October 17, 2019
National Champions Dominate 20.1
By CrossFit
Greece’s Lefteris Theofanidis and Ireland’s Emma McQuaid win Open Workout 20.1 and US$2,020.
Greece’s Lefteris Theofanidis and Ireland’s Emma McQuaid win Open Workout 20.1 and US$2,020.

Last season was the first in which the top man and woman in every eligible nation worldwide after the Open earned a spot at the CrossFit Games. This season, they continue to prove they deserve the spotlight, with 2019 national champions taking top spots across the leaderboard after 20.1.

Open Workout 20.1 was 10 rounds for time of 8 ground-to-overheads (95/65 lb.) and 10 bar-facing burpees, a classic CrossFit couplet designed to take your breath away — literally.

“Did the #CrossFitOpen 20.1 today. Just to make things clear, it sucks. You [sic] shoulders blow up, your lungs hates you and you wanna quit,” said Twitter user Peter Aagaard Scheel.

“20.1 killed a bit of my soul,” Elaine Benes tweeted

For the average human, the misery ended with at least a few rounds left on the floor after a 15-minute time cap. Top athletes, however, completed all 180 reps in the 7:40-8:30 range, and the fastest times of all went to Lefteris Theofanidis in the men’s division (8:05) and Emma McQuaid in the women’s (7:55). McQuaid submitted a score of 7:41 and was assessed two penalties, one for a no rep on a burpee and another for a false start.

Both Victors Were 2019 National Champions

Theofanidis, Greece’s reigning fittest man, is a member of the Hellenic Air Force and a former track athlete. The 30-year-old made his CrossFit Games debut last year with a 60th-place finish. He is also a three-time Meridian/Europe Regional athlete.


McQuaid, also 30, hails from Ireland. She was a four-time Meridian/Europe Regional competitor before she took 21st in her first CrossFit Games appearance last summer. When she’s not doing CrossFit, you might find her on the racetrack.

Each will take home US$2,020.00 in prize money.


But Theofanidis and McQuaid weren’t the only reigning national champions to make a mark on the leaderboard after 20.1. Of the top 10 men’s scores after 20.1, four were national champions in 2019 — and a staggering nine were champs on the women’s side.

The champions also made waves in a few of the top Open hashtag categories. Firefighter and Norway’s fittest man of 2019, Nicolay Billaudel, took first in the #serviceopen with a 20.1 time of 9:03, good enough for 42nd worldwide. 

“Pretty cool to see my own name so high up on the leaderboard worldwide with the big names,” he wrote after score submissions closed.

You’ll get to see more of him in a couple weeks when he goes head-to-head with Norway’s female champion and six-time Games veteran Kristin Holte for the live announcement of Open Workout 20.3 in Oslo. 

If you sort the leaderboard for #teacher, you’ll see another champion at the top: Carolyne Prevost, the Canada's 2019 National Champion. The 30-year-old pro-hockey player and high school math, science, and physical education/health teacher leads the category with a 20.1 time of 8:30 — which also put her in a tie with Jamie Greene for seventh place worldwide. You can catch Prevost this week when she throws down with five-time CrossFit Games vet Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault for the live announcement of Open Workout 20.2.

You’ll also find a national champion at the top of one of the most popular Open hashtags, #mom: Anastasiya Ganina of the Russian Federation completed 20.1 in 9:11 (43rd overall). 

But it’s not just national champions and Games athletes having all the fun. While the Open is a qualifier for the CrossFit Games, it’s also a worldwide celebration of fitness; an opportunity for anyone and everyone to throw down with friends, give their best effort and inspire those around them. 

For instance, this expecting mother, who thought she’d just do one burpee to post a score but decided to keep going. 


Or WheelWOD champion and 2008 Beijing Paralympian Tom Miazga, who completed an adaptive version of 20.1 in 10:24.

Or Luke of CrossFit Pistol Creek, who proved that fitness has no age requirement.

The Open is also an opportunity to just have a bit of fun

Open Workout 20.1 is done and dusted, but we still have four weeks to go. That means we have a lot of reps and a lot of fitness to go before we can determine who will compete at the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games in August. 

Check back here next week for 20.2 highlights, and tag us in all your #crossfitopen adventures. We’ll see you on the leaderboard. 

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"Kara Saunders Discusses Doing the Open for the First Time as a Mom"

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