For the first time in Spanish CrossFit history, a team has qualified for the Reebok CrossFit Games.
From June 1-3 this year, one of the biggest CrossFit events of the season took place in La Caja Mágica, Madrid: the Meridian Regional. The competition, which took place in Madrid for the 3rd year in a row, is one of the classifying stages where “the elite”, who will participate in the Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in August, are chosen. This year marks a precedent in the history of Spanish CrossFit. Until now, Spain has only managed to qualify for the Teen and Masters categories of the competition, but last weekend received long-awaited news – CrossFit Norte Redondela had qualified for the 2018 CrossFit Games after finishing 4th in the Meridian Regionals general classification. The CrossFit Las Rozas team also deserves special mention after finishing 8th, only 4 places away from a qualifying position.
“This is great news for fans of the sport and another indicator that CrossFit in Spain is enjoying one of its finest moments”, said Daniel Sánchez, CEO Infowod, the only Spanish magazine dedicated to CrossFit.
This year, the competition added some new features: 9 regionals were held, up from only 8 last year. Spain participated in the Meridian Regional as part of the Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, where a total of 40 men and women competed in the individual category, as well as some 30 teams. For the 3rd consecutive year, the Caja Mágica hosted the event and, for 3 days, Madrid became the CrossFit capital of the world.
A study from online clinic Treated.com reveals that CrossFit Inc has the highest number of gyms in Spain. There are currently 425 boxes in the country making Spain the European country with the 3rd highest number of CrossFit centres.
CrossFit in Spain continues to grow and each year beats the previous year’s records. Right now, there are 425 CrossFit boxes in Spain. This is a 19% increase on 2017 and this year the figures look set to grow even more. This growth also implies the growth of the overall floor space occupied by CrossFit centres – they now extend across 210,756m2. The number of CrossFit members and athletes is also on the up, with a current total of 77,200, with approximately 1,544 trainers at the helm.
“With numbers like this Spain maintains its position as the 3rd highest number of boxes in Europe, just behind the UK and Italy. As things stand today, there is only one national publication covering athletes and competitions. Our objective is to offer the CrossFit community news about the sport as well as bringing the public, general information about a discipline that’s on the up”, says Sánchez.
The role of the Spanish individual athletes
Of the five Spanish females well-placed to succeed in the competition (Elia Navarro, Rita García, Judit Torrabadella, Eva Cortiella and Susana López), it was Valencian Navarro who finished with the highest score, ending the competition in 11th place, while Rita Garcia, widely regarded to be the fittest Spanish female and who qualified for the Regionals with first position at the Open, finished her competition in 13th place. In 2017, Rita Garcia participated in the team competition and came close to qualifying for the Games with The Unit team. She also took part as an individual in the Regionals in 2016. Jacqueline Dahlstrom, a Norwegian resident in Mallorca, is also worth a mention. She trains in box C32 and finished in 6th place.
Although the women only had to climb 7 positions to qualify, the men had a slightly more complicated job. The highest placed Spaniard, Marc Ordeig, finished in 15th place, while Sam Lubben and Rubén Insúa finished in 21st and 36th respectively. Alexander Anasagasti had to pull out of the competition on the second day due to an injury.
The evolution of the CrossFit Games
The first CrossFit Games were presided over by Greg Glassman, creator of CrossFit, and took place in 2007 on the Los Aromas ranch. The ranch is located in Northern California and is owned by the event organiser’s parents (his father is an ex-navy SEAL called Dave Castro). A total of 70 athletes participated over two categories, men and women, competing in a total of 3 rounds for a prize of $400 in front of 150 spectators.
In 2017, only ten years later, the CrossFit Games were held in three phases over seven months (Open, Regionals and CrossFit Games). More than 380,000 athletes from all over the world took part with the aim of getting a pass to the regionals and, from there, to the CrossFit Games themselves, held in the Alliant Energy Center in Madison (Wisconsin), in front of almost 10,000 spectators.
In the 2017 finals of the Reebok CrossFit Games, more than 400 athletes took part across 19 different categories. In the absolute category, for men and women, the prize was $285,000. There were 13 different rounds in this category, with the winners of each receiving cash prizes. The total prize money for the 2017 edition totalled some $2.4 million.