March 5, 2012
Week Two in Review: Asia
By John Frankl


Although relatively new to CrossFit, Korea is coming on strong in the Open this year.

The second week of the Open witnessed a very large leap from the completely accessible burpee, to the more technically demanding snatch. Along with the shift in movement itself, the snatch brought both increasing weight over time, as well as an increase in time.

Week 2 also saw a slight drop from Week 1; the region dropped to 333 individual male and 128 female competitors. These are still excellent overall numbers and gender balance for Asia, but the higher buy in on the snatch versus the burpee may be responsible for the drop.

The women remained somewhat consistent with Feng Yi Chew of Singapore, holding on to her overall No. 1 position with a solid 5th place finish of 77. Okinawa’s Christen Wagner moved up from 6th to place 1st for the week with 83 reps to move into 2nd place overall.

Keiko Cross and Candice Howe both moved ahead to share 3rd place overall. Okinawa’s Cross moved up one place from last week, while last year’s champ, Howe, moved up from 8th with a big score of 79 reps.

Among the men, Brice Collier—currently deployed in Afghanistan—came from way back at 19th to lead the pack in week two. His weekly places at 19 and 6 offer a preview of balance across events as one of the keys to victory.

Greg Harris and Korea’s Seong Hyeon Go share 2nd place after Week 2. Harris rose from 26 to 2nd place overall by scoring a big 81 reps. Go’s 4th place finish in the first week was enough to counterbalance this week’s finish at 24. Unlike the women’s leader, last week’s leader among the men, Misawa Air Base’s Mike Wendelken, drops to 53, showing that nothing is certain until all the Open events are done.

We still have a tremendously good and even distribution across the different countries and nationalities in Asia. Noteworthy among them is Korea. Although a relative latecomer to CrossFit, Korea is coming on very strong this year. After the second week, four of the top 10 male athletes in Asia are CrossFitting in Korea. Two are Korean nationals—Seong Hyeon Go (2nd) and KH Lee (5th)—while two are expatriates—Joseph Rank (6th) and Jacob Leonard (10th).

Before Workout 12.3 is announced, we would like to ask all athletes to give as much detail in their profiles as possible. Asia is a very big place, and we’d like to be able to credit your individual gyms and regions. Also, if any gyms are hosting Open Workouts, please let us know and provide photos and videos. We’d like to cover team-building events in the region.

Almost as soon as they got over the exhaustion of 12.2, athletes were already anxious regarding next week’s Open workout. With a monostructural gymnastics followed by a monostructural weightlifting workout, many were speculating about a brief, but brutal couplet or triplet. Whatever comes out of the hopper, however, be sure that the athletes in Asia will be ready.

*The scores and rankings are unofficial until Tuesdays at 5 p.m., PT.