Win-and-in for athletes competing at The Fittest in Cape Town
Photo: CrossFit LLC
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After almost two years of absence, Fittest in Cape Town is making a comeback in the CrossFit competition space, but this time with more at stake than ever. The semi-final for the African continent will only send one athlete from each of the two individual divisions and one of the teams to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. It will be the breathtaking action from the Woodmill Lifestyle Market in Stellenbosch, Africa. from the South, from June 4 to 6.
What’s on the line: In addition to an invitation to the Games, the top five from each division will win cash prizes with a total purse of USD 45,000. Male individual athletes who finish 2-4 earn a spot in the Last Chance Qualifier to be held online from June 28 to July 4.
- First – $ 5,000
- Second – $ 4,000
- Third – $ 3,000
- Fourth – $ 2,000
- Fifth – $ 1,000
Who to watch: The semi-final might not have the big names and gripping storylines that some of the others do, but due to the fact that it only has one game to win in each division which in itself should produce a competition and exciting stories. Both individual teams enjoyed tight quarter-finals between Games veterans and newcomers looking to make a name for themselves.
Individuals (Women): This peloton could be a three-way race for the Games alone, but don’t be surprised if it’s even more. Five women on the pitch appeared at the Games in 2019 and four of them won their places as their country’s national champions. Apart from these athletes, the field is relatively inexperienced in terms of competition since only seven women have participated in the Regionals. Nine of the athletes are 25 or under, including Reegan Finkel, 18, who will face her sister Brady, 20, this weekend.
- Michelle basnett was born in South Africa before moving to the United States at the age of four. The 24-year-old will travel to South Africa from North Carolina to take part in a live event despite the possibility of participating online or in another semi-final. The reason is that his chances of winning are greater, as evidenced by his victory in the quarterfinals. She won two events in the quarterfinals and finished no worse than 15th. At the Open, she finished 188th in the world, her best Open result of her young career.
- Michelle merand competed in the 2019 Games after winning the 2019 FiCT and finished 41st in his very first appearance at the Games. A two-time regional athlete as an individual and as a team, she placed third in the quarters just 11 points off the lead. The South African set the best time on the continent in Round 2, finishing the grueling chipper in 18:58.
- Dina swift was one of the best athletes on the continent, she was the South African National Champion in 2019, winning an invitation to the 2019 Games where she placed 98th. This season, she finished second in the quarter-finals, eight points behind Basnett, with all of her top 15 standings, including one win in Test 3 and a second in Test 5.
- Marie jamieson at 38 is a veteran of five regional championships and is looking for her first appearance at the Games. She had the second best lift on the continent in Test 4 with a 282 lb four-rep squat. This finish propelled her to a fourth place in the quarterfinals.
- Choice of Dark Horse: It’s a draw between Namibian Lara Erlank and Egyptian Aya Fouad. Both competed in the 2019 Games as national champions for their respective countries, with Erlank placing 91st and Fouad 102nd. Both have similar skills to high endurance athletes, which could benefit them with the programming in place at FiCT.
Individuals (Men): The men’s peloton comprises 12 athletes who have competed at the regional level, in particular the Meridian Regional. Of these athletes, only four participated in the Games. Five African countries are represented in this division but the South African contingent dominates with 22 individual male qualifiers.
- Jason smith is considered the favorite to win the FiCT. A veteran of two Games appearances, the 36-year-old is Africa’s most accomplished CrossFitter in terms of Games rankings. In 2017, he finished tenth and then followed with a 29th place at the 2019 Games. This year he won the quarter-finals for Africa with four top-five finishes, including a victory in Event 5 At this year’s Open, he placed 264th globally.
- Kealan henri finished just two points behind Smith in the quarterfinals, but had the advantage in wins with two. The South African won the first two Africa Quarters events and added a second place to Smith in Test 5 as well as a 10th place in Test 3. In the Open he was the best athlete in Africa, finishing in an impressive 83rd place in the world.
- Mohamed elomda competed in the 2019 Games after securing his place as Egyptian national champion. He would finish 44th in his first and only appearance at the Games, but has participated in several Sanctional events since then. In the quarterfinals, he placed fourth in Africa with four top-eight finishes, including a second in Test 3. The seven-time Egyptian national champion recorded his best Open ranking this year by placing 87th in the world.
- David Levey may be 43 years old, but he can still compete with young athletes. He made four appearances at the Games, two as a master athlete and two as an individual from 2012-2013. At the 2018 Games, he finished second in the 40-44 division. He is one of the strongest men in the field despite his age as he finished third in Test 4 of quarters, squatting 377 lbs on four occasions.
- Brandon jacobs competed in the 2018 Games with CrossFit PBM, he also made two regional team appearances. He was ninth in the quarters, placing 6th in Test 5 with a time of 2:52.
- Choice of dark horse: Darren Zurnamer is the youngest athlete in men at just 20, but has shown he belongs in 7th place in the quarterfinals. He has finished in the top 25 four times and finished 415th at the Open.
Teams: There are a lot of unknowns in this team realm as many teams appear for the very first time at a major CrossFit event. What we do know is that based on the quarterfinals there is one dominant team and ten others who are very competitive with each other.
- Mighty oaks of Eikestad: After a 103rd place in the world, the Eikstad Mighty Oaks of CrossFit Eikstad continued their good start to the season with a first place in the African quarter-finals. Although no member of their team has competed at the Games before, their roster consists of several former regional athletes, including Cillie Malan and Jaco Brits.
- CrossFit Tijer Valley: After a second place finish in the quarter-finals, CrossFit Tijer Valley is looking to make a name for itself this year and potentially land her ticket to the 2021 CrossFit Games. Their roster is filled with individual athletes, including two former regional athletes and a female athlete. 2014 Games, Celestie Du Toit.
- Lions Bay CrossFit: For all Lions Bay CrossFit members, this will be their first time on the competition field to try and qualify for the CrossFit Games. Despite this fact, their roster is already strong enough for a third place in the African quarterfinals.
- Choice of dark horse: The last time we saw Cape CrossFit Wolfpack was at the CrossFit Games 2018 when they came in 20th. This year, they finished the quarter-finals tied for 12th place overall.
To monitor : For individuals, the programming seems well balanced as the seven workouts cover many different time domains, strength and gymnastics components. Trial 2 is an interesting version of a down and up repeating weight scale that requires a buy-in of 150 double-unders.
- The FiCT will be broadcast live on the official CrossFit website and social media platforms.
- In the morning chalk up will provide recaps and track the action as it unfolds. You can follow our coverage on our FiCT event page and on Instagram.