The CrossFit Games Quarterfinals get underway this weekend with Europe’s top athletes going head to head in a unique new format.
Those who qualified via The Open by finishing in the top 10 per cent of individuals from their continent will compete in the online event, which includes 2,344 women and 3,594 men in Europe.
CrossFit HQ announced the restructure of the qualification process due to the lack of international Sanctional events caused by travel restrictions in 2021.
Only the highest placing 60 men and 60 women in each Quarter Final will progress to the Semifinals.
A number of big names are involved in Europe, including three former CrossFit Games champions in the women’s division with Samantha Briggs, Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir all headlining.
They are joined by a talented cohort of females such as Ireland’s Emma McQuaid, Hungary’s Laura Horvath and Poland’s Gabriella Migala, all of whom have enjoyed some success on the international stage.
McQuaid was the top-ranked European in The Open after placing 6th and has a strong record in online competitions having finished in the top 20 of The Open every year since 2016.
One notable absentee will be Sara Sigmundsdottir, who announced last month her season was over due to serious knee ligament damage.
In the men’s competition, Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson of Iceland is the obvious favourite. The 28-year-old has five top-10 finishes at the Games under his belt and has been the top athlete in Iceland for the last six years.
He will be handed competition by the likes of Frederik Aegidius, Jonne Koski and Britain’s Elliot Simmonds, but the men’s side of the competition has few powerhouse names as the Games have largely been dominated by Americans and Canadians in recent years.
One relatively unknown name to look out for will be Oleg Lascenko, a Britain competing out of Abu Dhabi, who was the top-ranked European in this year’s Open.