Torian Pro Semifinal 2022: Takeaways from Day 1

Photo Credit: Instagram @crispydudes

Enjoying morning chalk? Access additional exclusive interviews, analysis and stories with an Rx membership.

The first Semifinal of the 2022 CrossFit season has begun “Down Under” at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia.

Tia-Clair Toomey, the reigning five-time World’s Fittest Woman advocate, made her first appearance in over three years in front of her home crowd and showed she’s in typical dominating form. On the men’s side, there is no clear favorite after Day 1 as a host of people compete for the three NOBULL CrossFit Games spots. Here are five takeaways from the first day of competition.

1. A tale of two Rickys: One of the biggest stories in Torian Pro and in CrossFit was the return of Ricky Garard from his four-year suspension. How would he do at his first CrossFit event in front of his home crowd?

The answer was: Nerves got the better of him as it was reported that he had trouble keeping food down in the morning and it seemed to have played a role in his performance in event 1. He came out aggressively in “King Arthur” a movie long in which Garard would normally be one of the favorites. He started failing late and when he got to the final set of 15 for overhead squats, he fought hard and finished sixth.

He immediately rolled onto his back and had difficulty getting to his feet and needed help getting off the ground. He was examined by medical personnel and electrolytes were administered. It was unknown how that event would affect him for the second event, 2014 Regional Training 5, until he stepped back onto the competition floor, where he showed no ill effects and promptly won the event in record time. With his nerves seemingly overcome and sitting in third place, just eight points off the leaders, he seems destined to return to Madison, WI.

2. It’s not a repeat: When CrossFit announced that Regional Workout 5 of the 2014 Games season was one of the workouts they universally scheduled for the 10 Semifinals, many wondered how much faster the times would be eight years later. Well, after the first Semifinal of the season, the answer to that question is much quicker, albeit with an asterisk.

At least in the case of Torian and the Lowlands Throwdown, the event was not timed like the original. In 2014, athletes had to move up a chess piece after finishing their rope climb. In Torian’s case, the organizers got rid of the chess piece advancement by the athletes and essentially replaced it with a shuttle run that automatically sped up times and transformed training into an all-out sprint. In 2014 athletes had to slow down to move the piece.

Garard set a new record in the event with a time of 2:49.04, beating the previous record held by James Newbury, who set it in 2014 with a time of 3:31. Newbury also beat his time, finishing in 3:00, fourth in the field.

Whether Garard’s time holds up as the new record for this “repeat” event remains to be seen, but if anything we can hope for is that we will have a number of male athletes finish under 3:00.

3. Providing the “Energy”: Last year, the teams that came out of the Oceania Semifinal proved they were contenders as all three qualified teams finished in the top 11 at the 2021 Games. This year, the team division in Oceania saw some changes as the athletes from some of the best teams disbanded and formed new teams. But after Day 1, it was a veteran team that rose to the top of the leaderboard. CrossFit Urban Energy has a 12 point lead in the competitive field with a win in event 1 and a second place finish in event 2.

An uncharacteristic miscommunication coupled with a gutsy performance from the Fowler brothers of CrossFit Selwyn prevented Urban Energy from sweeping the Day 1 events. However, pairs team Johann and Katelin Van Zyl and Adam and Jay-Lee Mansy have They’ve been training exclusively as a single unit for over two years and their familiarity with each other makes them favorites despite open and quarter-final performances from Selwyn and CrossFit. EXF who are tied 3-way with CrossFit Awaside behind Urban Energy.

4. Who will the two be?: With apologies to the rest of the women’s field, Toomey has almost secured her invitation to the Games with another dominant performance, winning the first two events. We have covered how it is an injustice that the Oceania region has only three invitations to the Games considering the wealth of talent at the Games in both the men’s and women’s fields.

This year’s women’s field has a number of Games veterans and hopefuls fighting for two spots. Jamie Simmonds, fresh from shoulder surgery, is one of those athletes. He had a promising first day and showed no ill effects from his injury, posting two third-place finishes. But he only has a four-point lead over Kara Saunders, who is considered by many to be one of the few athletes who can challenge Toomey.

Not far behind those two are three of the best up-and-coming athletes with 22-year-old Georgia Pryer eight points behind Saunders in fourth place. Gemma Hauck, 23, is in fifth place, followed by 2021 Games athlete Ellie Turner (24) in sixth.

5. A kiwi makes his move: The Oceania region has long been dominated by Australians as it is the most populous country in the region. The last two seasons have seen New Zealand field some young talent looking to represent their country at the Games. Bayley Martin leads that group of young New Zealanders. The 22-year-old who trains at the same gym as his fellow CrossFit athletes Luke and Ben Fowler Selwyn.

He was impressive on Day 1, taking two top 3 finishes and is currently tied for the lead with Australian Jay Crouch on 188 points. Can the teenage athlete from the 2017 Games continue his trend with a talented field of Games veterans hot on his heels?

Get the newsletter

For a daily roundup of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Offers and more.

Leave a Comment