Games Bound: Semifinals Week 3 Winners

June 15, 2021

Melissa Yinger

The law of twos ruled last weekend's competitions. Here's a look at who's headed to Madison.

When two athletes complete an event at exactly the same time or earn the same number of points, we call it a tie for first, second, or third — whatever the higher placement is among the two positions they occupy. This demonstrates the unwavering generosity of sports and sports fans, generosity that can only be balanced by the unnecessarily dark and dramatic terminology associated with a common outcome of the tie: sudden death. 

These were this weekend’s shower thoughts, because while we don’t have sudden death in the Semifinals phase of the CrossFit Games season (let’s not give Dave Castro ideas this close to the Games), we did have several ties in Week 3. There was an Annie Thorisdottir-Gabriela Migała tie and an Uldis Upenieks-Sam Stewart tie at the Lowlands Throwdown. Meanwhile, the German Throwdown was the scene of an André Houdet and Giorgos Karavis tie, as well as a tie between Team CrossFit Genas and AOD Fitness.

And ties were not the only thing that left Games fans seeing double. Many had to do a double-take when perusing the leaderboard for the German Throwdown, as two athletes by the name of Đukić steadily climbed into qualifying positions. Lazar and Luka, the brothers Đukić, took second and third place, respectively, on the men’s side. Hailing from Serbia, they are the first two non-American siblings to qualify for the individual competition at the Games. 

Lazar and Luka
Luka and Lazar (Photo by Vanja Todorovic Photography)

More doubling happened at the Brazil CrossFit Championship. The top two spots in each division — men, women, and teams — ended up being between Brazil and Argentina, like some kind of metaphorical Iguazu Falls. Athletes representing other countries in South America will still have a chance to vie for their spots at the Games in next month’s Last-Chance Qualifier. 

But here’s a look at who secured their spot last weekend and is guaranteed a chance to step on the competition floor in Madison.

Brazil CrossFit Championship

At the BCC, the battle between Brazil’s Larissa Cunha and Argentina’s Sasha Nievas got spicier as the weekend progressed. The two athletes were tied after two days of competition, but Cunha clinched the victory with an 11th-hour first-place finish in Event 6, Grettel.  

Cunha and Nievas will both head to Madison for their first CrossFit Games appearance, while Victoria Campos and Julia Kato of Brazil along with Valentina Rangel of Colombia will live to fight another day in the Last-Chance Qualifier.

Cunha (Photo by @picwaroficial)

On the men’s side, former teenage competitor Guilherme Malheiros of Brazil and Agustin Richelme of Argentina also had a terrifically tight race to the finish. Malheiros had two first-place and two second-place event finishes, and never completed an event outside the top seven. But that wasn’t enough to hold off Richelme, who never placed outside the top four. 

The two men competed together in Madison in 2019, Malheiros in 48th edging out Richelme in 50th. They will have the chance to go head-to-head again next month.

Richelme (See more competition highlights in "The Brazil CrossFit Championship Crowns Richelme, Cunha and Fourmixx Brazil as Champions," by the Morning Chalk Up)

Venezuela’s Omar Martinez and Brazil’s Kaique Cerveny and Anderon Primo will be invited to compete in the Last-Chance Qualifier.

In the team competition, Fourmixx Brazil was untouchable, taking first, second, first, first, first, and second. 

The winner of the race for the second qualifying spot didn’t become clear until after the final event. Fifteen points separated first and fourth in the event. In the end, 15 points separated second and third place on the overall leaderboard. If CrossFit Villa Luro hadn’t taken fourth in that event and Q21 hadn’t taken the event win — setting the overall record for the workout with a time of 12:25 — the outcome would have been different. But Q21’s athletes slung barbells and burpeed their way into qualifying position.

Fourmixx (Photo by Thais Oliveira)

Congratulations to this year’s Games qualifiers out of South America!

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Larissa Cunha - 560 pts.

2. Sasha Nievas - 528 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Agustin Richelme - 560 pts. 

2. Guilherme Malheiros - 548 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Teams

1. Fourmixx Brazil - 590 pts.

2. Q21 - 555 pts.

Lowlands Throwdown

Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson had his worst event finish (11th) and best event finish (first) on Day 1. Those placements created a lane for BKG that he managed to stay within for the rest of the weekend. Adrian Mundwiler was nipping at his heels, closing the gap somewhat in Event 4’s snatch ladder, as he handled the 245-lb. barbell more efficiently than Guðmundsson. Mundwiler ended up only 8 points behind after Event 6 and will return to the Games with BKG, along with Uldis Upenieks of Latvia, Sam Stewart of Ireland, and Henrik Haapalainen of Finland.

McQuaid at the 2018 Europe Regional (Photo by Nerijus Dusevicius)

Stewart will be joined at the Games by compatriot Emma McQuaid, who excelled in Saturday’s muscle-up, lunge, and double-under workout. McQuaid edged out Hungary’s Laura Horváth in the points game despite Horváth’s three first-place finishes. This will be a rematch to watch in Madison, where the two women will be accompanied by Iceland’s Annie Thorisdottir, Poland’s Gabriela Migała, and Iceland’s Thuri Helgadottir. Thorisdottir, who crushed Event 2’s dumbbell and GHD challenge, will make her return to the Games for the 11th time after having a daughter in August of last year.

Guðmundsson and Thorisdottir, last weekend (Photo by NWR Productions)

On the team side, 15 points separated first and second, second and third, and third and fourth on the overall leaderboard at the close of competition. Motion had a great Saturday with back-to-back event wins and looked to continue in that vein on Sunday after winning Event 5. But a 10th-place finish in the final event dropped them to third place overall behind CrossFit Nordic and Team CrossFit Holistic. All three teams, along with Team Butchers Lab T-Bone and Bergen Limitless, can start planning their trips to Madison.

Congratulations to the Lowland’s fittest athletes and Games qualifiers.

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Emma McQuaid - 549 pts.

2. Laura Horváth - 544 pts.

3T Annie Thorisdottir - 528 pts.

3T Gabriela Migała - 528 pts.

5. Thuridur Erla Helgadottir - 460 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson - 484 pts.

2. Adrian Mundwiler - 476 pts.

3T Uldis Upenieks - 456 pts.

3T Sam Stewart - 456 pts.

5. Henrik Haapalainen - 449 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Teams

1. CrossFit Nordic - 525 pts.

2. Team CrossFit Holistic - 510 pts.

3. Motion - 495 pts.

4. Team Butchers Lab T-Bone - 480 pts.

5. Bergen Limitless - 460 pts.

German Throwdown

There were no lone wolves on team CrossFit Oslo Wolfpack. The four athletes worked together to lengthen their lead over the other teams, at no point finishing an event outside the top three. Fifty points behind in second was the Athlete Program. From the Port, Team CrossFit Genas, and AOD Fitness rounded out the top five.

The men’s side will send Finland’s Jonne Koski, brothers Lazar and Luka Đukić of Serbia, Denmark’s André Houdet, and Giorgos Karavis of Greece. Koski was a model of consistency, taking first or second place in five of the six events. The only outlier was Event 4’s snatch event, where he took 12th. He finished the weekend 28 points ahead of the first Đukić brother, Lazar, who managed to open up a massive 73-point lead over Luka in third. Fabian Beneito, Alex Kotoulas, and Joshua Al-Chamaa will be invited to move on to the Last-Chance Qualifier.

Koski at the 2017 Games (Photo by the CrossFit Games)

On the women’s side, Games veterans Sam Briggs and Katrin Davidsdottir were in the running for qualifying positions all weekend long, but their paths diverged in the snatch event, where Briggs earned 25th place and Davidsdottir took the win. Davidsdottir earned the third qualifying spot, and Briggs will be invited to the Last-Chance Qualifier. 

In first and second place, Norway’s Kristen Holte and Jacqueline Dahlstrøm locked horns across all three days of competition. Dahlstrøm, a two-time Sanctionals winner and one-time Games athlete, performed incredibly well, winning the first event and never finishing outside the top four. But that wasn’t enough to hold off Holte.

Dahlstrøm in Event 3 last weekend (Photo by 1RM Photography)

Holte, who has competed at the CrossFit Games seven times, narrowly missed qualifying for the final five last year. She made up for it with back-to-back event wins on the last day of the German Throwdown. In an interview after Event 6, Holte demonstrated how pain-loving and eccentric you have to be to compete at the highest level in the sport when she said, “I love burpees.” In a further analysis of the event, she explained, “It’s only 3 clean and jerks, and then you get to do burpees.” Yes, "get to." Spoken like a true champion.

Holte at Regionals in 2014 (Photo by Agust Sigurjonsson)

Congratulations to all the winners of the German Throwdown and all qualifiers out of all three competitions. We’ll see you in Madison!

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Kristin Holte - 572 pts.

2. Jacqueline Dahlstrøm - 552 pts.

3. Katrin Davidsdottir - 468 pts. 

4. Emilia Leppӓnen - 446 pts.

5. Samantha Briggs - 436 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Jonne Koski - 544 pts.

2. Lazar Đukić - 516 pts.

3. Luka Đukić - 443 pts.

4T André Houdet - 437 pts.

4T Giorgos Karavis - 437 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Teams

1. CrossFit Oslo Wolfpack - 570 pts.

2. The Athlete Program - 520 pts.

3. From the Port - 505 pts.

4T Team CrossFit Genas - 480 pts.

4T AOD Fitness - 480 pts.

Catch up on all the studio coverage from the weekend here.

Cover photo: Dahlstrøm (Photo by Vim McLeod)

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