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Regional Report: Thorisdottir Three for Three

Published on Sat, 2012-05-26 04:37
By: 
Mike Warkentin

Thorisdottir goes for a third win, but Davidsdottir is right on her heels, with three 2nd place finishes.

The dance tracks kept coming on Day 2 of the Europe Regional, as did wins by Annie Thorisdottir.

With high-energy beats throbbing throughout the day, the Fittest Woman on Earth asserted herself by winning two more events to bring her strong of firsts to four straight.

For the men, the field narrowed significantly, with only about six or eight athletes in the running for three spots at the Games.

Men

The dumbbells went up fast and easy when the final heat of Event 3 started with the techno pumping throughout the Ballerup Super Arena. While some men in the early heats had some trouble snatching 100 pounds with one arm, by the second-last heat, all men were done under 8 minutes.

Christer Idland of CrossFit Oslo wasn’t sure how the workout would go for him because he didn’t have the right equipment to practice the event.

“If I get 5:30, I’m happy,” he said beforehand. “It’s a heavy weight for me. We didn’t have the heavy dumbbells at my gym. We had 70 pounds, so we duct-taped plates to it to make 100.”

When the dust settled, he was smiling in a time of 5:26.

“This is easier,” he said of using the legit equipment.

The main race was between Lacee Kovacs, Mikko Aronpaa and Mareck Bigler. Kovacs took the early lead with powerful snatches that looked easy, and Aronpaa was somewhere around third or fourth in the first sprint. Bigler clearly paced the runs and moved very slowly, but he was fast enough on the dumbbells to stay in contention throughout.

By Round 3, Aronpaa had moved steadily to overtake the leaders, and by Round 4, he had opened up a substantial lead.  

“I got 4:20,” Aronpaa said of his training attempt at the event. “So I knew I would push a bit harder I a competition.”

His 3:55 was good enough for 1st overall, and he was the only man to go under 4 minutes. Bigler was 2nd in 4:21, while Robert Manlove contributed a 4:22 from Heat 2 and took 3rd. Kovacs was 3rd in Heat 3 and 4th overall with 4:24.

Overall, Kovacs only has 13 points to put himself 8 points ahead of Aronpaa (21) and Frederik Aegidius (21). Bigler is now 4th with 26 points.

Aronpaa, who finished 34th in last year’s CrossFit Games, is now poised to grab a spot in 2012 as well.

“I have high expectations on myself,” he said, “but I try not to think about it too much.”

Aronpaa said he feels very confident about Event 4, and he plans to “relax and eat a lot of food” before the final event of Day 2.

Women

It’s looking as though four European women will compete at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, as Annie Thorisdottir has won her third straight event and looks almost unbeatable. Perhaps the more interesting story is that no one but Thorisdottir can touch Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir, who finished 2nd for the third straight event.

Event 3 was also the first in which Thorisdottir didn’t attach her name to a world record. The event was very hard on some of the women, and all told there were 7 DNFs. Sara Ellegaard Andreasen resorted to a full squat snatch – she went deep – to get at least some of the work done, and she said afterward she had not used the technique before.

When the final heat started, Thorisdottir and Davidsdottir went rep for rep, with Thorisdottir maybe a step ahead on the runs. Thorisdottir used a very shallow power snatch and was slightly technically better than the other Icelander, who wasn’t about to back down from the side-by-side showdown.

Davidsdottir took a no-rep in Round 3 that gave Thorisdottir a lead, and even though Thorisdottir took a no-rep for a wide stance in Round 4, she didn’t give the lead back. Her final time was 4:35, 29 seconds above Elizabeth Akinwale’s incredible 4:06. Davidsdottir was second in 4:57, and Anna Hulda Olafsdottir was 3rd in 6:43 for an Icelandic sweep of the top spots.

Thorisdottir is very aware Davidsdottir is on her heels, and it’s pushing her to be aggressive throughout every event.

“Oh my God! She’s keeping up really well!” Thorisdottir said when asked about what she was thinking as she matched snatches with Davidsdottir in the early rounds.

Thorisdottir once again would not risk a jinx by offering a prediction for Event 4. The last time she declined to speculate, she set a world record on Event 2. The tall champion lights up when asked about the day’s last event, so you can be sure she’ll be taking a run at Julie Foucher’s 14:44. Both Thorisdottir and Davidsdottir report they’re a little sore, but they’re ready to go hard to close out Day 2.

Overall, Thorisdottir has 3 points after a dominant first half of the competition, and Davidsdottir has only 6 after finishing 2nd three times. Ellinor Rehnstrom of Sweden is 3rd with 12 points, and there’s a large gap of 13 points to 4th, where Thuridur Erla Helgadotir site. Several athletes are within 3 points of her.

Team

Rubber rained on rubber in the early team heats as female athletes struggled with limited success to snatch the 70-pound dumbbells overhead. Some simply couldn’t pull the dumbbell high enough, while others weren’t able to drop underneath and stabilize the heavy load. In total four teams were eliminated from the Regional for failing to complete to required reps.

As the top teams took to the floor, the problems cleared up quickly for the most part, although at least one team was still working when the other top squads had cleared the floor.

Heading into the event in first, CrossFit Reykjavik sent Evert Viglundsson and Gigja Arnadottir to the floor to see if they could win a third consecutive event. The pair was solid, with Arnadottir showing off impressive shoulder strength in stabilizing dumbbells that she hadn’t pulled in exactly the right place. She simply gritted her teeth, locked her shoulder and pressed up until the judge was satisfied.

Arnadottir’s strength didn’t wane until late in the workout, when she had a few surprisingly awkward misses before settling down.

The misses were definitely costly as another Icelandic box, CrossFit Sport, was able to rattle off the final reps very quickly. Inga Hardardottir sprinted to touch her dumbbell at 6:10 to take first place in the workout. CrossFit Reykjavik finished in 6:28 for second place, and the string of event victories was stopped at two.

“I was trying to pace myself,” Arnardottir said after the final heat. “I haven’t been so fast in training. (The misses) I lost a little bit. My heart rate was getting high and I was not focusing on technique.”

Third place went to CrossFit Malmo The Other Guys, who were one of only two teams to finish in the second heat. Their mark of 6:55 was almost 5 minutes faster than any other team in the heat.

Surprisingly, both Team Butchers Lab (2nd overall) and CrossFit Bath (3rd overall) faltered and only barely completed the workouts with less than a minute to spare. The Danish and English boxes finished 9th and 11th, respectively.

Overall, CrossFit Reyjavik is atop the leaderboard with 4 points, while CrossFit Sport has moved into second with 12 points. Third spot is clearly located in the meat-packing district, as Team Butcher’s Lab is now tied with Team Butcher’s Garage at 16 points. Four other teams are within 10 points of third.

Affiliate T-shirt of the day goes to Landstuhl CrossFit. In true German fashion, the squad waved the heavy-metal flag high with an AC/DC-inspired T-shirt reading, “For those about to squat, we salute you.”

CrossFit Landstuhl, CrossFit T-shirt aficionados everywhere salute you.

As of press time, the teams were back on the floor for Event 4.

 

 

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