The fifth iteration of the International Functional Fitness Federation (iF3) World Championships took place the weekend of Dec. 16-18, 2022, in the coastal city of Hermosillo, Mexico, with European athletes taking center stage. Norway’s Matilde Garnes and Switzerland’s Jan Matiaska were crowned individual world champions in their respective divisions. Team Norway secured their fourth-straight world championship via a dominant performance.
The World Championships is the culminating event of the iF3 season. All countries with a national member federation of the iF3 can send athletes to the championships. The iF3’s mission is to grow the sport of functional fitness worldwide and develop training and competition opportunities for athletes. This is accomplished through recognition of the sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the ultimate goal of the sport becoming a part of the Olympic Games program.
The iF3 World Championships put 132 athletes across 11 different divisions through six tests, two each day. Each one of those tests pushes athletes in various phases of functional fitness. Below are the results:
Women’s Senior Individual Division Results
- Matilde Garnes — 550 points
- Nicole Heer — 515 points
- Seher Kaya — 496 points
- Natalie Niska — 468 points
- Aline Wirz — 462 points
Men’s Senior Individual Division Results
- Jan Matiaska — 458 points
- Felix Rehder — 452 points
- Victor Helsinghof — 448 points
- Gustavo Errico — 430 points
- Emanuele Biviano — 414 points
Senior Team Division Results
- Norway — 600 points
- Mexico — 534 points
- Costa Rica — 522 points
- Puerto Rico — 510 points
- Sweden — 510 points
A recap of the tests performed and how each division fared is below.
iF3 World Championship Tests
Below are the six tests performed at the iF3 World Championships:
Test One: Endurance
Test Two: Strength
- 10 Snatches — Men: 205 pounds (93 kilograms) | Women: 145 pounds (66 kilograms)
- 10 Clean & Jerks — Men: 275 pounds (125 kilograms) | Women: 185 pounds (84 kilograms)
Test Three: Bodyweight
Five rounds for time:
- 20 Alternating Pistols
- 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
- 7-meter unbroken Handstand Walk
- 7-meter unbroken Handstand Walk
- 5 Ring Muscle-Ups
Test Four: Skill
- 5 Rope Climbs from a seated start
- 100 unbroken Double Unders
- Accumulate 90-second L-Sit on Parallettes
- 100 unbroken Double Unders
Test Five: Mixed
Then in any order of the athlete’s choosing:
- 30 Kettlebell Box Step Over
- 30 Bearhug Sandbag Squats
- 30 Single-Arm Alternating Dumbbell Hang Snatch
Test Six: Power
Women’s Senior Individual Divisions Recap
Fresh off her runner-up finish at the Dubai Fitness Championship (DFC) on Dec. 2-4, 2022, Garnes traveled straight from Dubai to Mexico to train for the six-test competition. The two-time Games veteran followed in the footsteps of mentor and last year’s world champion Kristin Holte by keeping the title in Norway with a 32-point victory over Switzerland’s Nicole Heer.
Garnes, who placed 19th at the 2022 CrossFit Games in her individual debut, recorded five top-three finishes, including a win in Test Four, two seconds ahead of Germany’s Katharina Isele. Garnes’ worst finish was in the final test, placing fifth, but she had already secured the world title heading into the finale.
Heer, a two-time CrossFit Semifinalist, and two-time CrossFit Occupational Games runner-up for the “Fittest Law Enforcement Officer,” had two wins, Test One and Test Five, which were the most wins by any woman in the field.
Garnes’ Kriger Training teammate at CrossFit Oslo, Seher Kaya, rounded out the podium with a third-place finish. Kaya, who holds dual citizenship from Norway and Turkey, competed at the DFC with Garnes and fellow Norwegians Andrea Solberg and Lena Richter, who also traveled to Mexico to compete in the Worlds.
Kaya, who competed as a rookie at the 2022 Games, finished ahead of Garnes in Test Two, the strength event, by 30 seconds to secure her lone win of the weekend. Sweden’s Natalie Niska and Switzerland’s Aline Wirz placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Maria Längfors, who competed at the 2022 DFC, placed eighth overall representing her native Sweden. Solberg withdrew after failing to complete Test Two due to an illness.
Men’s Senior Individual Division Recap
The race for the men’s title came down to the final event. Germany’s Felix Rehder seemed to have the world title in hand as he held a 24-point lead over Norway’s Victor Helsinghof. Neither of those athletes stood atop the podium as Switzerland’s Matiaska won the final test while Rehder placed eighth and Helsinghof third. That gave the two-time CrossFit Semifinalist his first major competition title.
Matiaska was helped in his comeback win by his two test wins, the most of any athlete in the men’s field. His average finish was 7.2. This was his third appearance competing at the iF3 Worlds, finishing as the men’s runner-up last year to Germany’s Moritz Fiebig.
Rehder was the only person in the field to record every finish in the top 10 and had a better average finish (6.2) than Matiaska. Helsinghof made the race even more interesting as he recorded a test win to open the final day of competition before ending it with his third-place finish in the finale. Venezuela’s Gustavo Errico placed fourth, followed by Italy’s Emanuele Biviano to round out the top five.
Senior Team Division Recap
The Norwegian team was crowned champions for the fourth time in five World Championships. The team of Henrik Yttervik, Henrik Negård, Lena Richter, and Ingrid Hodnemyr was perfect, winning all six tests. For Richter and Hodnemyr, members of the two-time Games runner-up CrossFit Oslo the last two seasons, it was their third-straight world title as members of the Norwegian team.
Since the 2019 World Championships in Malmo, Sweden, the Norway team has won 15 straight tests. During the 2021 Worlds, Norway swept the six tests. Mexico was the runner-up for their first podium finish since placing third at the inaugural World Championship in 2017. They recorded three second-place finishes.
Costa Rica, competing in their first Worlds as the iF3’s newest member after joining the federation in November, placed third.
Outside of the three senior divisions, eight teenage divisions competed in Mexico, showcasing the future of the iF3 and their member countries.
- In the newly created 19-20-year-old division, Sweden’s Elvira Ek held off American Lydia Smith and Norwegian Ida Strigen to take the title.
- The boy’s 19-20-year-old division was a tie between Canadian Alexis Bonenfant and Sweden’s Johan Aurell. Bonenfant’s two test wins proved the tiebreaker, and he was crowned champion.
- Mexico’s Regina Villalba Chavero won her second world title, winning the 17-18 girls division after winning the 15-16-year-old title last year.
- American Ashli Gowin recorded her second-straight podium finish in the 15-16-year-old division, placing third this year after a runner-up finish last year.
- In the 15-16-year-old boys division, 2021 Games athlete Kaiden Hogan took home the world title.
- Spain’s Ivan Gonzalez was awarded the iF3 Sportsmanship Award.
- Heer was named “Most Improved.”
- Helsinghof was named “Rookie of the Year.”
- Norway was awarded the “Best Nation” title based on point totals for the country’s finishes across all the divisions.
- Australia won the award for “Best Uniform.”
- Nineteen countries were represented in the competition.
- Next year’s iF3 World Championship will be held in Oslo, Norway.
Featured image: @internationalfunctionalfitness on Instagram