The Africa Regional has come a long way since 2009, when it was held outside on a grass field. In 2014, it was held at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We had a pretty small rig ... even smaller than the warm-up rig we have this year,” said Africa Regional Director Jobst Olschewski. “In (2009), we had to basically provide all of the equipment locally and bring it over to the venue.”
Three-time regional competitor Jason Smith had the same sentiments.
“It’s just grown massive, it’s just exploded, and it’s going to get bigger and bigger,” he said.
Indeed CrossFit boxes are slowly opening up all over Africa in countries such as Namibia and Egypt, and many were represented at the regional.
During the event, unaffiliated Celestie Engelbrecht proved she’s come a long way after falling short in 2013 with a fourth-place finish at the Africa Regional.
“I knew Nicole (Seymour) was going to be my biggest competition now,” Seymour said after Day 1. “I think the rest of the weekend it will be her and I battling.”
Indeed it was. The two athletes took turns taking top scores and ended the weekend just 1 point apart.
On the men’s side, Smith had Day 1 locked up, but 36th on Event 5 sent him down the Leaderboard.
Newcomer Quinton Z Van Rooyen, of CrossFit PLUS264 in Namibia, where there are only two boxes in the entire country, swept in to take the top spot.
Video by Mike Koslap.
Additional reading: Minarets and Muscle-Ups by Bryan Anderson, published Jan. 23, 2014.