And with the conclusion of the CrossFit French Throwdown (CFT), the inaugural year of Sanctionals are over. This afternoon in Paris, France, Josh Miller earned his invite to the CrossFit Games in dramatic fashion.
Miller held a 22-point advantage over Games veteran Mitchel Stevenson heading into the final event, Event 9. Normally a point gap that large would be hard to overcome, but with only 10 athletes advancing to the final event, the scoring table was revised.
Like any other event, 1st place was worth 100 points. But instead of 94 points for 2nd place, the final event awarded 84 points and 3rd place was only 68 points. That meant if Stevenson beat Miller by just two places, Stevenson would be heading to Madison while Miller would be going home.
Event 9 was also an event that set a CrossFit competition record. The CFT’s final event featured the heaviest dumbbell in competition. For the men it was 60kg, or 132lb!
Stevenson, needing an event win and some help, did his part by making the gigantic dumbbells look easy. Stevenson crossed the finish line in 3:49 and would have to wait an excruciating 22 seconds to find out if someone would finish ahead of Miller.
In a battle for 2nd place was Miller and Jonne Koski. Koski, who had tape on his elbow, was slow on his 8th and final rep allowing Miller to slide to the finish mat just one second faster than Koski. The 2nd place finish meant Miller was going to the Games.
Watch the final event below (video starts at the beginning of the event):
Miller capped a weekend with two event wins and a consistent performance among some of the best in the sport, Willy George and Koski. Miller finished in 3rd place overall, but with Koski and Georges already qualified for the Games, the invite goes to Miller.
For Stevenson, it is the second time in three years that he has narrowly missed out on qualifying for the CrossFit Games. In 2017, Stevenson was beat out by George Sanchez on the final event of the West Regional and missed out by just four points. Last year, Stevenson got redemption by finishing 5th at the West Regional, one spot ahead of Sanchez.
1. Jonne Koski* (770)
2. Willy Georges* (766)
3. Josh Miller (760)
4. Mitchel Stevenson (754)
5. Elliot Simmonds* (646)
* Already qualified for the Games
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