workout of the competition, any weakness will be disaster for athletes and teams hoping to compete in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Athletes in this Article: