Mick Shaw from CrossFit FX lets us know how everything went down under...
The CrossFit Games Australasia Qualifier was by far the best CrossFit gathering to be held Down Under. You could feel the energy in the air with 90 nervous competitors unsure of how they would stack up against many of the best athletes from around the region.
CrossFit is a relatively recent phenomenon in Australia, so more than a few workouts were pretty new for many athletes. Some competitors chose to scale the workouts back slightly in terms of weight, but their performances were no less inspiring.
Lack of experience was not a factor with regards to the performance of Ruth Anderson, who was self-taught and stacked up well against some of the more experienced athletes. Showing us the determination of an underdog, young Chris Hogan was able to shock everyone with a second-place finish after competing in the minor heats.
From the start of the very first heat the energy from the audience was contagious. Australians have now witnessed what CrossFit really is and what it really means. With the audience supporting every competitor regardless of affiliate or fitness level, competitors were rewarded for their efforts with enthusiastic encouragement that lasted to the end of every WOD.
Day One featured two WODs. The first was a three-round triplet of 10 clean and jerks (60 kilograms for men, 40 kilograms for women), 15 ring dips and 20 kettlebell swings (24 kilograms for men, 16 kilograms for women). WOD 2 was a 21-15-9 couplet of burpees and pull-ups with a 400-meter row tacked onto the end of each round.
The WOD from Day Two provided a complete surprise to the athletes and even the locals. With three laps through the Cronulla sand dunes, WOD 3 had many of the athletes resorting to scaling the massive dunes on their hands and knees. Halfway into the first lap, the majority of the competitors were exhausted. The event truly called upon the mental strength of all competitors.
Strict form was enforced throughout the weekend, and one athlete had to choose between disqualification and redoing WOD 1. In true CrossFit spirit, she decided to do the workout again. In support of her decision, four other girls gladly joined her. One of them, Fiona Muxlow, was able to complete the workout 30 seconds faster than her original time. The energy in the room was amazing throughout the workout, and it increased as the crowd counted down the last 20 reps with the competitor. Everyone was inspired by the courage and determination of the athlete.
On the women's side, Tamaryn Venter and Nadine Burns qualified for the CrossFit Games, and Steve Willis and Chris Hogan will represent the men in California in July.
The buzz from the event is ongoing and has lead to an introduction of local affiliate competitions to be conducted once a month.