Assessing the Depth of Field: European Teams 

April 15, 202415 min read

Image Credit: Kriger Training

Over the last three weeks we dove into some of the deepest regions on the individual side (European men, North American East women, and North American West men). This week we shift our focus back to Europe, but in the nature of the team competition. 

In turning our attention to the team division, we should be reminded that changes to the competitive landscape have come this season in terms of qualifying spots by region to the CrossFit Games, here’s a reminder of how they have changed from 2023 to 2024:

Competitive Region2023 Team CFG Spots2024 Team CFG Spots
NA East108
NA West107
South America22
Total Spots:3830

For Europe specifically, with the reduction of spots from 10 to 8, obviously the path to the Games is narrower and therefore the pressure of competition at the Semifinal in Lyon, France will be felt by even more teams than last season. 

A Clear Top 4?

Simply by looking at the results from quarterfinals, there are four teams that seem to stand apart from the rest of the field based on performance, but are all of those teams good bets to make it through the Semis with a similar level of comfort?

QF PointsCountryEurope
25SwedenPrestranda Kriger- Alex Elebro, Victor Langsved, Maria Langfors, Lisa Andersson
27SpainZarautz Traincult- Pablo Cazalis, Javier Fernandez, Maribel Gallardo, Jasmien Van Arnhem
29SwedenWalleye Orka- Kristof Horvath, Elliot Simmonds, Jamie Simmonds, Mia Hesketh
30“Spain” (Sweden)C23 The Progrm Motion- Axel Lundgren, Harrisoin Bell, Antonia Falt-Kottulinsky, Ella Wunger

Besides the points (there is a nine point gap to the next team, and then another 8 point drop the team in 5th), we can look at the composition of these teams and see a lot of quality.

For most fans the Walleye team will be the standouts in terms of overall accomplishments in this sport, particularly at the individual level. However, on the team side of things the other two Swedish teams (Prestranda and The Progrm Motion- who are competing under the banner of a Spanish affiliate despite not having any Spanish athletes on the team) boast similar or better credentials. 

The one true Spanish team in this top group probably has the least familiar names to most, but they also have some notable experience. For the men, Cazalis captained a team to the Games in 2022 and Fernandez has finished inside the top ten in Dubai, has team Regional, and individual Semifinal experience. Gallardo has competed as an individual at Semis the past two seasons, while Var Arnhem finished 25th at the Europe semis, besting Gallardo by 5 spots. 

Knowing the individual levels of fitness all four members of each of these four teams has, and seeing the capacity to parlay that into impressive team performances during Quarters, gives me confidence that these four teams are in fact a good bet to also have strong showings at Semis that could very well yield CrossFit Games qualifications. 

What’s Going on In Spain?

Besides the Zarautz Traincult team (and the C23 team), there are 5 other Spanish teams in qualifying positions for the European Semifinal- more than any other country; but are any of the others contenders to make the Games?

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
1363Spain77 Feet Orange- Txete Garriga Baltrons, Xavi Marco, Rita Garcia, Lola Guillen
1989SpainMax Effort Academy- Asier Blanco, Pedro Muino, Sara Fernandez Costas, Carmen Perez Ruiz
2599SpainSant Marti Grit Black- Sergi Balaguer, Xabi Lopez, Ana Alquezar, Isa Gomez
27104SpainC23 CF Traincult- Pau Prats, Marc Cloquell, Andrea Valenciano, Irantxo Echeverria
28108SpainSant Marti Grit Red- Victor Cardenas Arapiles, Aleix Franch Ruiz, Chiara Sudati, Fabiana Engelman

Based on both rank coming out of Quarterfinals, and my own knowledge of these athletes, the 77 Feet Orange team would stand the next best chance to fight for a top eight spot in Lyon. It always pays to have strong females in the team competitions, and in this case the women have some promise. Guillen competed in Pamplona, which we covered, and had a solid weekend highlighted by an event win on Isabel. Garcia is in her second year as a Masters athlete, but has been competing at Regionals dating back to 2016 as an individual, and took 7th on a team in the Meridian Regional in 2017 (Javier Fernandez, from Zarautz Traincult was also on that roster). The men are not bad at all either, Garriga has placed 71st and 76th in Europe the past two years, barely missing out on Semis in Europe, but that level of fitness would have put him in a Semi in North America both seasons. Xavi Marco was 97th in Europe Quarters last year, and was also on this team last year at Semis, they took 34th. He’s the only returner, and has to be feeling good about the new teammates this season.

The New Age of Oslo

Technically we’ve already mentioned one Kriger team, Prestranda Kriger, but that team is more an extension of the training program than a representation of the impressive team contingency of Norwegian athletes we will once again see at Semifinals in Europe. 

Last year CrossFit Oslo had 6 teams at Semis, three of which finished inside the top 10 and qualified for the Games. This year, despite the disbanding of the historically good Oslo Navy Blue team that has made the podium at the CrossFit Games for three straight years, there are still four teams bearing the Oslo Kriger name that are slated to be at Semis:

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
647NorwayOslo Kriger PSL- Andreas Opsahl, Leon Wagenknecht, Veslemoy Kolslad, Ingrid Tondel
857NorwayOslo Kriger Rizz- Tobias Opdahl, Morten Rasch Arnesen, Vår H. Thurmann-Moe, Nicole Heer
2090NorwayOslo Kriger BLST- Andreas Timenes, Benjamine Boujar, Oda Lundekvam, Ragnhild Seim
2498NorwayOslo Kriger Piger – Aleksander Fridèn, Henrik Walter Pettersen, Sabrina Raahauge, Synne Samseth

While most of the names on these teams are likely largely unknown to people outside of Scandinavia, or maybe Europe; a majority of them actually had successful seasons last year:

Athlete2024 Team2023 Season
Andreas OpsahlOslo Kriger PSL53rd Team QFs InnerLimit CrossFit / 225th Europe Indy QFs
Leon WagenknechtOslo Kriger PSL161st Europe Indy QFs
Veslemoy KollstadOslo Kriger PSL14th Team CFG Oslo Blackout / 4th Team SFs
Ingrid TondelOslo Kriger PSL14th Team CFG Oslo Blackout / 4th Team SFs
Tobias OpdahlOslo Kriger Rizz12th Team CFG CrossFit Trondheim / 8th Team SFs
Morten Rasch ArnesenOslo Kriger Rizz27th Team CFG Oslo NAJS / 9th Team SFs
Var H Thurman-MoeOslo Kriger Rizz12th Team CFG CrossFit Trondheim / 8th Team SFs / 45th Europe Indy QFs
Nicole HeerOslo Kriger Rizz36th Europe Indy SFs / 15th Europe Indy QFs
Andreas TimenesOslo Kriger BLST1910th Open WW / 604th Open Europe
Benjamine BoujarOslo Kriger BLST43rd Team QFs Europe CrossFit Oslo Vantablack
Oda LundekvamOslo Kriger BLST33rd Team SFs CrossFit Oslo Pink Panthers
Ragnhild SeimOslo Kriger BLST27th Team CFG Oslo NAJS / 9th Team SFs
Aleksander FridenOslo Kriger Piger43rd Team QFs Europe CrossFit Oslo Vantablack
Henrik Walter PettersenOslo Kriger Piger13th Team SFs CrossFit Oslo RBLs
Sabrina RaahaugeOslo Kriger Piger15th Team SFs CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Kriger
Synne SamsethOslo Kriger Piger13th Team SFs CrossFit Oslo RBLs

Simply based on the accolades of the four teammates on both PSL and Rizz, it seems difficult not to consider them both strong contenders for one of the eight available Games spots. There are athletes on both BLST and Piger with Semifinal and/or Games experience last year too, but the overall experience and caliber of athletes on that team will have needed to improve from last season, and they’ll have to execute nearly flawlessly as the Semi to threaten a top eight finish. 

Three Representative Countries

Besides Spain, Sweden, and Norway, three other countries have landed three teams each amongst the 30 who are in qualifying spots for the Europe Semifinal.


QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
539DenmarkButcher’s Lab Flaek- Felix Rehder, Viktor Münter, Astrid Tind Petersen, Mia Furu
1162DenmarkButcher’s Lab Kaos- Tobias Bryld, Frederik Stuhde, Frederikke Mollerup, Silja Zillo
1673DenmarkButcher’s Lab X- Thomas Stroier, Kasper Daugaard, Christina Abergeck, Martine Solheim

United Kingdom

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
957UKBlueprint Team AOD- Ojay Keen, Harry Kean, Lois Smith, Helen Nutter
1262UKJolly Sailor- Will Kane, Moritz Neumann, Helen Collins, Janie Garratt
29109UKHigh Performance JST Compete Red- Philroy Peters, Mitchell Adams, Alexa Ferguson, Kristin Walker


QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
1463ItalyCrossfit Verbania- Andrea Ferrero, Fredrick Husson, Cecilia Ferrero, Elettra Sirotic
2193ItalyCrossFit Sagitarrius- Edoardo Talon, Emanuele Biviano, Francesca Zagaglini, Lucia Borziani
2397ItalyCrossFit 47100- Niccolo Colli, Valerio Tufo, Evelin Cappeleletti, Ceclia Basaglia

Of these nine teams, Butcher’s Lab Flaek is by far the strongest on paper and should be considered to have good odds of making the Games. I certainly wouldn’t count out the other two Danish teams, but I’d probably favor both the Blueprint AOd and Jolly Sailor teams from the UK ahead of them. 

While Italy has a great contingency of representation with 10% of the Semifinal team spots, with only 8 qualifying spots to the Games this year, it would take something spectacular for them to find a Games representative this season. 

Sweden’s Third Team

As mentioned above, Sweden does have one other team who has qualified who we have not touched on yet, and they certainly could be in the mix for one of the final Games spots at Semis as well.

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
1059SwedenCrossFit Holistic- Lucas Petersson, Marcus Erixon, Natalie Niska, Ylva Stalnacke

Countries With Two Teams

Three other countries have all managed to qualify two teams to the Semis, and although only one of these six teams was in the top eight following quarters, there are some very experienced team and teammates on a few of these teams who should not be forgotten regardless of their rank coming in. Especially the teams from France and Finland typically perform better in live competitions:

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
750GermanyCrossFit Aorta- Lars PJ, Henrik Senf, Anna Donauer, Susan Trepner
1570FinlandCrossFit Portti- Joosua Eskelinen, Petteri Peuronen, Mirka Henriksson, Laura Isopoussu
1779FranceCrossFit Caen- Arthur Satis, Jean Charles Desvignes, Emma Fouchereau, Laurie Clement
1885Finland10K Capital- Anton Hassel, Nestori Nuutinen, Kerttu Aho, Iiris Rosenlof
2294FranceCrossFit Genas FitProcess- Pierre Demule, Leo Heuze, Carole Castellani, Jules Vernet
30110GermanyCrossFit Wysh- Lenn Postel, Karl Feldner, Vivien-Marie Christian, Sarah Antonia Ziemens

Flying Solo

The only country who has only one team to have qualified is the Netherlands. Usually we would expect a Vondelgym team, but this year that is not the case. 

QF Euro RankQF PointsCountryEurope
26101NetherlandsCrossfit Gymert- Milou Jaspers, Merlijn Pietersma, Kendra Pennings, Sander van Roekel

If these names seem familiar to you, it’s because these were the exact same four athletes on the Nijmegen team that placed 11th at the Europe Semi last year and missed out on the Games by one spot. 

Not Enough Spots

If you’re counting, that’s 19 out of the 30 teams that I am giving a realistic shot to qualify for the Games. However, with only 8 available this season, more than half of those teams, despite being excellent in make up, and possibly even with a great Semifinal weekend, will not be making the trip to Fort Worth, Texas this year. 

Just like we’ve been highlighting on the individual side the last three weeks, the depth of field at the Semis this year is extreme, and the spots are very limited. If you like this sport and you haven’t made plans to be at a Semi yet, consider it. The drama there will likely be more palpable than at the Games themselves; particularly in Europe where both countries and affiliates will travel to support and faithfully cheer on their representative. 

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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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