Dan Bailey’s Return, Pandaland Sanctional, Dubai CrossFit Championship

A big-name athlete has received an invite to the season’s first Sanctional event. Dan Bailey, long-time CrossFit Games athlete and former collegiate sprinter, will make his big return from injury at the CrossFit Filthy 150. 

I did a feature for the Filthy 150 on yesterday’s podcast, if you want more details about the event. 

Bailey was a fan favorite to win the 2015 CrossFit Games and has multiple top-10 finishes in his career. His 2017 season ended with a pectoral tear during regionals, followed by a knee injury during the 2018 CrossFit Open. According to Filthy 150’s Instagram, Bailey accepted a wildcard invite. Fans are going to go nuts when he takes the floor at a Sanctional event.

Speaking of Sanctionals, I’m going to continue my series discussing the 2020 CrossFit Games season. Yesterday I talked through the CrossFit Open and Filthy 150. Today, I’ll talk about what is easily the most mysterious of the CrossFit Sanctionals: the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge. Here’s what we know:

This will be the second Sanctional of the 2020 CrossFit Games season, running December 7th and 8th. It’s being hosted in Chengdu, China, the capital of China’s Sichuan province. Aaaaaand that’s it. That’s really all we know. 

The host gym is CrossFit Tianfu, and the event director is the gym’s owner, Zhu Chen. They have a website, pandalandcrossfitchallenge.com, but it currently under construction. The instagram page has one post, a screenshot of CrossFit’s press release announcing their sanctional status. Their Competition Corner page allows athletes to sign up for the online qualifier, which looks to be using the 2020 CrossFit Open. I don’t know about you, but I find the mystery to be alluring. 

The third Sanctional event of the season will take the party to the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai CrossFit Championship was one of the premier CrossFit Sanctional events of the 2019 season, and returns this year for more. It will run December 11th through the 14th. 

The event first started in 2012, and attracted big names like Annie Thorisdottir and Frederik Aegidius when they returned in 2013 for their second year. It became the first Sanctional event of the 2019 CrossFit Games season when it ran last December. Winners in 2018 were Samantha Briggs and Mat Fraser, but they’ve hosted a who’s-who of CrossFit Games athletes, including Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, Kara Saunders, Jamie Greene, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Ben Smith, Noah Ohlsen, and Brooke Ence. To name a few. 

The Dubai CrossFit Championship’s prize purse is one of the highest in the sport, offering almost $600,000 in cash prizes. $76,000 for their online qualifier, $165,000 for finals workout winners, and $354,000 for their podium athletes. Registration is now live for their online qualifier, which is using the 2020 CrossFit Open. Dean Linder-Leighton, James Newbury, Jeffrey Adler, and Madeline Sturt have already registered. I’d expect a huge number of big-name athletes to eventually join that growing list. Stay tuned for details about tickets, but you can sign up for their “Take Me to Dubai” raffle for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Dubai for the event. I’ve put the link in my show notes.

And that’s it for news about CrossFit on Thursday, September 12th. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the Southfit CrossFit Challenge and Rich Froning’s CrossFit Mayhem Classic, along with the news.

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Thanks for listening. Give us a rating, a review, and be sure to subscribe. I’m Ben Garves. Talk tomorrow.

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.

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