The 2019 CrossFit Games are upon us! In just a few days, we’ll be crowning the fittest male and female athletes on Earth. This year the Games will begin with more athletes vying for the top spot than ever before – 148 men and 134 women! That, of course, doesn’t change the fact that in the individual men’s competition, the 3x CrossFit Games champ Mat Fraser is the heavy odds favorite. While Fraser and Vellner going 1-2 appear to be safe picks, it’ll be interesting to see who rounds out the podium on the men’s side.
Fraser has had a pretty dominant season, winning every event he’s competed in—the 2019 CrossFit Open, the Dubai CrossFit Championships, and the Rogue Invitational. Vellner, who placed second at the 2018 CrossFit Games, has had a pretty successful season himself. Although he failed to place top 20 in the Open and earn an automatic Games qualification, he won the Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival and finished right behind Fraser at the more recent Rogue Invitational.
While the oddsmakers have Brent Fikowski rounding off the podium, we expect Iceland’s Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson to make a strong run for one of the podium spots. Like Fraser and Vellner, Guðmundsson has had a strong season, finishing second in the worldwide Open and second at the Dubai CrossFit Championship. Unlike Vellner, who beat Fraser in several of the events at the Rogue Invitational, Guðmundsson failed to beat Fraser in any of the ten events at the Dubai Championships.
Our Podium Prediction: The Men
First: Mathew Fraser
Second: Patrick Vellner
Third: Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson
On the women’s side, Tia Claire-Toomey looks to be the favorite heading into the 2019 CrossFit Games. With most of the top female athletes attending, the Rogue Invitational painted a pretty good picture of how the Games may play out. The top of the women’s leaderboard at the Rogue Invitational had some pretty familiar names. Tia Claire-Toomey took the top spot while Sara Sigmundsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir took second and third, respectively. Two-time CrossFit Champ Katrin Davidsdottir finished fourth. Outside of Toomey, it’s a safe bet that the Dottirs will probably be taking the remaining podium spots. While it’s anyone’s guess, in a year full of change, we anticipate Thorisdottir’s experience will propel her above her Icelandic countrymates.
However, expect the weekend’s workouts to have more of an impact on the women’s final standings than they will on the men’s side. A slight endurance bias and ‘the Engine’, 2013 CrossFit Games champ Sam Briggs may very well end up on the podium. To the surprise of many, the 37-year-old Briggs won the Dubai CrossFit Championship and the Australian CrossFit Championship.
Our Podium Prediction: The Women
First: Tia Claire-Toomey
Second: Annie Thorisdottir
Third: Sara Sigmundsdottir