Bronislaw Olenkowicz & Sara Sigmundsdottir Win Strength In Depth UK

With all of the excitement that has come with the start of the 2019 CrossFit Open, it may have slipped your mind that there was another Sanctional this past weekend. Well there was, and Strength in Depth U.K. delivered some great fitness action that has led to two more athletes and one more team earning their qualification spots to the 2019 Games. Here’s a summary of the action in London.

Men

1st – Bronislaw Olenkowicz

The men’s side of the field was close throughout the weekend, and going into the last event, the top five men were only separated by 30 total points. Olenkowicz won two events in a row on Day 1, which included him performing a 140 kg (308 pound) snatch, and was ahead by 26 points. But when the final event started, Olenkowicz was in fourth place. He didn’t doubt himself and it paid off. Now the 30-year-old who hails from Poland will be making his debut at the Games later this year.

2nd – Drew Wayman

Wayman finished only six points behind Olenkowicz and actually tied with David Shorunke in points but was given the second-place position on a tiebreaker. He may not have won but has nothing to hang his head about. Actually, second is a good place because should Olenkowicz win the Open in his country, Wayman would then get the qualification spot from this event.

3rd – David Shorunke

Shorunke definitely made the weekend interesting and pushed everyone in contention to give their all, but it just wasn’t his weekend. He has Games experience but it was as a member of CrossFit Nordic in the team division. If he wants to go back, it will have to be through the Open or another Sanctional.

Women

1st - Sara Sigmundsdottir

Sigmundsdottir finished in second at the Dubai CrossFit Championships as well as third at Wodapalooza in Miami. She clearly had no intentions of taking anything less than first in London and dominated the weekend. She finished in first or second in seven events, and each time she finished ahead of the other two ladies that made the podium. She’s now locked in and qualified to earn the title that has eluded her for the last few years – Fittest Woman on Earth.

2nd – Jamie Greene

This is Greene’s second podium finish of the season at Sanctionals. She also placed second at the Dubai CrossFit Championships. She made it interesting for Sigmundsdottir by keeping it close. After five events she was only down by 32 points but ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot. Much like Sigmundsdottir, if she competes in a third Sanctional event, it might be the charm.

3rd – Dani Speegle

Speegle won Event 3 thanks to a 100kg (220 pound) snatch, which at the time put her in third overall but the American wasn’t able to keep that momentum going. She has never competed at the Games but there are other opportunities available to her in the form of other Sanctionals later this year or the Open.

Other Notes

The team of Central Beasts flew to the U.K. from the U.S. and won the team division this weekend and will go on to the Games. Members of the team include Joey Tortora, Nicole Holcomb, Emma Chapman and Zach Sowder.

All of the athletes who competed this weekend also took part in the Open since 19.1 was actually the event that kicked off the weekend. So everyone who competed in London can still finish the Open and win a spot at the Games through winning their nation or finishing in the top 20 overall.

Willy Georges of France was scheduled to compete in this event but had to withdraw early on due to illness. The 25-year-old will likely compete in another Sanctional should he not win the French championship in the Open.

The Open will be the focus of everyone in the sport for the next few weeks and that will play a factor in who competes in other Sanctionals throughout the season because the athletes who win their national championships may focus on training for the Games. The next Sanctional is going to be the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge on April 12-14 in the USA’s capital city of Washington, D.C. 


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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