The CrossFit Games don't have much to offer the incomplete athlete, and parallette handstand push-ups (head to a stack of bumper plates) removed many athletes from contention for the overall crown.
WOD 3: as many rounds as possible in eight minutes of four handstand push-ups on paralletes, eight kettlebell swings (1.5/2 pood) and 12 GHD sit-ups. Every rep would be counted to determine a final score.
Before the WOD, many female athletes said they could not do strict handstand push-ups, so the scoring system was altered. The women had to complete a minimum of one strict HSPU or they would be marked with a DNF. If they chose to scale the WOD after that by using kipping HSPUs, no additional reps in the WOD counted toward their final score.
When the first women's heat started, it was 2007 Games champ Jolie Gentry who dominated. Gentry is a machine when it comes to body-weight movements and was able to complete the HSPU and notch a score of 103--51 points above Jenny Olson. Laura DeMarco, Tamara Holmes and Lauren Pryor were listed DNF.
When asked how she did with the WOD, Crystal Mcreynolds was blunt: "Not so hot. I don't practice strict handstand push-ups, so it's my fault. I wasn't prepared."
Mcreynolds completed enough HSPUs to avoid a DNF but not enough to score more than two points. She thought the HSPUs were a good idea but would have tweaked the programming slightly.
"Honestly I think that the females should have gotten to kip the whole workout," she said. "Even then it would have separated us... but it wouldn't have been as discouraging."
Icelander Annie Thorisdottir found the HSPU to her liking.
"They were OK," she said. "I thought they would have been more difficult. I've never done them with bars (parallettes)."
Interestingly, Thorisdottir had never done GHD sit-ups and learned how to do them shortly before the WOD.
"They were weird," she said. "I thought they were kind of funny."
When asked if the GHDs were challenging, the young Icelander smiled: "No."
The first men's heat put Jason Khalipa's massive delts and triceps on full display. The defending champ is as wide as a house and owned the HSPU and kettlebell swings. His score in the first heat was second best, with Patrick Burke finishing first.
The second women's heat produced more DNFs, narrowing the field by one more athlete--Sarah Dunsmore. The slight but energetic Dunsmore came into the WOD third overall but is now out of contention.
The winner: Kristan Clever with a high score of 153. Charity Vale was second at 148, and Gentry was third. The overall women's standings now find Tanya Wagner in first (47 points), Annie Thorisdottir in second (54) and Vale in third (71). Barring unforeseen developments, the World's Fittest Woman will be a 26-year-old phys. ed. teacher from Pennsylvania or a 19-year-old student from Iceland.
On the men's side, Patrick Burke finished first, with Khalipa and Mikko Salo tied for second. Overall leader Tommy Hackenbruck was ninth, setting up a hot race for the championship. The top of the overall standings are as follows: Hackenbruck (76), Salo (77) and Moe Kelsey (82). Steve Willis of Australia is also in the hunt with 91 points.
One WOD remains--and it has yet to be announced.
Next event: the Affiliate Cup final.