CrossFit has crowned 236 individual country champions who will get the chance to represent their nation at this summer’s CrossFit Games, exemplifying the sport’s massive global growth over the past few years.
The top place finishers of each nation at the 2019 CrossFit Open can now punch their ticket to Madison, Wisconsin, and the list features athletes from every continent. CrossFit notes there are approximately 15,000 official affiliate boxes (gyms) around the world.
There were some unique entries to the CrossFit Open, including Kila Kilaverave, who performed each of the five workouts in front of friends and family in his homeland of Papua New Guinea. Kilaverave, who is 38, represents CrossFit Port Moresby, which is located in the country’s capital city.
Hong Kong’s own Ant Haynes, who works out of Coastal Fitness in Causeway Bay, also made the list for his country (which also includes China and Taiwan). The fittest woman in China this year is Tsai-Jui Hung, who trains out of CrossFit X Ray in Taiwan.
Some other notable names on the list include Sami Salampur from Afghanistan, who trains at CrossFit Malmo in Sweden, and Greece’s Lefteris Theofanidis, who trains out of CrossFit North Zone in Gerakas. The 29-year-old Theofanidis came out of nowhere to place fourth in the CrossFit Open, and now becomes an instant contender for the men’s crown if he chooses to head to the Games.
Of course, the two biggest names and reigning champions made the list. Tia-Clair Toomey, who has finished first for the women in the past two years, was crowned Australia’s winner. Toomey now trains out of CrossFit Mayhem, which is located in Cookeville, Tennessee, the home of Rich Froning, a four-time CrossFit winner in the men’s division who will also head to the Games with his team Mayhem Freedom, who booked their ticket through the recent Asia CrossFit Championship Sanctional, which was held in Shanghai.
There is also three-time defending male champion Mat Fraser, who topped the entire world when it came to the CrossFit Open and will represent the US at the Games. In second for the men was Iceland’s Bjorgvin K. Gudmundsson who came fifth in the men’s division at the 2018 CrossFit Games.