May 6, 2012
Regional Report: Surprises and Heartbreak in Africa
By Dave Large

Rika Diedericks, David Levey and CrossFit Platinum are packing their bags for California.

The fourth CrossFit Games Africa Regional highlighted the significant growth in the region’s CrossFit Community, both in the number of participating athletes and in the level of competition among the leading athletes. 

As expected, there was a mix of heartbreak and surprises. In many instances, athletes were unable to meet the extreme demands of the events, but a combination of consistency, strategy and determination led to the crowning of Africa’s fittest men and women. 
Event 6
  1. Rika Diedericks (18.24)
Diedericks appeared anxious going in to Event 6 as she came up against a big weakness – muscle-ups. She needed to complete 21 to qualify for the CrossFit Games. With a previous best of two muscle-ups, and the hopes of the entire African CrossFit community on her shoulders, Diedericks approached the event with a calmness, most likely attained through her Olympic rowing training and competition. “After the first one it just felt right,” she said.  
With an incredible show of support from the crowd, she completed the three sets of seven deadlifts and seven muscle-ups, and then moved through 21 wall balls and 12 toes to bar in the 17-minute time cap. “It was as if an invisible hand from the crowd was holding me up,” said an exhausted Diedericks later in the day.
Games Qualifier
  1. Rika Diedericks (8 points)
Event Five
  1. Neil Scholtz (205.08)
  2. Jason Smith (195.08)
  3. David Levey (195.03)
Event 5 saw Scholtz play to his strength to win the event.  He was the only athlete to reach stage six, with Smith’s superior abilities on the double unders giving him a five-point advantage over Levey.
Event Six
  1. Danie du Preez (17:20)
  2. David Levey (17:21)
  3. Jason Smith (17:22)
With Neil Scholtz having withdrawn after Event 5 due to a medical concern, Event 6 became a fight to the finish for three of Africa’s top CrossFitters. Jason Smith took an early lead as the first athlete to the farmer’s walk. However, when he dropped the weights half way across the field, du Preez seized the gap to begin one of the most tightly contested events of the weekend.  
With Levey having slowed a little during the toes-to-bar, he gained ground on the burpee box jumps giving Smith and du Preez a run for their money. The 43-year-old du Preez ended the event with a narrow win over Levey. When asked how he managed to win ahead of much younger athletes, he said, “It’s the Grace of God, clean living and practicing every day.”
  1. David Levey (18 points)
  2. Danie du Preez (28 points)
  3. Christian Oman (28 points)
Despite not winning a single event over the weekend, Levey’s excellent all round performance and consistency earned him the title of Fittest Man in Africa. “I’m super stoked about the experience!” he said at the end of the day. “When I did well in the Open, I set a goal to win the Regionals.”
After having only started CrossFit in November 2011, Levey’s accomplishment against the more seasoned competitors, du Preez and Oman, was stellar and deserving of a spot at the 2012 CrossFit Games.
Event 6
  1. CrossFit Platinum (25.44)
  2. Team Cape CrossFit (27.05)
With Platinum having secured their win for the weekend earlier in the day, Event 6 was a showcase. As Cape CrossFit’s J.P Seini and Kjell  Buyst began the 100-foot buddy carry and 100-pound dumbbell carry 90 seconds ahead of Platinum, an incredible display of determination unfolded as the crowd anticipated the home team’s only win for the weekend.  
Platinum’s Thabiet Booley and Paul Christoforou regained ground on the alternating box jumps and got back to the rings with Seini and Kjell still struggling with their set of two muscle-ups. A rep each from Chrisoforou and Seinie left Booley and Kjell to battle it out. Five minutes before the time cap, Booyel got his muscle-up, handing the reigns over to Susan Claasen and Beatrix Snyman who managed four reps before the cut off time. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to get that muscle up because it’s one exercise I’ve been struggling with for a long time,” said Booley after Platinum’s fourth consecutive win for the weekend. “It’s a great feeling, and it’s still setting in, but we are already planning our trip to LA!”
  1. CrossFit Platinum (11 points)
  2. Team Cape CrossFit (14 points)
Despite a bad start to the weekend, CrossFit Platinum steadily built a lead over their closest rivals Cape CrossFit. Although Beatrix Snyman and Andre De bois stood out with their incredible performance in the strength events, coach Julian Reichmann emphasised that this was a true team effort. “It was about the team pulling together, playing to their strengths and giving their all,” said Reichman. 
He will soon begin preparing his team for their first CrossFit Games, “They’ve proven what they can do, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before we get to LA."