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Ultimate test for quartet

American dream comes true for CrossFit athletes off to games

A team of CrossFit athletes from Port Elizabeth’s CrossFit Valley Road will see their dream become a reality when they step into the arena at the Reebok CrossFit Games in the United States.
Tasquane Hufkie, 32, Dean Shaw, 30, Sara Rudiger, 25, and Jaco van der Vyfer 28, will put their CrossFit experience to the ultimate test when they participate in the games for the first time as a team.
To be held in Madison, Wisconsin, from August 1-5, the games will feature the best CrossFit individuals and teams from across the globe as they battle to be crowned the fittest on earth.
Speaking about their qualification, Van der Vyfer said: “I don’t think the feeling has set in yet, it’s a surreal feeling to have a dream come true.
“I think it will feel a bit more real once we actually get there.”
Their journey started back in February, when they competed in “The Open”, the largest online sporting event featuring almost a half million athletes from across the world.
To qualify for the regional event, they had to complete an unknown workout, released once a week, before submitting it for online scrutiny and judging. The Open was contested over five weeks.
After completing all five workouts, the quartet secured their spot at the regional event held in Madrid, Spain, earlier this month.
The team competed in six events over three days, with each event worth a maximum of 100 points.
In the six events at the regionals, the quartet finished first, third, fourth (twice), ninth and 12th, which secured them a third place and a spot at the Games.
“We were very confident going into the final day, sitting in second place, only two points off first,” Van der Vyfer said.
“We were very happy to have finished in the top three as it bears testament to the hard work we put in.”
Team member Shaw said he was excited about qualifying for the games, adding they had never put too much expectation on themselves.
“As soon as we understood our competitors, we had the belief that we could pull this off,” he said.
Shaw said all the events came with their own set of challenges and that it was possible to have a game plan for some, but not for others.
“For three of the events, a device called a worm was used, which made it a bit difficult to plan for as we do not have one of those at our gym.
“We managed to tie together two boxing bags, just to try to mimic how it would feel on our bodies.
“While it helped with our communication, it did not do much in helping us plan for the specific events.”
Van der Vyfer said the time, effort and dedication shown by the team over the past year had shone through during the competition.
“People do not realise the amount of work which goes in,” he said.

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