With just 43 individual spots (men & women) up for grabs at the 2014 CrossFit Regionals, we were always going to see a few big names miss out on qualification for this year’s Games.
Over the past four weeks, 17 Regional competitions took place with plenty of surprises right across the globe.
Not only did we have several former Regional champions and ‘Games veterans’ fail to qualify for this year’s Games, but we also had a reigning CrossFit Games champion miss out on automatic qualification with Sam Briggs finishing fourth in the Europe Regional.
While it will be exciting to watch some new faces compete in Carson, California in July 2014, there will still be plenty of fans disappointed not to see some of their idols taking part in this year’s competition.
Here is a list of some of the big names to miss out on automatic qualification to the 2014 CrossFit Games:
Sam Briggs – Probably the biggest surprise out of all the Regional competitions. Briggs, the reigning CrossFit Games champion, finished fourth at the Europe Regional, dashing her hopes of defending her crown in 2014. Briggs missed out on a podium finish by six points, despite winning three events and finishing inside the top 8 in three others. In the end it was her poor performance (26th) in the handstand walks (Event 2) which cost her.
Graham Holmberg – The 2010 CrossFit Games champion failed to secure automatic qualification to this year’s Games by the barest of margins. Competing in the ultra-tough Central East Region, Holmberg finished fourth overall, missing out on a podium finish by just one point, despite winning two Events over the weekend.
Stacie Tovar – The Games veteran was one of the first big names to fail to qualify, after finishing 5th in the North Central Regional in the first week. Just like Briggs, Tovar’s 23rd place finish in the handstand walk (Event 2) put her too far back on the leaderboard. She still won two events over the weekend, but was six points shy of returning to the Games.
Garret Fisher – The ‘man with the hair’ made a statement in 2013, finishing fifth in his first ever appearance at the CrossFit Games. But Fisher won’t be returning to Carson, California in 2014 as an individual, after finishing 5th at the NorCal Regional.
Lindsey Valenzuela – The podium finisher at the 2013 CrossFit Games was one of the big surprises at the SoCal Regional. In the lead up to the competition, many people predicted the workouts wouldn’t suit her, however, Valenzuela still finished inside the top 8 in all of the events. Unfortunately for her, some of her rival competitors were just as consistent, with Valenzuela finishing the weekend in fourth place overall, nine points outside a podium finish.
Spencer Hendel – Hendel missed out on qualifying for the 2013 CrossFit Games by just a handful of points, and this year it was a case of deja-vu with the games veteran finishing fourth again in the North East Region, 12 points shy of a podium finish.
Chad Mackay – The ‘Unit’ from Australia has finished in the top 12 in all of his three appearances at the CrossFit Games, and went into the 2014 Australia Regional as one of the favourites to win. However, Mackay never really looking himself throughout the weekend, finishing outside the top 10 in six of the seven Events to place 16th overall.
Marcus Hendren – The top 10 finisher at the past two CrossFit Games failed to podium in the Central East Region, despite finishing inside the top 10 in all but one of the Events. His fifth place finish was 13 points outside the top three.
Andrea Ager – It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock considering she has never competed as an individual at the CrossFit Games before, but Andrea Ager was one of the favourites to win the South West Regional in 2014. Despite a solid performance over the weekend, Ager finished 5th overall, 15 points outside the top three.
Austin Malleolo – For the first time in years, Austin Malleolo won’t be competing at the CrossFit Games. The veteran finished top 5 in five Events at the North East Regional but still missed out on a podium finish after poor results in the other two workouts.
Simon Paquette – The French Canadian was one of faves to claim one of the two qualifying spots at the 2014 Canada East Regional. However, after failing to register a valid lift in the opening event, Paquette’s dream of returning to the Games was all but over. While he performed well for the remainder of the weekend, he still finished 8th overall.
Mikko Aronpää – After crossing over from Europe to Asia, many expected Mikko Aronpää to take out the Asia Regional and return to the Games in 2014. But his experience wasn’t enough to get him over the line, and with a 32nd place finish in Event 5, Aronpää ended the weekend in 5th place overall.
Frederik Aegidius – In a region where plenty of impressive athletes are starting to appear, Aegidius missed out on automitic qualification to the Games, finishing fourth overall in Europe. The former Regional champion finished outside the top 10 in the final three Events, effectively ending his dream of a return trip to Carson, California.