Two weeks ago CrossFit announced the first two competition region exemptions for the 2023 CrossFit Games season. Roman Khrennikov and Antonio Barrias both received an exemption per Section 1.09 of the 2023 CrossFit Games rulebook. And now, two more athletes will be able to compete in a different Semifinal than where they would based on their citizenship.
Conor McEleny and Carlos Albaladejo have been granted an exemption to compete in the Oceania and Asia region, respectively.
McEleny was slated to compete out of the European Semifinal, but will not compete at the Torian Pro, should he qualify for Semifinals. McEleny finished 108th in the 2021 Oceania Quarterfinals and followed up with a 64th place finish in Quarterfinals this past season.
As for Albaladejo, he has competed at the Granite Games Semifinals the past two seasons where he finished 23rd in 2021 and 28th in 2022. He’s also been to five Regional competitions dating back to 2013 and has competed out of the European, Atlantic and Pacific Regionals over that span.
Albaladejo was born in New Jersey in 1988 but moved to South Korea three years later when his father was stationed there with the U.S. military. Albaladejo returned to the United States to attend the University of South Florida and then entered the U.S. military. He later returned to South Korea and opened an affiliate, CrossFit Marvel, in 2016. And that is where he currently lives and trains so with the exemption Carlos will not have to travel back to the United States as he did in previous years.
Based on Albaladejo’s performances in the past (he was 1st in the Asia region during the 2018 CrossFit Open), there is a high probability that we see him near the top of the Far East Throwdown Semifinal this spring.