Two of Europe’s promising young athletes are leaving the picturesque island of Mallorca donning a crown. A final day consisting of a sprint through turns and a chipper in C23 finished off a four day event on the island.
Heading into the final day it was all to play for on the female side with five points separating first and second. The male crown was pretty much in the bag for Matius Kocar who held an 11 point lead over Andrei Petku with two events remaining.
Anyone who thought Kocar might rest his foot on the clutch and coast onto the throne was immediately put back in their box when he accelerated to maximum points in the sprint event ahead of Rafael Candeias, his twin brother Rodrigo and Petku and Amatto Mazzoccas followed after. Spectators who had any doubts about Kocar’s willingness to hurt when he had already won were further shushed and gestured to sit back down when he dominated from start to finish in an out and back chipper with remarkable consistency to take another event win in the finale.
The female leaderboard was more congested. Veronika Voriskova did what she needed to do in the sprint, taking the win and keeping the others at arms length heading into the final. Chiara finished second with Maria and Ema rounding out the runners.
Back in C23 for the final event and, again, Veronika did what she needed to do. She won the event, beating Maria Jose Vargas in second with Ema Gálová coming third and Chiara Silva in fourth.
The leaderboards settled with Matus Kocar walking away with the crown with 87 points, ahead of Andrei Petku on 71, Amato Mazzoccas and Rafael Candeias tied on 59 points and Rodrigo Candeias finishing 5th on 29.
Veronika Voriskova won the female crown with 81 points ahead of Maria Jose Vargas on 72, Ema Gálová on 70 and Chiara Silva on 62.
John Singleton, founder and programmer of The Crown summed up his feelings on the weekend saying he was “super happy with the event, it was a big risk to do something different and get the athletes over here. Nobody had experience of it and they hadn’t seen an event like this before. One of the advantages is I had been running multiple camps every year for Games athletes, Semi Finals athletes and teen camps and that really helped to bring this all together. Very happy we managed to integrate everyone from media to judges here.”
As is always the case with events of any nature, they’re never the finished article and there is usually room for improvement, The Crown is no exception “because the event came together so quickly there are things we want to do differently. I would like to have athletes qualify as well as get invites. We saw the athletes get on well and build friendships here and that’s what we’re hoping to build, longevity in the sport,” Singleton explained. “ I’m keen to see where we can go with this,” he added.
The weekend had the potential to hold many highlights for John and the crew with swimming, sprinting, using the local topography and amenities and opening the doors of C23, one moment stood out for John as shining a CrossFit shade of light on the week. “On the sandbag event Chiara came in with a bit of a knee injury and she walked the finish. The other athletes had been finished 15 minutes or so and could have left but they just decided, all of them, to go over and walk the final 250m or so with her just talking and getting her through it” he said, doesn’t get much more CrossFit than that.
The Crown was designed to showcase the talent on offer in the teen division while offering an opportunity to these athletes to experience a professional and competitive environment. It was remarkable watching the athletes throw weight overhead for reps that a few years ago would have been considered heavy at regionals, further evidence – if it was needed – that the sport is developing at a rapid rate, something John is keen to observe over time “the Mal and Emma boom has opened everyone’s eyes to the possibilities of athletes who have done this sport since they were young and this weekend is no exception, showing the depth of the sport. A lot of these teens have been doing it since they were 8 years old and you can tell in the way they move. It’s generally accepted that you’re not going to become a professional golfer or soccer player if you start at 18-20 years old and I do wonder if we’ll see that more in CrossFit or if moving from other sports will still lead to success.”
The sun has set on Mallorca and the Crown for 2023 with Matus Kocar and Veronika Voriskova donning the crowns and walking away with a year’s kit out with Nike to go with their head décor and bragging rights.
The Crown will return in 2024.