The individual competition in Africa kicked off with some big news: Several top competitors will not compete this weekend.
The top-seeded woman in the region and 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games competitor, Rika Diedericks, arrived in Johannesburg and soon announced her withdrawal due to an unspecified injury.
Eighth-seeded Alan Foulis also withdrew due to injury. He had dislocated his elbow while training two weeks ago, and did not feel comfortable competing this weekend.
Sixth-ranked Mohamed Abou Auf was notably missing from Athlete Check In. Auf serves in the Egyptian army, and was unable to get permission to leave the country. This is the second consecutive year that Auf has qualified for the regional, but been unable to compete.
Perhaps the most significant news of the day, however, was Jean-Claude Jardim’s disqualification. The Zimbabwean athlete took second in the Open in Africa, however, it was revealed that he performed all of the Open Workouts in Australia, which renders him ineligible to participate in the Africa Region this year.
With the women’s 2014 and 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games qualifiers, Carla Nunes da Costa and Mona Pretorius, out of the regional this year, and David Levey present but suffering from several niggling injuries, there is a strong chance that there will be two new representatives at the CrossFit Games.
Event 1 & 2
In the one-rep max hang squat snatch event that started the weekend, two veteran regional competitors and a rookie lifted the heaviest weights.
Hannes du Toit got 240 lb. overhead, while 21-year-old Ivan Kruger successfully snatched 245 lb. before attempting 265 lb. for his third and final attempt. Although he did not get 265 lb., his previous snatch was good enough to hold second in the event.
Four-time regional competitor Jason Smith edged out Kruger for the win by successfully snatching 265 lb.
Two minutes after showing their skill at Olympic lifting, the competitors had to prove their skill at gymnastics movements in the max distance handstand walk (Event 3).
Unsurprisingly, a former gymnast came out on top. Andre Gadney, a former South African gymnast, crossed the 120-foot competition floor, and came within 25-feet of finishing his second pass of the floor before he lost his balance and fell. With a 215-foot handstand walk, Gadney sealed the event win.
Gadney was followed by rookie competitor Roman Chausse. Chausse doesn’t have a gymnastics background, but he was plenty comfortable on his hands. The athlete with a background in water polo, rugby, and boxing managed to walk 205 feet.