Photo Credit: CrossFit
Enjoying the morning chalk? Access additional exclusive interviews, analysis and stories with an Rx membership.
The Far East Throwdown came to a frenetic end on June 4 as top athletes competed in the Republic of Korea. Only two tests stood between them and a trip to the NOBULL CrossFit Games. Arthur Semenov used both of them to get back to Madison, while Morteza Sedaghat secured first place for her in the Games.
Test 6: The last day started with a lively workout. Athletes had to complete 20 overhead squats (185 pounds), a 500-meter row, three standing handstand flips, two seated no-leg rope climbs, 20 chest-to-wall strict pushups, two seated legless rope climbs, three walking spins, 500-meter row, and 20 overhead squats (185 pounds).
- The first test of the day raised questions about the biggest athletes. on the field due to the obligatory handstand stunts. They had strength and power, but did they have gymnastic skills?
- The pirouettes were less important than the strict push-ups.. Most of the athletes were not interrupted in their initial walks, but had to take multiple breaks in their pushups.
- Andrei Fedotov was the man to beat during the opening test. He flew through his moves and built up a huge lead when he got back on the rower. He easily won the event with a time of 10:02.13.
- Morteza Sedaghat started the final day with his fifth top three finish from the weekend He maintained his grip on second place in the leaderboard heading into the final test.
- Sedaghat moved within striking distance of points leader Semenov, but he needed a lot of help in the final test if he wanted to win the Semifinals. The reason is that Semenov finished sixth overall and minimized the damage caused in the points standings.
Test 7: The Far East Throwdown finale was all about speed, quality of movement, and overcoming pain. Athletes had to complete three 15-calorie rounds on the Echo Bike, 20 toes-to-bar and a 60-foot (200-pound) sandbag bear hug. They also faced a six-minute time limit.
- The final test had no shortage of fireworks. Kyungsun Kang jumped out to an early lead in the first round, but fell to third during the second when Ant Haynes and Ilyas Kuliev completed synchronized toes.
- This battle between Haynes and Kuliev continued until the final round, but there was a major turning point: toes to bars. Haynes didn’t break, while Kuliev had to go down for a quick rest.
- Semenov used this as his moment to attack. He passed Kuliev and jumped to second place. He then tried to go after Haynes in the ultimate sandbag bear hug carry.
- The final push did not deliver a victory; Haynes had too big an advantage. Semenov even crossed the finish line second overall to secure victory for him in the Semifinals.
- Sedaghat crossed the finish line with the 12th fastest time in the final test, but it did not make a difference in the final classification. He had built up too much of a points lead over Haynes, so he still finished second overall by virtue of 13 points.
It is worth noting: Semenov now returns to the CrossFit Games after making his debut during the 2022 season. He finished 39th after being cut, but now he will have a chance for a stronger finish.
Sedaghat, by comparison, has never competed in Madison. He finished fifth in his first two semifinal appearances and narrowly missed a trip to the NOBULL CrossFit Games. 2023 told a different story when he won the Asian quarterfinals and finished over the cut line in the Far East Throwdown.
The bottom line: After seven tests, the last week of the Semifinals has come to an end. The best athletes from around the world have prepared for a trip to Madison. Now they can begin to prepare for a program full of training, as well as how to best adapt to changes in weather and climate.