Mat Fraser, Samantha Briggs Qualify To 2019 CrossFit Games With Dubai Wins

Mat Fraser and Samantha Briggs are the first to qualify for the 2019 CrossFit Games.

Dubai was the site where history was made and the anticipation finally ended. We’ve been discussing the new qualifying format for months and wondered how it would play out. This past weekend, we finally got our first taste of the process. Along the way, Mat Fraser and Samantha Briggs became the answers to a trivia question: “Who are the first athletes to qualify for the CrossFit Games under the new format?”

Men

1st - Mat Fraser

2nd - Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson

3rd - Willy George

Once Fraser became a part of this event, there was little doubt as to whether or not he would win, because Fraser hasn’t just been winning, he’s been dominant over the last couple years. That pattern carried over here with him winning seven events and leading by over 100 points going into the final event. It makes sense that Fraser would want to jump in early and qualify now so he has more time to either prepare for the Games or develop a strategy to take part in other events as either tune-ups or to collect extra prize money. He leaves Dubai $30,000 richer with this win.

Gudmundsson would’ve loved to score the major upset here but there’s no shame coming in second to the three-time Fittest Man on Earth. Gudmundsson doesn’t score the qualification here but there will be other opportunities for BK to get a W and qualify for the Games.

George had a good weekend as well. Aside from making it to the podium, he also snatched a PR of 135 kg (297 lbs). The Frenchman wasn’t on the radar for many people going into the weekend but you know more fans and athletes will be watching for him in future events between now and the final qualifying event.

One extra note on the men’s side. 2015 Games Champion Ben Smith initially threw his hat in the ring for this event but wasn’t able to compete. 

Women

1st - Samantha Briggs

2nd - Jamie Greene

3rd - Sara Sigmundsdottir

The 2013 Fittest Woman on Earth was in for a battle against Jamie Greene, who was competing here in what could be considered a home game. Briggs being the only woman to win Event 10 played a big role in her clinching the victory here. She competed in the 2018 Games as a Masters competitor due to her recovering from shoulder surgery. 

Obviously that setback wasn’t a permanent one and her statement in Dubai was that she’s back and not going anywhere. While many of her fellow athletes will be younger than her, she plans on hanging around for a while. The British superstar made that clear in a recent Instagram post when she said “one day I’ll retire…just not yet.” Her focus now is on the Games next summer.

As for Greene, she made it interesting from start to finish. The 2014 winner of this event told us in her interview with FloElite that she will be at Wodapalooza this coming January to compete in a team event.

Sigmundsdottir marked this event as her return to competition after time away from the platforms. Coming in third is a good way to return to the sport. She only finished six points behind Greene. There’s no word yet as to what event she’ll compete in next.

Team Event

1st - CrossFit Invictus

2nd - Team Omnicide

3rd - Cassidy, Jen, Adrian and Lukas

Fraser and Briggs weren’t the only ones who had reason to celebrate over the weekend. Lauren Fisher, Regan Huckaby, Rasmus Andersen, and Tommy Vinas secured their spots at the Games thanks to a 47-point victory over Team Omnicide. For the “sea of green,” this will be their 11th-straight trip to the biggest stage in fitness.

Final Notes

Keep in mind that the athletes who didn’t qualify in Dubai can possibly compete in other qualifiers as well as the Open. So other opportunities are available to punch their tickets. The next qualifying event is Wodapalooza which will be taking place Jan. 17-20 in Miami, Florida. Check out the news we’ve already shared about WZA as well as future coverage of that competition here on FloElite.


Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, WV. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.

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