With the coronavirus pandemic having led to the widespread cancellation of CrossFit events, the Dubai CrossFit Challenge gave a rare piece of competitive action to elite athletes, even if it was carried out remotely.
A number of big names put themselves forward after the organisers announced big money prizes would be at stake.
The competition took place over three weeks, with three different gruelling workouts being set.
In the women’s division, two of the biggest names - Carolyne Prevost and Sara Sigmundsdottir - got off to a fast start, tying for the lead in Week 1. In the 10-minute AMRAP of alternating single-arm devil presses, the Canadian and Icelander managed a phenomenal 142 reps each. Britain’s Samantha Briggs was at their heels having managed 141 reps herself.
The second workout - another AMRAP involving a box jump set-down and a single-arm dumbbell thruster - saw Prevost take the outright lead as she again topped the workout leaderboard with 425 reps. Sigmundsdottir could only manage fifth with 413 reps.
Despite the Icelander fighting back with a huge victory in the final round, completing the for-time workout 45 seconds quicker than anyone else, Prevost managed to snatch second-place to ensure her victory after placing first, first and second in each workout. Briggs meanwhile, finished in third and Ireland’s Emma McQuaid ended up in fifth.
The men’s division had fewer recognisable faces competing but was won impressively by Ilin Aleksandr from Moscow, who topped the first two workouts and was able to cruise to a victory in the final round despite only placing ninth.
Canadians Jeffrey Adler and Nick Anapolsky put in consistent performances across the three weeks to claim the remaining two spots on the podium, while Britain’s top performer was seventh-place Mo Askari of CrossFit Leeds The Forge.