In a star-studded field of CrossFit Games athletes at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza, Roman Khrennikov stood out in a big way scoring the overall runner-up title in both the Individual and Teams divisions during the four-day competition from Jan. 12-15. 2023, in Miami, FL.
Khrennikov had a hand in five wins out of the 16 scored events. Four of those victories came in the Individual division, where he and Ricky Garard went back and forth in what could be a preview of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games in July. Below is a closer look at Khrennikov’s monster weekend.
[Related: 5 of the Best CrossFit Moments in 2022]
Roman Khrennikov at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza
Khrennikov was the only male athlete to record multiple event wins in the Individual competition. He ranked first in half of the eight scored events en route to second place overall.
The competition didn’t start well for the 27-year-old, as he tied for 14th in the first event, uncharacteristically capping out. That workout featured ring muscle-ups, one of the few movements he struggles with. While it was an ominous start for Khrennikov, it was the lone blemish in an otherwise stellar weekend.
The following event gave the fans their first look at the much-anticipated Khrennikov and Garard rivalry. Garard had the lead during the first part of the 22-minute chipper, but Khrennikov took over as he displayed his cycling speed in GHD sit-ups. Khrennikov maintained that lead as he held a one-rep advantage on the final movement, rope climbs. He picked up his first event win with a time of 17:27.
He followed that performance under the lights of a packed Flagler stage on Thursday evening. In a two-part workout named “Start Fast, Finish Strong,” Khrennikov finished sixth in “Part A” before dominating “Part B.” It started with a 1,000-meter row, a Khrennikov specialty, and ended with him winning by nearly 40 seconds over Tudor Magda.
Khrennikov began Day Two by cleaning and jerking 356 pounds during the two-part “We Have Lift Off” workout, good enough for seventh place. He then placed a respectable 10th in the second part of the event with a parallette free-standing handstand hold of 00:46.03.
Khrennikov and Garard battled again in event five, “Double Shot With a Splash,” and Khrennikov won by less than two seconds. He still trailed Garard on the overall leaderboard heading into the final event, though, another two-part workout.
Khrennikov won the first half, “Miami Meat Market,” but placed ninth in the second half. That put him in second place to end the competition, 46 points behind Garard and 12 points ahead of third-place finisher Patrick Vellner.
Khrennikov switched gears to the Team division, joining Willy Georges of France and Australian Jay Crouch on “Team GOWOD.” Together, they recorded six top-five finishes in eight scored events, including an event win.
Team GOWOD’s second-place finish in the final event, “The Kitchen Sync, Part B,” put them one point ahead of “The Boyz” and earned them the overall runner-up spot on the leaderboard.
Who is Roman Khrennikov?
Until the 2022 CrossFit Games season, Khrennikov was a bit of an enigma in the sport. Many considered the Russian native a top athlete in CrossFit, but he never competed at the Games in person due to visa issues. Then in February 2022, after nearly four years of trying, he finally cleared those issues and made his way to the United States.
He entered the U.S. in March as Russia invaded Ukraine, leaving his pregnant wife and family during that time. He soon made Madison, WI., the host city of the CrossFit Games, his home base for the rest of the 2022 season.
Khrennikov reunited with his wife, newborn child, and dogs just before the start of the Games, where he placed second to Justin Medeiros for the title of Fittest Man on Earth®.
Since then, Khrennikov has moved to Cookeville, TN, and changed coaches to become Mayhem Athlete training out of CrossFit Mayhem. You can bet he’ll be a significant force heading into the 2023 CrossFit Games from July 31 to Aug. 6, 2023, in Madison.
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Featured image via Athlete’s Eye.