April 1, 2013
Week Four in Review: Asia
By Jennifer Tan

Open Workout 13.4 was a short, sharp and sweet seven minutes featuring quintessential CrossFit equipment: a barbell and a pull-up bar.

Described by many as a beautiful combination of weightlifting and gymnastics, Open Workout 13.4 was a short, sharp and sweet seven minutes featuring quintessential CrossFit equipment: a barbell and a pull-up bar.

Not dissimilar from last year’s 12.5 ascending chest-to-bar Fran ladder, the workout required Grace-weight clean and jerks followed by toes-to-bars, with the rep scheme climbing in threes.

Athletes in Asia took on the lung-burner of a couplet with gusto, with one of the most favored strategies being to break up the clean and jerks into triples or even singles if necessary, following up with speedy toes-to-bars.


Yousef Albaqsami continues to dominate the Leaderboard, after tying for sixth place in 13.4 alongside Joseph Rank, of CrossFit Sentinel One, who now sits in third position, one place closer to the top spot than last week.

Tanner Shuck bagged the first-place finish for Open Workout 13.4, scoring a total of 110 reps. That puts him in the same boat as all-time people’s favorite, Chris Spealler, which most would agree, is pretty good company to keep.

Moving up quietly, but by no means going unnoticed is 25-year-old Cameron Currie, coach and athlete at Vulture CrossFit in Afghanistan.

“Luckily, we do the workouts later in the week, so we have time to strategize … see what works and what doesn't,” Currie says. “The biggest goals for me were not to burn out too early, maintain a steady pace throughout and manage my grip.”


On the eve of 13.4’s live announcement, head coach of CrossFit Lifespark in Dubai, Candice Howe, revealed her new Open goals, one of which was to stay in the top five in Asia. After tackling the workout twice, Howe finished with 98 reps and currently sits in second place.

Hot on Howe’s heels this week is Marlene Andersson, who tied Howe’s teammate Inger Larsen for eighth place in 13.4 with 85 reps, but holds the third overall spot in Asia. With the end of the Open in sight, Andersson is looking toward the upcoming Regional in Seoul, Korea.

“I'm really not sure what to expect this year from my first Asia Regional,” Andersson says. “It's a totally different playing field for me, but I'm very excited. My goal is always to do better than what I've done in the past and hopefully that will give me a good place on the scoreboard. As long as I'm having fun, it’s all good. What will be really incredible is to meet a whole new community of amazing CrossFitters.”

Staking claim over first place in the fourth workout of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is Nicole Tainatongo — now a familiar name in the region. Having finished second and third in the previous Open workouts, it looks like Tainatongo is stepping up her game as the Open draws to a close, in order to keep herself firmly grounded as Asia’s No. 1 female athlete.


No change to the top three teams in Asia this week as CrossFit Misawa, CrossFit Asia and CrossFit 671 continue to control the Leaderboard’s first, second and third places, respectively.

CrossFit Sentinel Downtown has sat in a very comfortable fourth position for the entire Open to date, making them equally viable competitors for that much sought-after first-place finish at the Asia Regional. Will coach and teammate John Britton, ninth-place finisher in Seoul last year, lead the way?