CrossFit Champs and a Returning Strongman Ruled the Rogue Invitational

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Photo credit: Rogue Fitness - YouTube
Photo credit: Rogue Fitness - YouTube

The Rogue Invitational offered some of the top athletes in strength sports an opportunity for one last shot at high-level competition for 2021, which could have given some upstart up-and-comers or wily veterans another chance to grab some championship hardware after their respective sports (CrossFit and strongman) already held their major championships earlier this year. Instead, the winners atop the podium at the end of the weekend were all familiar faces, and for the CrossFit competition, a repeat of the top finishers from the 2021 Games. Champions reigned at the Invitational—and for everyone else, there's always next year.

Justin Medeiros finished on top in the Men's CrossFit division with a strong performance across the board in all seven events. He won one event outright, and placed in the top three finishers in all but one other, a fifth place finish in the Duel, a medley of double-unders, squat snatches, and sandbag loads in which the competitors were placed in heats. Pat Vellner finished second, winning two of the events, and Jeffrey Adler rounded out the top three. Medeiros has cemented his position as the man to beat in the sport with this win and his victory in the first CrossFit Games without five-time winner Mat Fraser earlier this year.

Tia-Clair Toomey took home the hardware on the women's side, continuing her run of dominance. This is her third straight Rogue Invitational win on top of her five-year run as the Fittest Woman on Earth. While she won two of the seven events and finished in the top three in three others, she was pushed to the brink by second place finisher (and two-time former Games winner) Annie Thorisdottir, who was leading going into the final day of competition. Rounding out the top three was Gabriela Migala.

The strongman competition didn't end with another victory by this year's World's Strongest Man champion Tom Stoltman—but the winner, Martins Licis, is no stranger to the number one place on a podium. The 2019 World's Strongest Man took a long road back to the top after sitting out every major competition for nearly two years after a series of injuries. Licis was a top-three finisher in each of the five events, winning the final event, the Stones Over Hitching Post, to hold off eventual second-place finisher Stoltman. Oleksii Novikov, who won the 2020 WSM title, finished third.

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