Image Credit: Athlete’s Eye
Europe and Asia
The final 12 of 38 team spots to the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games will be handed out this weekend; 10 of those spots will come from Europe, and the last two will come from Asia.
Asia Teams Field
Several returning affiliate teams in the top ten in Europe, but some different composition in terms of athletes on a few of them. The leaders in the clubhouse are still last year’s winners, competing this year as the Crossfit Fly High Kolesnikov Team, this Russian team has relocated to the UAE but has maintained their level of focus. They should be rather dominant in this field and punch a return ticket to the Games.
Long time Regional competitor Carlos Albaladejo has teamed up with the CrossFit Marvel Black team who has a strong female competitor in Min Sun Kim as well. It won’t be a guarantee by any means, but I like their chances to take the second team spot in South Korea. Stud CrossFit, Red Tower CrossFit, and Soyuz CrossFit Seym will all be in the mix as well.
Brian’s Asia Team Picks
|Asia: 2 spots|
|1||CrossFit Fly High Kolesnikov Team|
|2||CrossFit Marvel Black|
|3||Stud CrossFit Team Stud|
|4||Red Tower CrossFit|
|5||Soyuz CrossFit Seym|
|6||CrossFit Alioth Dark Horse|
|7||CrossFit We Can Do It Team Busan|
|8||CrossFit Mobilus Chinatown Sour Patch Kids|
|9||CrossFit Erada 1|
|10||Backstage CrossFit Kolesnikov Team|
Europe Teams Field
There are a host of very talented and fit teams in Europe, but there have to be two who are considered the favorites. Oslo Navy Blue returns the same roster that took second to CrossFit Mayhem Freedom at the Games last year, while two time individual Games athlete, Andre Houdet, assembled quite a strong No Shortcuts team of his own. Joining him are the fittest woman in Denmark, Julie Hougard, the fittest woman in the Netherlands, Nienke Van Overveld, and a very accomplished team athlete in his own right in Julian Kragh-Maschvitz. If you know these athletes, you may think they have podium potential at the Games, how close they compete with Oslo Navy Blue will give us an insight into how likely that might actually be.
The last podium spot will likely come down to one of four teams:
- Third place at the Games two years ago, CrossFit Genas is showing up with an even stronger roster this year than they had in 2021.
- Another new team in CrossFit Walleye consists of two previous individual Games male athletes in Sam Stewart (2021) and Joshua Wichtrup (2019) and two previous individual team female athletes in Mia Hesketh and Antonia Falt-Kottulinsky.
- A very experienced CrossFit Portti team out of Finland who has the exact same roster for three years running and has finished 12th (2021) and 19th (2022) at the Games the past two seasons.
- Yet again a team who is newly assembled this season, CrossFit Prestranda features four names you may recognize in Alexander Elebro, Victor Langsved, Hannah Karlsson, and Maria Langfors. The men have a lot of team experience, and the women would both have made individual Semifinals quite handily in Europe. Much like No Shortcuts, we know they’ll be good, just not sure how good yet.
Behind those teams seems to be a group of close to ten teams who will be vying for the final four qualifying spots. In making those last picks I favored experience over Quarterfinal performance more often than not. The only exception being what I think is Oslo’s second best team, Oslo Vamos. They qualified two teams last year, and have six total teams at Semifinals, which is impressive regardless of how they all end up doing.
Brian’s Europe Team Picks
|Europe: 10 spots|
|1||CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue||11||CrossFit Rotherham|
|2||No Shortcuts CrossFit||12||CrossFit Aylesbury|
|3||CrossFit Walleye Athlete||13||CrossFit Aorta|
|4||CrossFit Genas||14||CrossFit Surbiton Motion|
|5||CrossFit Portti||15||Blueprint CrossFit Team AOD|
|6||CrossFit Prestranda||16||CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Team Flaek|
|7||CrossFit Trondheim||17||CrossFit Castanet-Tolosan Kasta|
|8||CrossFit Merchant||18||CrossFit Nijmegen|
|9||CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Kriger||19||CrossFit Oslo Blackout|
|10||CrossFit Oslo Vamos||20||CrossFit Butcher’s Lab Team Bjornefar|