By Ben Garves, WODDITY
At the close of competition on the first day of the 2019 CrossFit Games, we saw many surprises. Changes this year opened the field to nearly 500 athletes from 114 participating nations.
We saw a number of early day one cuts. Notables like Streat Hoerner didn’t event survive the first event. Here’s a list:
Hoerner is a three-time regional athlete who took fourteenth in the 2017 CrossFit Games. His higher placing in the CrossFit Open this year should’ve predicted a better performance today. He was unable to survive the first cut. His final placing is 88th for 2019.
The national champion of Mexico, Castro made a triumphant return for her second CrossFit Games this year. After placing 34th in the 2018 Games and winning her region that year, she failed to make the cut of 50 in 2019. Her final placing is 56th.
Richard Paul Castillo
Richard placed top-20 in the last three CrossFit Opens and was a 2017 CrossFit Games athlete. His final placing on the leaderboard is 100th.
Paulson is a two-time CrossFit Games athlete and has taken 19th and 29th in the world. After making top-fifty in the last three CrossFit Opens, he fell the first day to 107th.
Considered one of the all stars of the sport, Aegidius has long struggled with a recurring back injury. That injury flared up this week and forced this four-time CrossFit Games athlete to withdraw.
We also saw a number of surprise successes, from the growth of Obstacle Course Racing champion Hunter McIntyre to the quick-climbing of some select low-ranking national champion athletes.
While fans of the CrossFit Games lack no familiarity with the 2015 Games champion, Smith has had a rough year. Having knee surgery only a few weeks before the start of the CrossFit Open, he struggled and placed outside the top-4000.
While Ben Smith focused on recovery, his late push to earn a Sanctional invite fell through and he joined the 2019 CrossFit Games as a last-minute wildcard invite. Smith now sits in fourth place, after taking eighth in event one and fifth in event two.
The national champion of Greece had a rough showing in the 2019 CrossFit Open, placing 714th. Still, she has managed to hold on to 10th place through the first day.
Another surprise Smith, of no relation. Michael Smith is the national champion of Ireland. He placed 161st in the 2019 CrossFit Open, a huge jump from 497th in 2018. With the odds stacked against him, he sits at 27th in the world after day one.
Adams has done something very few have been able to pull off: she’s made a successful transition from teen competition into the elite women division. She was national champion in the 16/17 division in 2018, second-place in 2017, and second in the 14/15 division in 2016. At the end of day one, set sits in 14th.
This national champion of Slovenia was 44,478th in 2018. His jump to 1,196th in the 2019 CrossFit Open was an inconceivable jump. Even that performance is eclipsed by his climb to 36th in the world at the end of day one.
Tall is an athlete from Sweden. Her 2018 CrossFit Open finish was in 228th place, and she didn’t even participate in the 2019 Open. At the end of day one she finds herself in 32nd.
Mahlheiros was a teen phenom, taking second in the world in the 16-17 category in 2017. His attempt at competing as an elite male in 2018 fell through as he dropped to 1,014th in the CrossFit Open. He’s back and better than ever this year as the Brazilian national champion and sits in 45th after the first day.
Joining Emma Tall from Sweden, Karlsson has never been a great performer in the CrossFit Open. She placed 11,059th in 2018 and 21,121st in 2017. After not participating in 2019, she’s in 38th place in the world.
While McIntyre didn’t survive the second cut of the 2019 CrossFit Games, he out-performed some incredible athletes and the expectations of his many critics. Notorious for his big mouth, Hunter is a multiple-time Obstacle Course Racing champion and received Greg Glassman’s “blowhard card” wildcard invite after talking a big game.
At the end-of-day press conference, Hunter shared his thoughts: “I think it was really good programming, to be honest…and he knocked out the people who didn’t train hard enough. Including myself.” See that full video here.
That being said, Hunter placed 1,092nd in the 2019 CrossFit Open. His final place of 62nd far exceeded expectations.
Kecman is joining the Games as the national champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She’s far-exceeded expectations after placing 2,056th in the 2019 CrossFit Open and 5,370th in 2018.