March 11, 2013
Week One in Review: Europe
By Maria Turner

Two-time CrossFit Games champion, Annie Thorisdottir leads the women in Europe as Mikko Salo tops the men's Leaderboard.

For weeks, CrossFitters worldwide were guessing what the first Open Workout of 2013 would be. Many expected a repeat from last year, and many feared it would be the grueling seven-minute AMRAP of burpees.

It was to everyone’s surprise when Dave Castro announced that 13.1 would be a combination of burpees and snatches. The workout was a true test of not just endurance and stamina, but also technique and efficiency.

The Europe Region welcomed back many athletes from injury, including Frederik Aegidius, Samantha Briggs, Mikko Salo and Tuomas Vainio, who all took top places on the Europe Leaderboard.


For the men, the well-known names from Finland dominated. 2009 Games champion, Mikko Salo — who was forced to withdraw from the 2011 Games following Event 1 due to a burst eardrum, and missed the 2012 season due to a knee injury — took the top spot in Europe with 191 reps.

Salo was followed closely by fellow countryman, Mikko Aronpää, who scored 190 reps

In third place was another Finnish athlete, Tuomas Vaino. Although he hit the same number of reps as Aronpää, Vaino missed out on second place with a tiebreak time of 15:33, eight seconds behind Aronpää.

David Long, of CrossFit Cirencester, Lukas Högberg, of CrossFit Solid and Pete Howe, of CrossFit Taunton, also posted 190 reps. Long took fourth place, finishing his last round of snatches at 15:48, while Högberg, a competitor in the 2012 Regionals, and Howe shared fifth place with a tiebreak time of 15:50. The winner of last year’s Regionals, Frederik Aegidius, who is returning from a back injury, took seventh place with 190 reps and a tiebreak time of 16:03.


The two-time CrossFit Games champion, Annie Thorisdottir, started off what promises to be an exciting season with an impressive performance taking a firm hold on first place with 209 reps. Thorisdottir looked to finish in first both in Europe and worldwide until Sunday evening, when 2010 Games champion, Kristan Clever, posted a score of 211.

The big story of last week was that Samantha Briggs was back. Following her exit from last year’s Open due to a knee injury, everyone in Europe was eager to see how the powerhouse of the United Kingdom would fare with 13.1. She did not disappoint as she completed 205 reps, landing her in second place.

Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir, who demonstrated her incredible strength and skill in the snatch at the CrossFit Invitational in London last year, took third place with 202 reps.

There were many familiar names in the top spots of the Leaderboard: Sarah Lindasdatter Troelsen Krar, of CrossFit Butcher’s Garage in fourth, CrossFit Stodin’s, Hjördis Óskarsdóttir in sixth, CrossFit Officine’s, Martina Barbaro in seventh and CrossFit Sport’s, Thuridur Erla Helgadottir in 10th.

There were also some new names on the Leaderboard.

Patricia Strenius, of CrossFit Sodra Station, who has only been doing CrossFit since March 2012, took fifth place with 194 reps. CrossFit AKA’s, Sanne Rooijmans, tied for 11th (with CrossFit Leyland’s, Gina Yates) and CrossFit Thames,’ Gwendolin Sona, who was introduced to CrossFit just six months ago, finished in 14th place.


The addition of a new Masters category opened up a window of opportunity for male and female competitors ages 40-44. CrossFit Pen Y Bont’s, Lloyd Gilby, took first place in this category for the men, with single mother of four, Anne Waage, taking first place for the women with a score of 177.

In the 45-49 Division, CrossFit veteran, Rob Powell, of CrossFit Ansbach, who has been CrossFitting since 2008, took second place with 157 reps, and Maria Blumenthal, from CrossFit Mallow, took first place for the women with 165 reps.

CrossFit Power Factory’s, Michel Vanmeerbeek, competing in the 50-54 Division, moved up from his seventh-place finish in last year’s Snatch Ladder to take first place in 13.1. For the 50-54 women, Helena Pirvola-Nykänen, of CrossFit Espoo, and CrossFit 3D’s, Sharron Lowe both completed 125 reps. Pirvola-Nykänen finished her last set of snatches at 5:21, giving her second place, while Lowe finished at 5:43, putting her in third.

In the 55-59 Division, former Royal Marine Commando, David Rees, of CrossFit Plymouth, finished in eighth place with 155 reps, while Hilmar Hardarson, of CrossFit Sport, completed 190 reps — a score that would give him a top-10 finish in the individual men’s category. Anita Eskelinen took first place for the women, completing 16 reps more than the second-place finisher, Framboise Labat.

In the 60+ Division, two Dutch athletes took first place. Maria Berendsen, of CrossFit Culemborg, scored 121 reps, and Bert Wijker, of CrossFit AKA, got 155 reps.


From Iceland, CrossFit Reykjavik, and Team Thor, from CrossFit Stodin, took first and third place, respectively. Denmark’s Team Butcher’s Garage is in second place.

CrossFit Solid and Team CrossFit Nordic, both from Sweden, placed fourth and fifth, respectively, and Finland’s CrossFit Pori finished in sixth place with a score of 1020.

One thing is for certain: with four Open Workouts yet to be announced, it’s still anyone’s game.