It was a chilly Saturday morning on 27th January 2018 when 300 of the UK’s top CrossFit athletes arrived at The Crowne Plaza Arena for registration. After taking on the three qualifiers in October (17.1: ‘Double Impact’, 17.2: ‘The Sprint’, 17.3: ‘Twisted Fran’), they had also taken on WOD 1 for the day: the pre-performed Beep Test.
WOD 1: The Beep Test
Using the police standards, the beep test consists of two lines, 15 meters apart, with an audio recording to standardise the pace of the test through a series of beeps. Our athletes ran between the lines in time with the beeps, with the time getting progressively shorter as each level is completed. If an athlete reached the line before the next beep, they had to wait until that beep before running on. If an athlete did not reach the line before the next beep, the test was over and their score recorded.
Athletes were required to record and submit their scores in a video, many of them choosing to take up Carl Saville’s option to “Go Live” on Facebook. This allowed competitors to share their experiences of the WOD in real-time with anyone tuning in, seeing them push themselves so hard even before the day of the finals… with mixed levels of enjoyment! As one athlete, Rachel Hill stated through heavy breathing at the end of the submission video “I used to like running… I don’t any more”!
And so, after picking up their event tees at registration, athletes gathered around for a breakdown of their first workout to be done in front of a live crowd – what would be WOD2 – they’d already secured their first score of The European Championships Finals.
WOD 2: “Fran”
21-15-9 Thrusters 42.5/30kgs & Pull-Ups
Score = For Time
5 Minute Time Cap
Teens Standards = 30/20kgs + option of jumping or standard Pull-Ups
Scaled Standards = 30/20kgs + option of jumping or standard Pull-Ups
Masters Standards = As Rx
None of the athletes, after performing “Twisted Fran” in the qualifiers expected this iconic workout to be prescribed as the first order of the day. With a 5 minute time cap, this certainly was a sprint, however the top athletes in this WOD were getting done in around two or three minutes! Rx Male, Poland’s Marcin Szybaj completed all reps in an impressive 2:06, and Rx Female Leonie Henrich of Netherlands in 2:13 – incredible!
WODs 3,4 & 5: 3RM, 3min AMRAP, 3min AMRAP
0 – 3 mins Build to 3 rep max Hang Clean
Score = Weight
3 – 6 mins AMRAP 12 alternating Pistols & 6 Bar Muscle Ups
Score = Reps
6 – 9 mins AMRAP 1 Rope Climb & 6 Over Bar Burpees
Score = Reps
Teens Standards = Complex | BMU/jumping BMU | standard rope climbs
Scaled = Complex | scaled pistol + BMU/jumping BMU | standard rope climbs
Masters = As RX
With a running clock, athletes took on WODs 3, 4 and 5. In WOD 3, athletes had 3 minutes to build to a 3 rep max for hang clean. On that 3 minute mark, they rotated into WOD 4, and on the 6 minute mark, athletes rotated for a final time to perform WOD 5.
With so much going on in each of these three workouts, the crowd in the arena erupted, cheering and clapping the athletes through each workout, in each heat, and in each category. There were some huge numbers being thrown around in WOD 3, and as if the Teens hadn’t already impressed spectators, Zoe Kerr from Northern Ireland’s CrossFit MCI secured first place with 71 kilos, and Scotland-based ULT CrossFit’s Sammy Jess successfully lifted 100 kilos.
WOD 6: 7min AMRAP
40 Deadlift 120/80kg
30 Shoulder To Over-Head 60/40kg
20 Sandbag Bear Complex 40/20kg
Max. Effort Toes To Bar
Score = Reps
Teens Standard = Deadlift 60/40kgs | STOH 30/20kgs | Sandbag Squats
Scaled Standard = Deadlift 60/40kgs | STOH 30/20kgs | Sandbag Squats | Toes past chin/T2B
Masters Standard = Deadlift 90/60kgs | STOH 50/35kgs
In the last workout before the cut to the semis and finals, athletes were asked to race to the rig after deadlifting, pressing, and handling the sandbags. These were some heavy weights to throw around, especially after 4 gruelling workouts, and while many made it look easy, the effort took its toll as athletes approached their 20 reps on the sandbags, legs burning.
Never-the-less, there were high scores recorded for the max effort toes to bar in each category, really showing the determination amongst the athletes to give their all on the day. The crowd, horse from showing their support, cheered as Duncan Aldous, Masters Male of CrossFit Solvent reached 35 T2B for a total of 125 reps, while Switzerland‘s Urusla Fasel, Masters Female completed 52 T2B for 142 total reps – amazing strength!
3-On-1 with BK Guðmundsson
Iceland’s Björgvin Karl “BK” Guðmundsson has competed at the CorssFit Games three times, finishing 9th in 2013 Regionals, and coming 3rd at The Games in 2015. This veteran accepted The European Championships’ famous 3-on-1 Challenge to compete against 3 athletes in 3 workouts back to back.
Athlete: Sam Cowler
400m Row & 20 Over Erg Burpees
200m Row & 10 Over Erg Burpees
Athlete: Rob Knight
15-12- 9 Thrusters 50/60/70kgs & T2B
Athlete: Dave Smith
20 Ring Muscle Ups
Although the relaying athletes pipped BK to the post, this absolute powerhouse finished all three workouts in just 9 minutes and 23 seconds, much to the delight of the crowd.
A competition first for us here at The European Championships, when Alex Kane popped the question to Sophie Cox…
She said YES!
Semi Finals (Rx Only)
Wall Balls 15/9
*1 Length handstand walk between rounds
**Sprint to rig to finish
Score = For Time
15 Minute Time Cap
The top 30 Males and Females from the Rx category went through to the semi finals. The wall balls were heavy, the handstand walks were tricky, but what really separated these athletes in this round were those double unders.
Despite being given 15 minutes to complete this workout, no one held back. CrossFit Colchester’s Joshua AlChamaa stormed into first place in just 04:34 for the Male Rx, and Andrea Solberg of Crossfit Åsane in Norway was the first Female Rx to finish in 04:37.
World Record Attempt by Lee Wade Turner
After suffering from injury last year, Turner returned to The European Championships to once again attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “The Most Strict Ring Muscle Ups”. As part of London-based calisthenics team Recession Proof Body, Turner regularly competes and judges in the discipline, and he looked fantastic on that competition floor. With 13 strict ring muscle ups to beat, it was a tense count to the record, but he not only managed 14, he went for a 15th, and almost got it too! Same time next year, Lee?!
9-7-5 Snatch 60/40kgs & Ring Muscle Ups in weighted vest 10/6kgs
Score = For Time
15 Minute Time Cap
Teens Standards = Any Snatch 40/30kgs | Jumping Ring/Standard RMU (no vest)
Scaled Standards = Any Snatch 40/30kgs | Jumping Ring/Standard RMU (no vest)
Masters = As RX (no vest)
The top 10 Males and Females from the Rx category, and the top 5 Males and Females from the Teens, Scaled and Masters categories went through to the finals. Amanda is another benchmark workout, and combines fairly advanced gymnastics with a heavy barbell… plus Xenios provided the Rx athletes with those weighted vests for an added twist – as if they hadn’t been through enough already!
Spectators let it be known how impressed they were with all of the competitors who made it to the finals, let alone those who finished the reps within the time cap, but a special mention has to go to Tom Watson who, despite a wardrobe malfunction, completed that final WOD in just 6:18!
The European Championships Final 2018 Individual Event Winners
1st = Bronisław Olenkowicz & Emma Mcquaid
2nd = Klaus Uggerhøj & Jacqueline Dahlstrøm
3rd = André Teresinho & Andrea Solberg
1st = Gregory Hung & Karen Ros Seamundardottir
2nd = Lee Howe & Lindsay Morris
3rd = Ross Johnson & Ursula Fasel
1st = Filip Valouch & Stine Aagaard
2nd = Ricardo Diaz Fernandez & Jo McEwan
3rd = PT Artur Sayal & Stefania Ricci
Registration for The European Championships 2019 is OPEN
A massive WELL DONE to all the athletes who competed at The European Championships this year. And a huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped out on the day including judges, stewards, vendors and sponsors – we couldn’t have done it without you.
Want to be part of the action next year? Great! Register for TEC19 now – and all through February, save £5 with code TEC19 at registration!