July 24, 2016
Weighting Game
By Andréa Maria Cecil
Chipper taxes bi’s and tri’s just in time for final event using bi’s and tri’s.  
Chipper taxes bi’s and tri’s just in time for final event using bi’s and tri’s.  

Simple. Painful. With a twist.

It’s quintessential CrossFit Games programming.

In the second-to-last event of their 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games, individual athletes tackled Rope Chipper, involving the Concept 2 SkiErg, double-unders, rower, Assault Air Bike and a 90-foot sled pull totaling 310 lb. for the men and 220 lb. for the women. The twist: jump ropes with weighted handles.

Following Games Director Dave Castro’s announcement of the event and a standards briefing with Head Judge Adrian Bozman, athletes were fitted for their ropes in the tunnel connecting the venue’s soccer and tennis stadiums.

Immediately following each heat, competitors were quick to plunge their forearms in an ice chest on the competition floor. As female athletes made their way through the tunnel toward Athlete Village, they talked of the weighted jump rope taxing their grip and shoulders.

Of all the odd objects introduced at this year’s Games—including the Snail and the Plow—Kari Pearce said the heavy-handled rope was “probably the hardest for me,” citing double-unders as a weakness.

“It’s a little bit slower,” she said. “You have to wait for the jump rope.”

The two-time Games competitor, who sat in seventh place after 14 events, said she expected the rope to affect all the competitors’ grip, shoulders and biceps going into the final event involving a pegboard.

Three-time Games athlete Chyna Cho said that while she hadn’t practiced double-unders with a rope outfitted with heavy handles, she had practiced with a rope outfitted with a heavy cable.

“It still gives you the same feeling of fatigue,” she said.

And while Cho said her second-place finish in the event gives her mental momentum going into the competition’s final, she conceded the heavy-handled rope could cause grip problems.

“I would like to think not,” she said with a laugh, then added, “I think everything kind of chips away at your energy stores.”

Cho finished Rope Chipper in 8:06.80, just tenths of a second behind first-place finisher Anna Tunnicliffe who finished in 8:06.64. The women traded the lead back and forth throughout the workout, and it came down to the sled pull where they were nearly pull for pull before a quick 180-degree turn to cross the finish line just steps behind.

For Marcus Filly it wasn’t so much the weight of the rope handles, but the diameter of the rope handles. He said he found himself holding it more like a tennis racket, with his thumb over his first two fingers.

The sled pull, he added, was “very arm-y.”

Filly said it would be unknown whether Rope Chipper would affect the final event.

“That’ll only make sense when you get there.”

The three-time Games athlete finished the event in sixth place and sits in 13th place overall.

Event winner Brent Fikowski, on the other hand, was certain the Rope Chipper would impact what followed. Specifically, the biceps and forearms.

“Which will be interesting because it’s essentially what the pegboard is testing,” said Fikowski, who finished Rope Chipper in 7:32.17.

He sits in fourth place overall.

The event increased reigning champion Katrin Davidsdottir’s lead over second-ranked Tia-Clair Toomey to 23 points, with Sara Sigmundsdottir following 30 points behind in third—an exact duplicate of last year’s final overall ranking.

Among the men, not much changed on the leaderboard. Mat Fraser continued his dominating lead, going into the final event 175 points ahead of second-place holder Ben Smith. Rookie Patrick Vellner is in third place.

Next up for the individuals: Redemption at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

For complete results, visit the CrossFit Games Leaderboard.


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