10 Women to Watch During the 2023 CrossFit Open – Oceania

January 31, 2023

The CrossFit Open begins on 16th February 2023, and signifies the start of this CrossFit season. The 3 week test, which is open to all athletes around the world, forms as the first qualifying stage for elite athletes to pave their way to the 2023 CrossFit Games.

Two big announcements will shake up the Oceania region, firstly the change in how many qualifying spots will be up for grabs during the Semi Finals. And secondly, 6 times Fittest Women on Earth, Tia-Clair Toomey, has announced she is pregnant and will not be competing this year, which opens up the top podium spot.

Here is who we think you should keep an eye on this season.

1. Kara Saunders

As the most experienced athlete in the women’s field, Kara will be looking to take Tia’s place as the top female athlete out of Australia. Finishing 7th at both the 2022 CrossFit Games and Rogue Invitational, Kara is well on the way to another podium finish.

2. Ellie Turner

Training out of CrossFit Fort Vancouver with 2 times Fittest Man on Earth and boyfriend, Justin Medeiros, Ellie will be looking to take her training to the next level. Last year she moved from Deka Comp to Fort Vancouver prior to the Torian Pro. Ellie will be heading into the 2023 season with close to 12 months under the close eye of Adam Neiffer, and will be looking to break into the top 10 at the CrossFit Games.

3. Jamie Simmonds

A shoulder injury stopped Jamie from competing the 2021 CrossFit Season, last year she missed out on qualifying to the games in both the Torian Pro (5th place) and Last Chance Qualifier (5th place). Jamie will be looking to make her way back to the floor this year to make it her 6th Games appearance.

4. Maddie Sturt

Maddie was 4 points short of qualifying for the 2022 CrossFit Games, behind Ellie Turner who took her place. A very consistent athlete who has been on display during the offseason, dominating the Down Under Championship, and taking 1st place by a decent margin.

5. Bailey Rogers

Bailey made a huge statement in event 1 of the 2022 Rogue Invitational, finishing 2nd behind Danielle Brandon and beating a huge list of Games athletes. She was only 45 points off qualifying for the Games last year in a stacked field at the Torian Pro.

6. Katelin Van Zyl

Not unfamiliar to the CrossFit Games, Katelin and her team, CrossFit Urban Energy were strong favourites out of Oceania to do well. This year, going individual, we will get to see how she does solo on the competition floor. Sitting 13th at Wodapalooza in Miami, if she can stay consistent throughout competition, she will be in contention.

7. Grace Walton

Grace has been dominating the offseason competitions out of WA. Taking 1st at Chasing Better Throwdown beating Gemma Hauck, and stealing the top podium position off Maddie Sturt during the RFX Summer Showdown. New to the sport, Grace still finished 15th at Torian Pro last year and will likely be vying for a podium position in 2023. Barbell Spin recently wrote an article on Grace, read it here.

8. Gemma Hauck

Also new to the sport of CrossFit, Australian Army Veteran Gemma will be hungry to improve on her 8th place Torian Pro finish last year. Training with 3rd Fittest Man on Earth, Ricky Garard and brother, Benny Garard, out of Benton Gym in NSW, Gemma will be a force to come up against.

9. Georgia Pryer

Another upcoming athlete, and a name you’ll likely hear in future years. Georgia was 2nd in the Down Under Championship Online Qualifier, and finished 5th overall in the live competition. Training closely with Jake Douglas, we’re keen to see what Georgia can do this year.

10. Christee Hollard

Christee was at the 2022 CrossFit Games with team CrossFit EXF, finishing in 15th place. Training closely with powerhouse Royce Dunne, Christee could make some moves if she goes individual. She has consistently been a top athlete out of Australia, finishing 5th in 2022, 5th in 2021 and 6th in 2020 in the Open for Oceania.

Register for the 2023 CrossFit Open https://open.crossfit.com/

2023 Event Competition List https://cfdownunder.com.au/

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