The 2022-23 CrossFit off-season continues this weekend in Wollongong, Australia, with the Down Under Championship.
Over 400 athletes spread across 16 divisions will compete at the CrossFit-licensed event inside WIN Entertainment Centre from November 18-20. Here’s what you need to know about the competition.
What Is the Down Under Championship?
The history of the Down Under Championship (DUC) dates back to when the venue was the host of the Australia Regionals. It was later rebranded to its current name and format as a Sanctional during the 2019 season under the direction of Mick Shaw.
Under a new ownership group, which includes Australian CrossFit legend Rob Forte, it was again rebranded to make it more of a community event. The goal is to get the community and the athletes excited about the event and bring people together to celebrate all things fitness.
[Related: 4 Impressive Performances That Flew Under the Radar at the 2022 Rogue Invitational]
The DUC plans on achieving its goals by offering seminars, workshops, and meet-and-greets featuring CrossFit CEO Don Faul, Justin Medeiros, Tia-Clair Toomey, Brooke Wells, and Shane Orr. This year’s competition touts a combined prize purse of $125,000 AUD ($84,000 USD) plus sponsor prize packs.
How to Watch the Down Under Championship
There will be a live stream of the entire competition over on the official Down Under Championship YouTube channel, with Jeremy Austin and Annie Sakamoto heading up the broadcast team.
The first portion of the live stream — featuring the Intermediate and Masters Teams — begins on November 17 at 4:00 p.m. EST. If you really want to dig into the contest, you can head to the DUC Instagram account for exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and content.
Who’s Competing at the Down Under Championship?
The Men’s Elite Team division features a team made up of Saxon Panchik, Noah Ohlsen, and Chandler Smith facing off against Aussies Khan Porter and Ricky Garard and American Matt Dlugos.
Laura Clifton, James Newbury, and Royce Dunne are a few of the well-known Games athletes who will also be competing in the Teams division.
The Individual field features some of the top athletes in the Oceania region with Games veterans Katelin Van Zyl and Maddie Sturt the early favorites. Marnie Sykes, Georgia Pryor, and Gemma Hauck are some other names to keep an eye on.
[Related: Breaking Down Kara Saunders’ 10 Years of CrossFit Excellence]
Seven-time Games athlete Lauren Fisher makes her return to the Individual division. She last competed at the West Coast Classic in 2021 before competing on the CrossFit Reykjavik team alongside Porter at this year’s Games.
And fresh off her performance at the Zelos Games Invitational, American Ro Scott is also competing as she continues to find avenues to test herself and recommit to CrossFit.
Two-time “Fittest Australian” and five-time Games veteran Jay Crouch highlights the men’s field. New Zealand brothers and Games qualifiers Ben and Luke Fowler will step away from Team competition to give Crouch a run for his money.
Games veteran Zeke Grove is a four-time Games veteran and returns to competition after withdrawing from the 2022 Quarterfinals due to an injury.
Is Tia-Clair Toomey Competing?
Six-time reigning and defending “Fittest Woman on Earth” Tia-Clair Toomey was set to headline the event, but she announced via her Instagram story that she had to withdraw her team. That means her entire team — which consists of fellow PRVN teammate Brooke Wells and fellow Aussie Ellie Turner — will not compete as originally planned.
The exact reason for the withdrawal is unknown, but we do know that she was nursing a back injury that she sustained prior to the Games that also kept her from competing at the Rogue Invitational.
Featured Image: @downunderchampionship on Instagram