With only one event left on the fourth day of competition, the top of the leaderboards in both Individual divisions is the closest they’ve been in years. Defending champion Tia-Clair Toomey was in familiar territory in first place overall, but it was not by too comfortable a margin — 50 points separated her and Mal O’Brien, and it seemed like a two-person race for the title of Fittest Woman on Earth®.
Reigning Fittest Man on Earth® Justin Medeiros put in work over in Event Eight and Event Nine to undo Ricky Garard‘s massive lead built over the first two days. Relatively poor showings for Garard in the previous three events opened the door for Medeiros to enter Event 10 with an 11-point lead overall. It was still either man’s competition to win, but the momentum was with Medeiros.
Event 10 saw the CrossFit Games go full strongman. Heavy sandbags, elimination style, to determine who advances to the final day of competition. Dani Speegle left no doubt from the first round that she would dominate this event, and she did.
Event 10 — “Sandbag Ladder” Results
Here are the full results:
Individual Women’s Results
- Dani Speegle
- Jacqueline Dahlstrøm
- Laura Horvath
- Amanda Barnhart
- Sydney Michalyshen
- Brooke Wells
- Ellie Turner
- Karin Freyová
- Tia-Clair Toomey
- Paige Semenza
Individual Men’s Results
- Guilherme Malheiros (T-first)
- Nick Mathew (T-First)
- Brent Fikowski
- Jayson Hopper
- Justin Medeiros
- Saxon Panchik
- Ricky Garard
- Alexandre Houdet
- Alex Vigneault
- Sam Kwant
Event 10 — Sandbag Ladder
- One-rep-max Sandbag-to-Shoulder
Women: Bags from 160-250 pounds | Men: Bags from 240-340 pounds
View this post on Instagram
Event 10 Recap
Each woman attempted 160 pounds first. The standard was stabilizing the sandbag to the shoulder and extending the opposite arm to demonstrate control. All the women still in the competition had no issues through the buy-in round, except for Fuselier and Garnes, both of whom fell over on their first attempts. However, both recovered and stabilized the bag to their shoulders to move to round two.
Women’s Round Two
Round two offered up a 170-pound bag. Powers was in group one, but the bag toppled her to the ground. She lapped the bag on her second attempt and cleared it without issue. Loewen received a no-rep on her first attempt but tossed the bag up to her shoulder on her second to advance. Adams followed that toss technique to great effect.
Kato dropped her first attempt at 170 pounds when the bag knocked her in the face. She recovered and advanced. Fuselier couldn’t figure out the proper positioning and bowed out in this round. She was the only casualty, as everyone else moved on to the round of 180 pounds.
Pro strongman Jerry Pritchett was present in the building to offer technical advice to the athletes. He said that as the bags get larger at the heavier weights, the athletes would have to roll the bag up to their shoulders rather than load it directly.
Women’s Round Three
Fuliano and Rayl struggled at 180 pounds. Fuliano missed three attempts and was eliminated. Rayl made use of a long break and advanced with a successful second attempt. Choi’s lift looked uncomfortable but successful nonetheless.
Brandon, Turner, Speegle, and the rest of the next two heats ran through without issues. Horvath followed suit. Kato missed her first attempt again. She tried to close a second attempt but had to bow out. Everyone else made it through, so the Atlas Stone tiebreaker was between Fuliano and Kato — they each lifted three sandbags (50, 100, and 150 pounds) over a bar and raced to a finish. Fuliano made quick work of them and won the tiebreaker convincingly for 35th place overall.
Women’s Round Four
Thirty-four women entered the round with a 190-pound sandbag. In the first heat, Powers didn’t have issues lapping the bag but struggled to clean it and was eliminated as a result. Rayl also couldn’t handle the 190-pound bag and headed to the tiebreaker.
Many athletes leaned back with their shoulders before extending their hips, and it cost them the necessary leverage. Carratala Sanahuja was one of those athletes and went to the tiebreaker. Lawson made it a four-way tiebreaker after failing to stabilize the bag despite getting it to her shoulder. Lawson got in first for 31st overall in the event.
Women’s Round Five
At the 200-pound level, Raptis could not clean the bag and was first to the tiebreaker zone. Barnhart and Eramo O’Connell struggled but conquered the bag while Prevost became the round’s second casualty. Speegle made every bag to this point look like a feathered pillow and would likely contend for a top spot in the event. The same couldn’t be said for Loewen or Adams, both of whom went to the tiebreaker zone.
Helgadottir ditched the 200-pound bag just in time so it didn’t fall on top of her as she tumbled to the floor. She couldn’t recover on a second attempt. Moosbrugger continued to struggle round after round but continued to advance. Six athletes were in the tiebreaker for the 200-pound round. Helgadottir got in first as Adams got in last.
Women’s Round Six
The round of 210 pounds immediately claimed Campos for the tiebreaker. Speegle made the round look easy as Merand wrestled for her event life but survived. McQuaid and Choi squared off, but only McQuaid was successful.
Turner shadowed Speegle’s ease and made quick work of 200 pounds. Campbell was the opposite story and headed to the tiebreaker. Semenza move her bag cleanly to her shoulder, but Spencer and Migała fell to the tiebreaker in that same heat. Horvath advanced on her first attempt, but Garnes did not, making this round’s tiebreaker the largest of the event thus far.
O’Brien and Saunders both had their first missed attempts of the event at this weight. O’Brien couldn’t close the deal. Saunders danced with the bag for a long time. Though it looked like she’d make it, the stability wasn’t there, and she joined the tiebreaker.
Toomey cleared the weight, meaning her overall lead would only grow heading into the final round. Wells missed her first attempt, but her heroic return to the Games continued with an advance to round seven. Moosbrugger, again, cleared the round even and got the dopamine hit that came with the joy of advancing.
The tiebreaker for this round was so large that it was broken up into heats. Heat one took a long time to get underway, giving the athletes still in the event a lot of extra recovery time. Brandon cleared the heat first in under nine seconds. Heat two saw Saunders cross the finish first.
Women’s Round Seven
Dahlstrøm cleared the 220-pound bag first, but her heat-mate, Spencer, couldn’t do the same. Barnhart and Horvath cleared the round without much issue, but Sigurdardottir followed Spencer to the tiebreak, as did McQuaid.
Wells’ story continued as she moved on to the round of eight. Moosbrugger’s Cinderella story in the event came to a close and headed to the tiebreak with Toomey, who also couldn’t clear the bag. Turner tried to play stability to the judge, but the bag wasn’t high enough on her shoulder. Toomey took third in the tiebreaker as Turner took first.
Women’s Round Eight
Speegle was the clear frontrunner in the event as nothing looked heavy in her hands. Wells was the underdog and certainly already overperformed expectations in this event, given her elbow surgery after the 2021 CrossFit Games.
Dahlstrøm attempted first in the round of 230 pounds and inched the bag steadily up her torso to a successful lockout. Barnhart made quick work of the round and advanced. Wells attempted a third and missed both attempts to be the round’s first casualty.
Horvath was fourth in the turn order and muscled the bag to her shoulder, appearing comfortable from start to finish. Michalyshen continued to look flawless in the event and advanced easily. Speegle made easy work of the round — the camera even cut to a laughing Toomey, presumably due to how simple Speegle made 230 pounds look.
Women’s Round Nine
Dahlstrøm again lifted first in the round of 240 and again got the bag to her shoulder, working it up inch by inch, succeeding at locking out a bag weighing 1.6 times her body weight. Barnhart put in a ton of work on a first attempt but decided to bow out before a second attempt. Horvath went third and continued to muscle the bag but struggled to turn the bag to position it to her shoulder. She ended up joining Barnhart in the tiebreaker.
Michalyshen missed her first attempt but was the first athlete in the round who made a second attempt. It was not to be, as the tiebreaker became a three-way. Speegle had a slight hiccup but still powered her way to the next round. Horvath won the tiebreaker to take third overall in the event.
Women’s Round 10
Only Speegle and Dahlstrøm entered the round of 250 pounds. Dahlstrøm gathered the bag into a huge deep squat with a smile, holding a bag over 100 pounds heavier than her body weight. While she put it an incredible effort, it wasn’t enough to advance. Speegle had a lift for the win and made it look like child’s play. It was a huge win in the Coliseum for Speegle to end the fourth day of competition for the women.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Kealan Henry Withdraws From the 2022 CrossFit Games on Day Three]
The commentary team mentioned that Houdet was seen successfully lifting the 300-pound sandbag in the warm-up area, so the opening round of 240 pounds should be breezy for most, if not the entire field. The heats of five athletes came and went without anyone looking event remotely in danger.
This is a warm-up round, here.
All the men agreed to make it a buy-in round and advanced.
Men’s Round Two
The round of 250 pounds seemed like a continuation of round one. Bags went to laps, then shoulders, then fell to the floor as athletes unbuckled their lifting belts for a breath. All the athletes who entered the round advanced; the commentary team upped their small talk to fill the lack of drama as the men effectively continued warming up.
Men’s Round Three
Lazar Đukić was the first man to miss an attempt in the event. He made a second attempt at 260 pounds, figured it out, and advanced. Spencer appeared to struggle with the bag but not enough to fail his attempt.
Adler — a man known for his strength — was the lone man on the floor not using a lifting belt, and it was apparent that he would make a deep run in this event. All competitors advanced to round four as the anticipation for a tiebreaker loomed throughout the Coliseum.
Men’s Round Four
The five men in the first heat at 270 pounds advanced. Heat two mirrored heat one. Greashaber in heat three accidentally tossed the bag over his shoulder on his first attempt and lost his balance on his second attempt. He was allowed to make a third attempt but couldn’t lock it out. Greashaber was the first man eliminated.
Paulson got the bag to his shoulder but lost his balance and ditched it. He cleaned up his technique on his second attempt to advance. Zenoni was the next to struggle, but he stabilized and advanced. Gudmundsson attempted to mimic Medeiros’s technique of lifting the bag horizontally but missed. He went again with his previous technique — lifting the bag vertically — and made it look easy. Greashaber was the lone man out in the round, and his CrossFit Games came to an end.
Men’s Round Five
The opening heat at 280, like synchronized swimmers, hauled the sandbags to their shoulders and went to sip some water while awaiting round six. Caron lost stability at the top of his first attempt. He made the necessary adjustment on his second attempt to advance.
A lot of the bigger men in the field continued to lift the sandbags with ease. It quickly set in that this event was going the distance. Medeiros’ wide-grip technique continued to pay off as he twisted the bag to his shoulder to enter round six.
Men’s Round Six
Haapalainen had to Pas de Bourree to stabilize his 290-pound bag but made it. Mertens couldn’t lock his bag out and neither could Richelme. They entered the first tiebreaker for the men. Spencer Panchik juggled the bag up and down but couldn’t secure it.
Jay Crouch was the next man on the cusp of entering the tiebreaker after dropping his first attempt. He got his hands under the bag for a second attempt but didn’t move it from the floor. Medeiros took a more methodical approach than most of the remaining athletes, but it was an effective strategy for him as he advanced to round seven.
Mertens, Spencer Panchik, Crouch, and Richelme raced in the tiebreaker. The finish in order was Panchik, Crouch, Mertens, and Richelme. Panchik was the lone athlete to lift the lightest bag first, and it paid off.
Men’s Round Seven
In the round of 300 pounds, Karavis and Caron quickly entered the tiebreaker. Koski missed his first attempt. After an uncomfortable second attempt, he also entered the tiebreaker.
Kwant breezed through 300 pounds as if he was still in the first round. Zenoni was in the same heat and stayed on the floor to make a second attempt. He limbo’d his back and fell to the floor with his bag. He rose and entered the tiebreaker.
Travis Mayer is mauling this — tossing offensive linemen onto their shoulders.
Magda, sitting in 33rd overall, needed to clear his second attempt to maintain his Games life but was forced to enter the tiebreaker zone. Malheiros dabbed after his successful attempt, and Medeiros stayed the course.
Koski took the tiebreaker for 30th place overall. Magda was right behind him, and he would have to wait until the leaderboard updated to know if he would compete on the final day.
Men’s Round Eight
At 310 pounds, Moorad was the only man in the first heat to bow out. Paulsen got fired up after inching the bag to his shoulder to advance. Georges was next to him and tapped out of the event. Đukić joined the tiebreaker after a gutsy two attempts. Spencer did the same.
Pepper flew into the heavier bags behind him after losing his balance and dropping the bag. He couldn’t recover and became the sixth man to enter the tiebreaker. Sager lost his leverage under the bag. He hugged it for what must have felt like an eternity but could not get it over his clavicle. Medeiros was the last man on the floor and had to make multiple attempts. He dug deep and locked it out to advance to round nine.
Spencer cleared the tiebreaker first to claim 24th overall in the event.
Men’s Round Nine
Nearly two dozen athletes entered the round of 320 pounds. Houdet cleared the opening heat first. Vellner was the lone man on the floor from heat one and the only one to fall into the tiebreaker.
Saxon Panchik led heat two with a clean attempt. Ohlsen thrusted at the bag to try and move it past his chest but couldn’t clear it. Ohlsen and Fiebig joined Vellner in the tiebreaker.
Kwant continued his day at the office and advanced to round 10 without issue. Mayer struggled for the first time in the event and couldn’t stabilize it after getting it atop his right shoulder.
Fikowski cleared his bag. Adler, surprisingly, had to bow out after missing for the first time. Gudmundsson followed suit and entered the tiebreaker. Malheiros dumped his first attempt off his shoulder but Khrennikov sealed the deal to enter round 10. Malheiros cleaned up his technique and pumped up the crowd after a successful attempt.
You see that? Pick it up.
Garard took the floor alone and cleared the bag on his first attempt. Medeiros was the final athlete to make an attempt at 320 pounds. He wrapped his arms around the bag, square danced with the bag on his shoulder, and then stared at his judge with grounded feet to move on.
Seven athletes were in the tiebreaker. Adler won it by five one-hundredths of a second over Vellner.
Men’s Round 10
Panchik, Haapalainen, and Houdet lifted the 330-pound bags in the first heat. Panchik had no problem with the bag and advanced. The other two tapped out simultaneously and headed to the tiebreaker.
Kwant, Vigneault, and Paulson were in heat two. Paulson barely made an attempt before tapping out. Vigneault had to tap after one-and-a-half attempts. Kwant got dangerously close to a successful lift but dropped it and was too spent to make another attempt.
Fikowski and Malheiros launched their bags to their shoulders and moved on in convincing fashion. Upenieks bowed out.
Hopper fed off the crowd to advance, but the crowd that fed off of Mathew’s magnetic energy and dominance. Brown had to tap out and headed to the tiebreaker.
The top three overall leaders — Medeiros, Garard, and Khrennikov — took to the floor together. Khrennikov couldn’t stabilize his first attempt and fell out of the event. Medeiros stayed in the lapped position for what felt like forever before lifting it to his shoulder. Garard’s spine was a bow and quiver, trying to stabilize the weight. He stayed on target and locked it out to advance.
The results of the tiebreaker were: Houdet, Vineault, Kwant.
Men’s Round 11
With only one 340-pound bag in the Coliseum, each of the seven athletes remaining lifted alone. Malheiros was the first to make an attempt. He lapped the bag without issue, threw up a fist, and advanced to the next round.
Panchik was second to the bag. He got a sense of how heavy it was before dipping back for more chalk. He got the bag to his lap, but that’s as far as it would go.
Mathew got to the bag third and lapped it casually. He tossed the bag to his shoulder and then power slammed it to the floor in excitement.
Fikowski, like a bulldozer, traversed the bag from the floor to his shoulder and advanced. Hopper called for cheers from the crowd as he stepped up and pirouetted with the bag on his shoulder before locking it out.
Without a heavier sandbag in the arena, the commentary team started speculating as to how the event would determine a winner. Garard was next to the floor. He bear-hugged the bag for a while before having to let go and bow out.
Medeiros eyed the bag with ferocity but felt the wound of a failed first attempt. He did not concede without taking a second attempt, but it was not to be. He joined the others in the tiebreaker.
A stumble from Garard in the tiebreaker let Medeiros score the win and add six points to his overall lead on Garard.
Men’s Round 12
The production team rolled out 350-pound bag onto the floor. Malheiros lapped the bag that was longer than his upper body. It touched his shoulder but ultimately had to bow out with a smile on his face.
Mathew approached the bag second with a roar. His attempt looked similar to Malheiros’ lift, and he tapped out. Fikowski took to the floor to attempt a lift for the win. Three thrusts up to his shoulder and a wink to the judge, but it was not high enough on his shoulder, and he was not given credit.
Hopper was the only athlete left on the floor to challenge the 350-pound bag. He missed his first attempt but was unwilling to tap out. A went one more time but didn’t even lap the bag. The final tiebreaker consisted of the final four in the event.
Hopper had a big false start, but it didn’t matter as Mathew and Malheiros crossed the finish line at exactly the same time at 8.23 seconds.
Three Events Left to Crown the Fittest
The final day of competition will see the top 30 Individual Men and top 30 Individual Women compete for the title of Fittest on Earth®. Athletes ranked 31st or lower on the leaderboard after the Sandbag Ladder event have been cut from the competition.
There are three events scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 7, but only one — the Alpaca — of them were revealed at the time of this article’s publication. We’ll see if O’Brien can close the gap between her and Toomey to keep the Australian from scoring her sixth consecutive CrossFit Games title. The battle for the title of Fittest Man on Earth® is between three men — the defending champ, Medeiros, Garard, and Khrennikov.
Featured Image: William Johnson (@barbellstories on Instagram)