Less than half an hour earlier, the 32 athletes assembled in the warm-up area were struggling to loosen up muscles that needed a week of recovery rather than 12 hours. If the competitors thought they were sore at the end of Day 1, they woke up in agony on Sunday morning, feeling the full effects of Saturday's five brutal WODs. Many hobbled around the room moving like C3P0 from Star Wars.
Eliminated competitor Charlie Dunifer said in the warm-up area that he simply couldn't have competed if he had made the top 16. Jolie Gentry said she was unbelievably sore, but anyone who had watched her compete in the past knew she'd push through it.
Regardless, soreness was washed away by waves of adrenaline when the first heat started at 9:30.
"I'm not too bad," Spencer Hendel said as the first women's heat started. "I actually woke up feeling a lot better than I thought I would. I think I can make it through one more. Once the adrenaline kicks in, it will definitely overtake the soreness."
Tamara Holmes took an early lead in Heat 1, getting a pair of big red 45s overhead quickly while the other competitors fought with combinations of yellows and greens. Holmes couldn't get much more on the bar despite on-the-spot coaching from Mike Burgener and won the heat with 145. Stacey Kroon locked out a PR of 110 right at the buzzer and drew a roar from the sun-soaked crowd packed into the bleachers.
The first men's heat, several competitors went above 205 right off the bat. Jeff Leonard and Jason Khalipa both locked the weight out, though Leonard power snatched it and showed he had a hell of a lot more in the tank. The big firefighter from California topped out at 240, while Jason Khalipa and D.J. Wickham both threw 225 up.
The top eight women were up next. The powerful Cyndi Frieling turned the snatch into a high pull and press, hitting the ceiling at 120, while Tanya Wagner was more technical in getting under 135. Kristan Clever listed hard to starboard on several lifts but still had the strength to level 130 in the end.
Laura DeMarco--who never thought of herself as an athlete and played no high school or college sports--lifted 115 and finished ninth.
"It's the first time I've ever worked on a single-rep max," she said "It was frustrating because I could have done more... I don't have the technique down, and it's all technique."
The top eight men featured some aggressive attempts, with Spencer Hendel winning the heat with 225 and showing his skill as an Olympic lifter.
"I will take him right now and make him a national champion," said Coach Mike Burgener, who was impressed by Hendel's speed and passion.
Burgener thought Leonard was the best technically but loved D.J. Wickham's speed through the middle of the pull. Coach B also noted Tommy Hackenbruck has immense potential as a lifter.
At the end of the women's heats, Holmes stood atop the standings, followed by Wagner in second, and Clever and Lindsey Smith tied for third. For the men, it was Leonard in first and Hendel, Wickham and Khalipa tied for second.
The women's overall standings after six events found Wagner in front by nine points, with Annie Thorisdottir next, and Sarah Dunsmore 19 points back in third. On the men's side it was Tommy Hackenbruck with a two-point lead over Moe Kelsey and an eight-point lead over Mikko Salo.
Follow the scores live as they're delivered to the Games 2009 Media Centre by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
Next up: WOD 7.