SouthFit & Pandaland CrossFit Challenge Reports
The CrossFit Santional season continued with two events in Buenos Aires and Chengdu, China.
Plenty of high-profile names made their way to Argentina for the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge while big numbers of the best athletes in Asia and Australasia turned out for the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge.
It was a New Zealander and an Australian who dominated in China, with Harriet Roberts particularly asserting her dominance in the women’s competition. The 28-year-old from New Zealand received her worst result in the first workout, coming second, and then went on to win the remaining four events to secure a huge victory.
“Pandaland kind of came as the first comp that was after the Open that was easily accessible and, to be honest, I actually did live for six months in Shanghai, so I probably don’t feel as overwhelmed as some people by China, I know what to expect,” she said.
Spain’s Elena Carratala was runner-up to Roberts, a very strong result that showcased her positive trajectory over the last 24 months. Having gone from an Open finish of 31,560th in 2016 to 3,156th in 2018, Carratala has since
finished second in Spain the last two years, and cracked the top 100 worldwide for the first time this year with 72nd. Her latest performance in China brought her close to qualification to her first Games.
In the men’s division, Australian Khan Porter took victory in a tight affair. Odds-on favourite Jacob Heppner of the USA was leading after the first day, but a poor result of ninth in Event Four opened the door for Porter, who came second in the final two rounds to secure the win. Britain’s Joshua Al-chamaa, who is now based in LA, layed down a strong performance by finishing in fifth.
In the women’s competition at the SouthFit Challenge it was a much closer affair than in China, and the experience of Bethany Shadburne - who has competed in three Games previously - eventually won over.
American Shadburne had been fiercely competing with Australian Madeline Sturt throughout and both have now secured their passage to the Games.
Another experienced competitor in 30-year-old Pete Shaw won the men’s side, securing his own ticket to Madison by 25 points. Shaw held off 20-year-old Australian Jay Crouch, who showed great potential in taking the silver.