After twice falling short, third was the lucky charm for Jamie Greene at the Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, last weekend.
The Abu Dhabi-based athlete clinched third in the overall women’s standings, finishing 220 points behind winner Tia-Clair Toomey and just 25 points behind second-placed Kristin Holte.
Greene, who trains at CrossFit Yas in the UAE capital, made her debut in the team’s division in 2016, finishing third, before placing eighth and 11th as an individual in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
But the Dunedin native, who has been living in the Emirates since 2014, looked a class apart of her rivals over the four-day event last weekend, notching third in the First Cut, fourth in the Sprint Couplet, third in Mary, fourth in Split Triplet, fourth in Swim Paddle and second in The Standard.
Speaking to Sport360 after returning to the Emirates earlier in the week, Greene said: “It definitely felt different to other years. You get back home, you rest for a little and then you’re back to square one again because you realise what you want and need to work on.
“I had a lot of weaknesses to work on, smaller things like the mental game, pushing through when you do get tired, changing your training so you can handle the volume when it comes to competition time.”
With twelve gruelling events taking place over four days at the Alliant Energy Center, recovering both mentally and physically comes down to fine margins, especially if the athletes are to get the best out of their vast talents in each workout.
“You have to manage your energy. Everyone feels like that, you can have a bit more energy if you spend a bit of downtime between events resting,” said Greene. “And being smart about how you use your energy, whether that’s cutting down time on social media, talking to people or walking around doing stuff you don’t need to do.
“You know what you’re there for so if you can focus on that then you have much more energy for your events.”
Gymnastics has always been a key strength for Greene since an early age, but other workouts from a strength element require some extra work. With so many different workouts and routines to practice and manage, it’s important to cover all bases effectively in advance of competition.
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“We go through different blocks throughout the year. I do basic strength work for a while. I just get the body used to a lot of volume. You build up volume throughout the year and then when it gets to competition time you break it down as if it was an event,” she said.
“You hit each workout like it’s competition intensity. That’s the big difference instead of just cruising throughout the workout.”
Knowing she can now shine against the best in the world, Greene’s podium spot is sure to provide additional firepower to her training over the next few months as she attempts to replicate another strong display at the CrossFit Games in 2020.
“You need to take note of the little things,” she said. “The importance of recovery so you can hit every workout harder. Going into training with a purpose, know what to achieve in that position instead of just going through the motions. I’ll need to increase the running and strength blocks and hopefully to come back next year.”
Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser successfully defended their Reebok CrossFit Games titles in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
Toomey dominated the women’s field to seal her third successive title, while Fraser fought back after surrendering the leader’s jersey on Friday to lift his fourth crown.
Here, we look at the key talking points from the final day of action.
TIA AN ALL-TIME GREAT
The Queensland native is the first woman to win three CrossFit Games championships.
Like four-time winner Rich Froning, she has never finished lower than second overall and looked utterly dominant since securing victory in the first event on Thursday morning.
In fact, the 26-year-old finished outside the top-four in just two of the 12 events this weekend, one of which had 75 athletes and another event that only lasted 95 seconds.
She ripped through massive sets, kept the pace all the way through to triumph in the First Cut, Split Triplet, Clean, Swim Paddle and The Standard events.
Toomey has taken significant leaps forward to how she operated in previous years, but in addition, it’s been scary to watch her superiority over rivals in Madison all week.
It’s not her physical game, but her mental game that impressed, and on a weekend where she was faced with a lot of unknowns, she handled herself with a lot of composure and the ferocity she brought to the competition was nothing short of sensational.
With four championship wins, we’ve yet to see the ceiling with her. There is more to come for this messiah.
The American pushed at a pace he’s never gone before in order to stay ahead of overnight leader Noah Ohlsen and lift a fourth crown.
Trailing by 15 points heading into the final day, the 29-year-old backed up a solid swim with second in Ringer 1 and then winning both the Ringer 2 and The Standard workouts.
He’s so durable, and apart from early setbacks in the Ruck and Sprint Couplet, he wiped the floor clean when it came to sessions in the coliseum, winning three of the five events there.
A phenomenal return.
One may argue against this, but this is the most impressive triumph of his four titles to date. With Ohlsen ahead until Sunday afternoon, and the pressure building, Fraser earned this trophy more than his previous successes back in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
His victory in Madison is a testament to him as an athlete, a competitor and a general person. He held himself together with great calmness and barreled through the reps with conviction.
Depending on its current size, they’ll need a bigger trophy cabinet at his training base in Cookeville as he is also a team-mate of four-time champion Toomey.
If Fraser can continue this sparkling form, he looks difficult to stop any time soon.
PROUD FINISH FOR OHLSEN
A first podium for the Miami man.
It’s easy to get down on him having the leader’s jersey on Sunday morning and then dropping back in the final two events but he still produced a phenomenal weekend.
He wasn’t able to keep up with Fraser on the Ringer workouts, clinching 4th and 5th in comparison to the champion’s 2nd and 1st.
The final event, in particular, was immense to watch as he traded places back and forth with Fraser in the clean and jerks, muscle ups and snatches.
It was an outstanding display, nevertheless, and Ohlsen has nothing to be disappointed about when he leaves Madison to return to his base in Florida later this week.
He needs to set his schedule now for the year ahead and come back hungrier and sharper in 2020. Grabbing that white leader’s jersey should be a key target for the popular 28-year-old next year.
What can we say about Jame Greene. An impeccable result for the Abu Dhabi resident.
The Kiwi-born athlete wheeled away in celebration as she crossed the finish line to seal second in The Standard and clinch a first-ever podium finish at the Games.
With Katrin Davidsdottir breathing down her neck ahead of the final event, Greene needed to produce something majestic, and her performance on the muscle ups was a joy to watch.
The 28-year-old, who trains out of CrossFit Yas in the UAE capital, placed eighth back in the 2017 Games and was a model of consistency all week in Wisconsin.
Among her standout displays from the competition were finishing third in the First Cut and Mary, second in the Standard, as well as a host of other fourth-place finishes.
It caps off a memorable week for Greene who hummed with perfection at the Alliant Energy Center.
Dubai-based race team GPX Racing has won the world-famous 24 Hours of Spa, held in Belgium.
The young team from the Middle East, supported by Porsche, competed in the 71stedition of the world-famous race with a squad of three of its best works drivers – who are all world title winners.
Managed by Pierre-Brice Mena, the Dubai-based motorsport team wasn’t considered a hot favourite going into the event, but they proved doubters wrong, racing home to claim overall victory as the United Arab Emirates national anthem rang out around the race circuit.
With only a few months’ experience in the Blancpain GT Series and with the 911 GT3 R to take on the fight to match the benchmark set by competitor teams in the championship, racing drivers – Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Richard Lietz – fought at the front of the field from start-to-finish and gave Porsche its first victory in the Ardennes classic since 2010.
GPX Racing laid down a marker right from the practice session of the world’s biggest endurance race for Grand Touring cars. The combined efforts of its three drivers put the #20 Porsche among the top 20 cars – out of 72 entries – into the Superpole shoot-out. Driver, Estre, clinched 11thplace on the grid and then set the fastest time in night practice, which gave the team a huge motivational boost.
As the rain began to batter the race circuit Kévin began to carve his way up to the front of the pack. The French driver picked off his rivals one by one and finished his first stint in the lead. The #20 machine continued to battle it out with the other top teams, but the squad was handed a penalty during a pit stop. Luckily, it managed to pull back the time lost, in particular by taking advantage of a neutralisation to carry out the obligatory 5-minute technical stop.
In the early morning the race was interrupted by a red flag due to torrential rain, when battle resumed for the last five hours of the race, GPX Racing was well placed to take part in the final sprint to the chequered flag without any mistakes. The drivers’ speed, motivation to bring home victory to the UAE, and the pertinence of the strategic decisions paid off and at 16:30 the Porsche – adorned in the famous Gulf Motorsport colours – crossed the finishing line to win the race.
Pierre-Brice Mena, Team Principal for GPX Racing said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. A month ago we didn’t even know if we would be competing in this race. When we turned up at the 24 Hours of Spa with such a strong driver line-up we knew we could do a good job – but there were so many parameters. We made a great start to the race and then we had a drive-through. Above all, we had to avoid falling a lap behind.”
Mean continued: “We fought our way back among the few teams capable of winning in the final hours. When you have such an opportunity to go for victory you have to grasp it with both hands and not be content with second place. We were never able to relax with the traffic and the battle right to the end with the other victory contenders and the incredibly challenging track conditions. But we finished with not one technical issue. A big thanks to Porsche, to the team and to all our partners for this extraordinary moment.”