Samantha Briggs, James Newbury Win in Australia, Cape Town Next

This series of events that has become known as the “sanctionals” has taken fans around the world as we find out who will compete in the 2019 CrossFit Games. We started in Dubai, then turned our attention to Miami, Florida, and the Australian CrossFit Championships just concluded in Broadbeach, Queensland. Next up would be Cape Town in South Africa but before we look ahead, let’s recap what happened down under.

Women’s Results

Winner – Samantha Briggs 

Sam Briggs made sure everyone knew they were competing for second place last weekend. One reason is because she won or tied for first in the first five events before finally being defeated in the sixth. She had the competition clinched before the final event, but she won it anyway for eight total wins for the weekend. 

Another reason everyone else was fighting for second was because the 2013 Fittest Woman on Earth already had her ticket to the Games punched thanks to her victory in Dubai. While winning two sanctionals is awesome, you don’t need two qualifications. This means that whoever took second overall would win the qualification for this competition. And that woman would be…

2nd – Madeline Sturt

Sturt won Event 8 and placed in the top four in seven other events, so the consistency in placing high paid off for her. While she may not have taken the win, it has to be rewarding for the 22-year-old to have left this event knowing she will be going to the Games and can attempt to improve on her 20th-place finish from 2018. 

3rd – Simone Arthur

Arthur finished tied for first with Briggs on Event 5 and finished in the top six in every other event except Event 4 where she finished 17th. She certainly made a good impression in Broadbeach but will need to either go through the Open or another sanctional if she wants to make her first appearance on the big stage in Madison.

Men's Results

Winner – James Newbury

Newbury won four events and placed second in three others. His worst finish in any event was 12th but by that point he had a comfortable lead in points. The home country favorite will now be going to the Games for the fourth time in his career. He finished in 18th last year, which is his best finish so far.

2nd – Bayden Brown

Brown trains out of CrossFit Townsville and is only 23 years old. He won Event 3 and never finished out of the top eight in any event. He is still looking for his first trip to the Games but has put the sport on notice that his future is bright.

3rd – Zeke Grove

Grove rounded out the men’s side of the podium. He came on strong at the end by winning the last four events, but it was too late since Newbury had a comfortable lead and was finishing close enough to Grove that he couldn’t overtake the points lead. Grove has been to the Games the last three years but will need to win a different event or do well in the Open if he wants to make it a fourth.

Team Results

Winner – Project X

This team ran the gauntlet this weekend. Outside of finishing third in Event 1A, they swept all the other events this weekend and left no doubt they were going to the Games. It was a dominating performance from start to finish. 

Team Torian Black and Reebok CrossFit Frankston both finished with 700 points, but Torian Black is listed as the runner-up thanks to a tie breaker.

Coming Up: Fittest in Cape Town

Now that we’ve looked back, we can look ahead to the next stop on the Sanctionals World Tour. “Fittest in Cape Town” will take place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. Some of the men to watch in this competition include Cole Sager, Streat Hoerner and James Newbury. There’s no word yet if Newbury will bow out now that he has his qualification clinched. Should he still compete and win, the second-place finisher earns the qualification, just like what happened in Australia on the women’s side.

On the women’s side in Cape Town, two-time Fittest Woman on Earth Katrin Davidsdottir will make her first competitive appearance of the season. She will be joined by Alessandra Pichelli and Michelle Merand, among others. The winner in all three previous women’s sanctionals events has been a former Games champions. Davidsdottir obviously would like to continue that trend and earn her spot in Madison.

You can keep up with the latest news on FiCT by following them on Instagram @fittestincapetown as well as watching for updates here on FloElite.


Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, West Virginia. 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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