KATRIN DAVIDSDOTTIR WINS THE INDIVIDUAL FEMALE EVENT
To win the CrossFit Games once is a great achievement. To win it twice in a row is outstanding.
- In 2014 she failed to qualify from Regionals.
- In 2015 she won the Games.
- In 2016 she won it again!
Katrin successfully defended her crown and title in a fierce battle between her and Australian Tia-Clair Toomey for the top spot and title of ‘Fittest Woman in the World’.
Tia led for a while, but the competition become incredibly tense during:
- Event 11: Handstand Walk
- Event 12: Suicide Sprint
- Event 13: Plow
These three Events were close together, and cleverly programmed to incorporate three different types of sprinting. The first on the hands, the second on the feet, and the third loaded with weight. Testing explosive power and technique in different ways, these two athletes locked horns during these Events.
Katrin completed the entire 280ft Handstand Walk unbroken in a time of 1:33:68. She was the only athlete to do this, not even a single male competitor managed this feat, which shows just how talented she is as a gymnast.
In the Suicide Sprints, former 400m hurdles runner Tia-Clair Toomey excelled, took first place and left Katrin in 10th place for the Event. In the next Event, Katrin responded with an effort so intense that she collapsed at the finish line and had to be helped off the field. She took back the lead.
Ben Bergeron instills in his athletes a strong belief in the overall process and the bigger picture. Katrin has a strong sense of self confidence and is mentally able to cope with a poor result without letting it affect her mental game.
In the second Event, The Ranch Deadlift Ladder, she finished in 38th place. It took her until a second place finish in Murph in Event 5 to climb her way back up the leaderboard, but she stayed strong and did not panic.
Katrin also took three first place finishes during the Games, and showed that she did indeed deserve to stand on top of the podium once again. Annie Thorisdottir is the only other woman to have won two CrossFit Games titles, can Katrin beat her countrywoman’s record by making it three in a row?
MAT FRASER WINS THE INDIVIDUAL MALE EVENT
Perhaps ‘utter domination’ is a much better description of Fraser’s performances throughout the full 15 events in the 2016 CrossFit Games.
- Fraser wins by a 197-point lead over Ben Smith
- He scored seven second place finishes
- He had already won the CrossFit Games even with one event remaining
Mat started as he meant to go on by taking first place in the 7km Trail Run at the Ranch.
This was significant because what was so impressive about him over the five days was his ability to consistently do well at Events that in the past he struggled on. Mat comes from an Olympic Weightlifting background, yet he was able to win this first event. Other favourites such as Josh Bridges and BK Gudmundsson, both excellent runners, could simply not match his pace.
TURNING WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS
One of Mat’s great strengths is his obsessive dedication to eliminating his own weaknesses. He has worked extensively with Chris Hinshaw, a top endurance coach, and as a result now has one of the best mile, and 5km times, amongst the entire field of CrossFit Games athletes. His hard work shows.
Another example of this dedication is when he struggled in the 2015 CrossFit Games with ‘the Pig’. This is a 560 lb block of rubber that has to be awkwardly flipped end over end down the track. He lost major ground during this Event, and in the long run, finished in second to Ben Smith’s victory.
After the Games were over, he bought a Pig and late every Sunday night would train with it by himself. It became a ritual. He started flipping it five or ten times, which soon became 50 and 100. When everyone was relaxing, he was training, alone. He did this every weekend until this weakness became a strength.
CONSISTENCY IS KING
You see it time and time again: The top Crossfitters are those that are the most consistent. Look at Ben Smith this year, no first place finishes, but his lowest position (in Event 2: Ranch Deadlift Ladder) was 23rd. His similarly excellent performances last year earned him the top spot at The CrossFit Games.
Brent Fikowski, undoubtedly a star performer of this year’s Games took four first place finishes and finished fourth overall after 28th , 30th and 39th place finishes in Murph, The Separator and the Squat Clean Ladder respectively. An incredible rookie performance, if you compare this with Ben Smith’s results, it shows how consistency is more important that first place finishes.
When you take this perspective and apply it to Mat Fraser’s performances, he only won one event, yet took second in seven other Events. It is ironic that for a man who has finished in second place for two years running at The CrossFit Games, and is outspoken about his hatred for second place, it was these consistent second place finishes that won him the CrossFit Games in 2016.
- Mat has no gymnastic background, yet finished second in the Handstand Walk.
- He is not a natural sprinter, yet took second in the Suicide Sprint event.
- As an athlete, he has no long distance running background, yet won the 7km trail run.
It is examples like these that show just how hard this man works. I would be very surprised to learn that there is a single Crossfitter competing at the Games that trains as hard as Matt does.
CAPITALISING ON HIS STRENGTHS
So we have seen how Mat turns his weaknesses into strengths, but what about his traditional strengths? As an Olympic lifter, he has adapted his power and technique work with a barbell very naturally into Crossfit.
This can be seen in Events such as The Squat Clean Pyramid and Double DT, where he finished in second place both times. Mat Fraser was nothing less than unstoppable this year, and he deserved the win.