November 14, 2019
Argentina's Nievas and Canada's Adler Top 20.4
By CrossFit
For the first time this season, Open workout victories went to lesser-known athletes.
For the first time this season, Open workout victories went to lesser-known athletes.

Open Workout 20.4 was a real pistol.

Sixty of them, to be exact — if you were so fit as to finish the 240-rep monstrosity featuring box jumps, increasingly heavy clean and jerks, and, of course, single-leg squats.

The single-leg squat has been programmed in multiple Regional and CrossFit Games competitions, but this is the first time it has appeared in an Open workout. For many athletes, the workout ended at rep 159. For others, it was a chance to embody the spirit of the Open: Dig deep, persevere, PR.

“Nothing better than PR’ing a new skill with all your girls cheering you on,” wrote Open athlete Kathryn Stein of Tolland CrossFit in Connecticut.

Or maybe you PR’d on the barbell, like Katie Ruiz from CrossFit Löwe in Frisco, Texas, or Michael Molloy of CrossFit 1878 in Liverpool. He PR’d twice.

“You have to love the Open hit a PB clean and jerk twice in 20.4,” he wrote.

Rise of the Underdogs

For the first time this season, Open Workout victories went to lesser-known athletes: Jeffrey Adler of CrossFit Wonderland in Montreal won 20.4 with an astonishing time of 12:41. That’s a minute and 41 seconds faster than four-time Games champion Mat Fraser. 


“I couldn’t believe it either,” Adler wrote. “Told you I love cleans!”

Adler made his Games debut in 2019, taking 33rd. 

The women’s top spot went to Sasha Nievas of Argentina. She beat out Games veteran Sara Sigmundsdottir by just three seconds, finishing in a blazing 11:08. 


Both athletes are proof that hard work pays off. Nievas finished last year’s Open in 635th overall with a top workout placement of 104th. Adler finished 2,709th in his first Open in 2016; in 2019, he rose to 26th.

Take note, get inspired, and keep training.


With just one workout remaining, attention has shifted to the overall leaderboard, where two names have led from the start. 

Multiple-Open victor Sara Sigmundsdottir has held the overall lead since Open Workout 20.2. With one workout to go, she leads countrywoman and two-time Games champion Annie Thorisdottir by 12 points. 

Lefteris Theofanidis, Greece’s reigning fittest man and Hellenic Air Force member, has led the men’s field since 20.1. He goes into the final week with a 34-point spread between him and Fraser.

On the other side of the blue line, a few notable names sit outside of Games contention. Haley Adams rose to stardom in the Teen competition just a few years ago, taking second in 2016 (14-15 division) and 2017 (16-17) and winning the older teen division in 2018.

She qualified out of the Open for the 2019 Games in her first season as an individual and finished 6th—well above several Games veterans.

After 20.4, Adams holds 37th overall with a 32-point gap to make up in the final workout. In 2019, she took the last qualifying spot with just 8 points to spare—can she pull off another comeback?

Fans might be surprised to see multi-year Games veteran Scott Panchik below the blue line as well—of the eight Opens he’s competed in he finished in the top 5 four times, only dropping below the top 13 twice. He’s currently in 29th, two spots out of from individual qualification, but that’s not his goal this year anyway—you’ll find him competing in the Sanctionals as part of team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.

Additional Reading 

Dave Castro: 20.4 Was Originally “All Pistols”

Forget the Comeback Kid: Mom’s the Word For Kara Saunders