The 2015 CrossFit Games is done and dusted with the fittest on Earth crowned for another year.
After 13 testing events over four days, we saw two new athletes stand on top of the podium to claim the CrossFit Games title.
In the women’s half, it was Icelandic youngster Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir who came from behind to win the title, while Games veteran Ben Smith claimed victory in the men’s half in one of the closest finishes in CrossFit Games history.
Here is how the final day of the 2015 CrossFit Games unfolded:
The first event for Day 4 was announced as six rounds of 400m (which included one steep incline) run and a 50ft yoke carry of 380lb/172kg for men and 300lb/136kg for women.
The combination proved no problem for Sam Briggs who cleared the six rounds in a blistering time of 13.26 followed by Kristin Holte with Anna Tunnicliff in 3rd. Katrin Davidsdottir’s 5th place finish moved her into 2nd place overall ahead of Kara Webb who finished 19th.
Sara Signmundsdottir, the overall leader heading into the day, was able to hold onto her lead and go into the final events with a slender advantage over fellow Icelandic athlete Davidsdottir.
Briggs’ win in the Midline Madness put the 2013 Games Champion back in contention to win the title for a second time, while Australians Tia-Clair Toomey and Webb were also inside the top 5 and well within striking distance.
Women Event 11 Results:
1. Samantha Briggs
2. Kristin Holte
3. Anna Tunnicliffe
Heading into the final day of competition, the men’s leaderboard was super tight at the top with just 30 points seperating Ben Smith and Mat Fraser.
Smith did his best to protect his slender lead and was in first place in the Midline Madness after five rounds. However, he could not hold pace in the final round with metcon powerhouse Jacob Heppner overtaking him to win the event in a time of 12:58. Five-time CrossFit Games competitor Rob Forte took 3rd while Alex Vigneault was fourth.
Smith faded late to finish in 7th place in the event, to see his lead reduce to just 12 points heading into the final two events. As expected, it would be a two man battle for title in the men’s half with both Smith and Fraser more than 100 points ahead of Cole Sager in third place overall.
Men Event 11 Results:
2. Mathew Fraser
3. Rob Forte
4. Alex Vigneault
Coming into the final two events of the 2015 CrossFit Games, many were expecting a nailbiting finish to the competition… and a nailbiting finish it was.
Several athletes in both the men’s and women’s competitions were genuine contenders to claim the title of ‘Fittest in Earth’ with plenty at stake in the 2015 Games finale.
The second last event of the competition was ‘Pedal to the Metal 1’, which introduced a peg board climb for the first time in Games competition, coupled with a 24 cal row, 16 cal Assault AirBike ride and 8 100lb/45kg (70lb/31kg for the women) dumbbell squat snatch.
Pedal to the Metal 1 was a more or less a war of attrition with many of the more experienced athletes failing rep after pep on the peg board ascents, while some didn’t event attempt the skill, opting instead to conserve energy for the final event.
Amanda Goodman set the time to beat in an early heat making light work of the movement, highlighting her strong core and strong gymnastics backround. She did not finish the event, however, leaving 11 calories on the assault bike to be completed.
Margaux Alvarez eventually bettered Goodman’s score in the final heat to take out the Event, while another ex-gymnast, rookie Kari Pearce, finished 3rd. Australians Tia-Clair Toomey and Kara Webb performed well in the workout, finishing equal 6th to keep thier title hopes alive.
Sara Sigmundsdottir, who led the women’s half, finished equal 13th, along with fellow compatriot Katrin Davidsdottir who also opted to conserve energy for the final event.
Women Event 12 Results:
2. Amanda Goodman
3. Kari Pearce
4. Alethea Boon
5. Chyna Cho
Ben Smith came into the 2015 CrossFit Games intent on taking the crown that has deserted him for seven straight years. The sheer force and determination in which he attacked each event was testament to this unrelenting goal.
Not including the one devastating 34th place finish in the Sandbag event, Smith worst placing was 11th, finishing in the top 10 of every other event and winning two of them. To say he was a commanding presence is not to exaggerate.
Entering PTTM 1, Smith lead Fraser by just eight points. Spencer Hendel, however, was the man to catch, completing the Event in a time of 4:35. Fraser was only a touch behind in 4:52 followed by Dan Bailey who finished in 5:16. Smith claimed fourth place in a time of 5:23.
The results meant that Fraser would go into the final event with a two point lead. As a result, it became a head to head battle between the athletes in PTTM 2. Whoever finished the event first would claim the men’s crown.
Men Event 12 Results:
2. Mathew Fraser
3. Dan Bailey
4. Ben Smith
5. Scott Panchik
With the Games title still anyones, we were set for a cracking finish to the 2015 showpiece with the tennis stadium at full capacity for the final Event.
Pedal to the Metal 2 consisted of 12 parallette handstand pushups, 24 cal row, 16 cal assault bike and 8 kettle bell deadlifts at a whopping 203lb/92kg each (124lb/56kg for the women).
Again the Parallettes were slow moving for Webb and Sigmundsdottir, while Davidsdottir, Toomey and Briggs able to edge past them to move onto the rest of the workout.
Davidsdottir looked composed and determined as she flew through the row and bike road and joined Briggs in lifting the heavy kettle bell deadlifts.
Briggs, who needed to win and hope other results went her way to claim the title, lead for most of the event, until Davidsdottir went unbroken for most of the deadlifts to finish in a time of 4:42. Briggs hit the finish mat just nine seconds later to claim second place.
Both athletes then had to watch on to see how Sigmundsdottir, the leader heading into the final event, would fare. Unfortunately for the Icelandic athlete, the handstand push-ups proved too much of a task and she finished poorly to claim 22nd in the workout, and lose her place on top of the leaderboard.
That meant Davidsdottir was crowned the winner of the 2015 CrossFit Games!
Just like Sigmundsdottir, Webb also finished poorly to slip to fifth overall, while rookie Tia-Clair Toomey claimed fourth in a time of 5:30 to jump to second place overall.
Davidsdottir failed to qualify for the Games last year after competing for the first time in 2013. Despite her being high on the leaderboard all weekend, many did not pick her as favorite for the top spot on the podium. Her consistent efforts and determined attitude, however, saw her remain composed and take out the 2015 crown, upsetting a number of former champions along the way.
Aside from Davidsdottir, Toomey also provided a bit upset of the Games, finishing second in her rookie year. Fittingly, she was awarded The Rookie of the Games award for her efforts.
Women Event 13 Results:
2. Samantha Briggs
3. Brooke Wells
4. Tia-Clair Toomey
Women’s Final Leaderboard:
1. (790) Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
2. (750) Tia-Clair Toomey
3. (743) Ragnheiður Sara Sigmundsdottir
4. (735) Samantha Briggs
5. (703) Kara Webb
The technical gymnastics and heavy weight was no problem for Spencer Hendel, who for the second event in a row lead from the start to finish first in a blistering time of 4:18. Rookie Chad Melton took out the 2nd best time of 4:32 in an earlier heat.
But all eyes were on Fraser and Smith, and it was the deficit handstand pushups which proved to be too much for Fraser to contend with. Parallettes once again proved to wreak havoc for many athletes at the Games.
Just like Sigmundsdottir did in the female’s half, Mat Fraser watched the crown slip through his fingers during the deficit HSPUs of the final event. He did, however, make a heroic effort late in the workout to nearly catch Smith, but his efforts were a little too late.
Smith, on the other hand, went unbroken on the HSPU’s and gave everything he had on the row, ride and deadlifts to take out a 4th place, beating home Fraser to claim the title of ‘Fittest on Earth’.
An athlete that seemed to fly under the radar of the final events was Bjorgvin Karl Guomundsson whose consistency across the Games earned him the third spot on the podium. The 22 year-old from Iceland proving that consistency really is the winning method at the CrossFit Games.
Aslo, Dan Bailey, who finshed fourth overall was awarded the distinguished title of The Spirit of the Games – an award granted to that one athlete commended for facing the adversity of the Games with grace, kindness and enthusiasm.
Men Event 13 Results:
1. Spencer Hendel
2. Chad Melton
3. Dan Bailey
4. Ben Smith
Men’s Final Leaderboard:
1. (915) Ben Smith
2. (879) Mathew Fraser
3. (766) Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson
4. (730) Dan Bailey
5. (718) Spencer Hendel