March 26, 2012
Week Five in Review: Africa
By Riaan Hofmeyr

Danie du Preez and Jason Smith have been at each other's heels throughout the Open. They finished 12.5 tied in 2nd place.

The 2012 CrossFit Games Open ended with the same final workout of last year’s Open – the Fran ladder. This provided many athletes the opportunity to reflect on their progress over the last year. Workout 12.5 was also the final opportunity to grab a top 60 placing to be eligible to compete in the Africa Regional in Cape Town in six weeks time.

CrossFit PBM in Pretoria dominated this event with four of their athletes taking up top spots. In the men’s division, 22-year-old Gerhard van der Merwe stole the show with an impressive 127 repetitions. He edged out fellow PBM athlete Gian Smith, and fierce competitors Danie du Preez and Jason Smith by a single rep as these three athletes tied in 2nd with 126 reps.

David Levey’s 5th place finish in 12.5 cemented his name at the top of the Leaderboard at the close of the Open. Levey has been impressive throughout, and his 13-point lead over 2nd place suggests he is a force that should not be taken lightly at the Regionals. There was also no letting up between 2009 and 2011 Regional winner Danie du Preez, and Jason Smith. Du Preez and Smith have battled each other in many CrossFit competitions, and have been at each other’s heels throughout the Open. The final workout further proved them to be inseparable as both tied for 2nd in the workout, and therefore tied in second overall. The evergreen Du Preez once again proved that age is no excuse with a strong, rounded performance that he is sure to build on going in to the Regional qualifier.

Wilna Appel put in a commanding performance in Workout 12.5 by completing 105 reps, finishing with 15 more reps than 2nd place finisher and CrossFit PBM compatriot, Anmarie van der Walt. Africa Games veteran Natalie Irvin from CrossFit B4C came in 3rd with 88 reps.

Appel’s four 1st place finishes and a 3rd place finish in the Open secured her position as winner of this stage of the Games season. Her closest rival, Rika Diedericks, ends the Open in 2nd place. Lorinda van Loggerenberg finished in 3rd overall, beating Capetonian Ellie Hagopian to the position by just 1 point. This is sure to give van Loggerenberg a strong psychological advantage going in to the Regional. Prior to the season beginning, Appel was touted by many to be the favorite for the “Fittest in Africa” title. Her performance in the Open certainly reinforces that. However, the Regional qualifier will prove to be a different ball game.


Regionals begin in less than seven weeks. Keep checking here over the next few weeks to learn about the athletes qualifying for the Regionals, how to obtain tickets to the event and for information on volunteering.