Assessing the Depth of Field: European Men

March 26, 20249 min read

For years it has felt like the depth of the European men’s field has been increasing, and yet their opportunity at Semifinals has always remained about half of that compared to North America. This year, that continues to be the case (Europe get 40 spots to North America’s 80 at Semifinals, with a guaranteed minimum of 5 spots compared to the minimum of 10 in North America). In the last two iterations of the CrossFit Games seasons they had 60 spots, so, this year their total number of available spots at Semis has been reduced by 33% and is the lowest it’s ever been since Quarterfinals was introduced to the Games season in 2021.

Couple that with the fact that the gates for Quarterfinals have opened up by up to 150% (with 25% qualifying from the Open as opposed to 10% from previous years), and suddenly the pressure of the Quarterfinals is on an entirely new level. 

Today we are focusing in on the men in Europe, a place I have spent a lot of time this offseason learning about the ebbs and flows of competition there, as well as some names that I believe have the chance to be in the mix, not just at Quarters, but in France for the European Semifinals beginning on May 17. 

Last Year’s Games Athletes

Last year through the D’Hondt distribution method, European men were given 11 qualifying spots to the CrossFIt Games. Every single one of those athletes appears to be back and ready to make another run towards Semis, and hopefully the Games: 

1Lazar Đukić4
2Henrik Happalainen15
3Mortiz Fiebig9
4Jelle Hoste44
5Jonne Koski7
6Uldis Upenieks12
7David Shorunke39
8Björgvin Karl Gudmundsson2
9Bronislaw Olenkowicz11
10Michal Wesolowski34
11Fabian Beneito1

From this group, it’s hard to feel comfortable with very many of them in terms of proven ability to advance through Quarters and Semis with relative ease. Usually we would think Lazar Đukić, Jonne Koski, and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson are the three safest picks, but even for the three best it doesn’t seem like anything should be comfortable this year. One positive for them is how comfortably they were near the top of the Quarterfinal field. 

The athletes who made the Games last season and have most to worry about as far as just simply getting to France for the Semis are Wesolowski, Shorunke, and Hoste. Wesolowski had three QF finishes outside the top 100, but none of them were as bad as the finishes Shorunke (232nd) and Hoste (3,221st) took on QF workout 1 last season. Other than those finishes neither Shorunke or Hoste had any finishes outside the top 100, and both of them had a 4th place finish on one workout to help offset that high finish on workout 1. 

On Their Heels

Especially considering this group of 9 who, in my opinion, round out the “top 20” men in Europe heading into the pressure filled parts of the season:

12Colin Bosshard36
13Victor Hoffer3
14Luka Vunjak26
15Alex Kotoulas13
22Aniol Ekai8
23Guillaume Briant22
WDLuka Đukić17
WDGiorgos Karavis19
DNCAdrian MundwilerDNP

All of these men (other than Mundwiler who didn’t participate) would have still qualified in the top 40 (if the cutoff were there last season too). Bosshard was worst amongst this group at QFs on the heels of a 244th place finish in Europe at QF workout 3, but then he turned around and had the best finish of the group at SFs. In many ways, his season paralleled that of Hoste up to this point- a little lackluster at QFs, much better at SFs. It’s athletes like this that have the diehard CrossFit fans extremely interested in the QF programming this year. 

The Depth of Field

Knowing that the maximum number of spots European men will earn is 12, and that therefore at least 8 of the athletes mentioned already will not make it to the CrossFit Games this year, it’s a bit scary to realize what the rest of the field in Europe could look like. 

After filtering through about 70 other European men I whittled a list down to another 20 who I think would do best at a Semifinal (note, this does not in anyway guarantee that they will advance through Quarterfinals, as many of the men who I omitted from this section of the list happen to have much better results in online competition than live competition.) 

These are the men I would rank 21-40 in Europe currently, and the ones (that I know of) who I feel would not just be present, but actually shake things up a bit at a European Semi: 

16Antoine Dumain21
17Enrico Zenoni10
18Martin Cuervo23
19Victor Helsinghof33
20Grzegorz Maraszkiewicz63
24Calum Clements35
25Ludvig Hahnsson32
26Sven Geens62
28Harry Lightfoot5
31Bryan Hernandez51
33Victor Ljungdal18
34Tommaso Pieri41
52Anestis Artemis60
*teamLucas Heuze16
*teamSam Stewart
DNQKevin Jurs70
DNQMiko Lilleorg97
DNQToby Buckland128
DNQSimon Mantyla167
DNCNika Maisuradze

We see a couple other examples of concerning Quarterfinal finishes that then turned around and did much better at Semis (Maraszkiewicz, Geens, and Herandez in order of most notable). 

The bottom seven names on this list either competed team, did not compete, or did not even qualify for Semis. I have seen all of them compete in person at live competitions, and have them on this list for various reasons, but for some of them, undoubtedly, QFs will be the end of the road this season. 

And Then…

These are the rest of the men that I considered when filtering through the known entities (to me) as far as men who I could make a case for threatening for a Semifinal spot: 

Alexandre PinsolleInaxio IllarramendiPhilroy Peters
Alexsander BloszykIurii MarincencoRicardo Diaz
Andrea RussoJohn SchaefferRomain Felloneau
Bartek LipkaJorge Andre Carvalho CorreiaRui Figueiredo
Beka KvernadzeJulien LopezSam Parkin
Christopher NielsenLuis CuellarSam Robinson
Connor PinningtonMarc CarmonaStefano Migliorini
Dami MartinezMartin LavilleSteven Taillefer
Daniel CamachoMateusz LatusekThomas Stroier
Daniel TaiMatus KocarTiago Luzes
Dmytro MyndreskuMax OlivestrandTobias Fox
Emilio RossiniMaxi HenzeTobias Opdahl
Fabian HermansMiso PapakTom Kingdon
Felix RehderMitchell AdamsTxete Garriga Baltrons
Fernando Llaneza PardilllosNIkita YundovWojciech Laszczak
Gintas PetrikasOleg LascenkoXevi Serra

Most of these guys are on the list because of good performances in at least one of three areas:

  • Strong Open 2024 performance
  • Strong Quarterfinal 2023 performance 
  • Notable offseason performance

It is a guarantee that a few of these names (and who knows, maybe even some other ones I haven’t considered) will take a small portion of the 40 available Semifinal spots in Europe. 

There are two things that seem apparent: 

  1. The Quarterfinals will end the season disappointingly short for some of the best in the world.
  2. The Semifinals should be as deep and competitive of a field as we’ve ever seen in Europe. 

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.


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