The first event of the 10th edition of the Dubai Fitness Championship (DFC) is in the books, or rather, the record books. Forty athletes gathered at the base of the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa, on the morning of December 2, 2022. The athletes did something that only a handful of people in the world have done before: they cross to the top floor of the building through the structure’s staircase system.
Dubai Fitness Championship 2022 Results — Event 1 | “Burj Khalifa Challenge”
- Run to the top of the Burj Khalifa (160 floors) with a weighted vest | Men: 22 pounds (10 kilograms), Women: 15 pounds (seven kilograms)
Male individual results
- Alex Kotoulas – 30:37
- Angel Ekai – 31:36
- Brian Guillaume– 32:09
- Khan Porter – 10:30 p.m
- Brent Fikowski – 32:39
- Javier Gonzalez – 33:20
- Moritz Fiebig – 33:45
- Jon Koski – 34:27
- Damián Martínez Satorres – 34:44
- Victor Hoffer – 34:44
- Vladimir Sechin – 34:53
- Michal Wesolowski – 35:17
- Reggie Phase – 35:26
- Luka Vunjak – 35:31
- Luka Đukić – 35:49
- Fabian Beneito Selles – 36:00h
- Nikita Yundov – 36:08
- Lazar Đukić – 36:28
- Simon Mäntylä – 37:34
- Giorgos Karavis – 43:30
Women’s individual results
- Jamie Simmonds – 32:10
- Aimee Cringle – 32:31
- Emily Rolfe – 32:34
- Andrea Solberg – 33:24
- Oihana Moya – 33:28
- Karin Freyova – 33:39
- Hanna Karlsson – 34:00h
- Matilda Garnes – 34:13
- Seher Kaya – 34:20
- Lena Richter – 34:46
- Valentina Magalotti – 34:49
- Aoife Burke – 34:57
- Claudia Gluck – 35:40
- Freya Moosbrugger – 37:09
- Manon Angonese – 37:19
- Maria Langfors – 37:54
- Ella Wunger – 38:21
- Tayla Howe – 38:49
- Dana Paran – 38:50
- Valentina Rangel – 39:27
Check out the results and a breakdown of the event below:
[Related: The 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship Events]
Summary of the event 1
The athletes have gathered in two buses, one for men and one for women, early in the morning in front of the athletes’ hotel. Coaches and families were not allowed to accompany the athletes. The DFC sent a small media team to capture parts of the private and exclusive event at the prestigious Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Upon arrival, the athletes left their belongings on the bus and were escorted to the event’s starting point – the bottom of the tall Burj. One by one, they were strapped into weight vests and escorted to the base of the first of 160 flights of stairs. The tension in the tunnel was palpable for some athletes, while others had a more cheerful demeanor, although this changed in the first quarter of training.
Each athlete had an individual start with a two-minute buffer between them. The men tackled the ladder first, with the lowest-ranked athlete, based on their arrival at the DFC Online Qualifier, taking the starting position. First 20th, then 19th, then 18th, and so on, two minutes apart. The women followed suit, with the lowest-ranked woman starting two minutes after the top-ranked man started.
If the training effects hadn’t occurred in the first 40 flights, then they did for almost everyone by the halfway point, another 80 flights. Many of the athletes realized they had got the wrong pitch early and had to adjust their pace for the back half of the climb.
[Related: 2022 Down Under Championship Results and Recap: CrossFit Stars Shine in Wollongong, Australia]
In some cases, athletes went the duration of the event without passing or being overtaken by a single athlete: approximately 35 minutes of isolation on the endless stairs of the Burj Khalifa. Others found themselves in small groups as they gave way or closed the two-minute or, in some cases, four-minute intervals.
Some of the athletes posted phenomenal performances. In particular, the winners of the event Alex Kotoulaswhose time of 30:37 was nearly a minute faster than any other male or female finisher, and Jamie Simmonds, whose time of 32:10 was twenty-one seconds faster than the next closest female competitor. Simmonds would have ranked fourth overall against the men.
Emerging athletes Angel Ekai (31:36) for men and Aimee Cringle (32:31) for the women, each achieved a confidence-boosting second place. Games athletes placed third in both divisions, with the 2022 Games debutant Guillaume Briant (32:09) and veteran of the Games Emily Rolfe (32:34) completing the first three positions of their respective divisions.
One of the favorites before the competition, Lazar Đukić, had a surprisingly poor finish in 18th place. More importantly, he needed medical attention after the event. He was assessed by medical staff at the top of the Burj Khalifa and cleared to continue the competition. Đukić experienced something similar after The Capitol event last summer at the 2022 CrossFit Games, but recovered well enough to continue in the competition.
Rolfe built a four-minute gap and passed Tayla Howe and Manon Angonese around floor 90. Cringle caught Moosbrugger near the midway point. Simmonds’ winning time was better than all but three of the male competitors and just one second behind Briant Guillaume.
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Up Next at the Dubai Fitness Championship 2022
Saturday, December 3, 2022 features four events, including one that has not yet been announced at the time of this article’s publication. The start time for the first event is 7:00 am EST.
The competition is streamed live on the Dubai Fitness Championship YouTube channel. Stay tuned BarBend’s results page and event coverage to stay up to date on Dubai Fitness Championship 2022 events.
Editor’s note: Additional reporting for this article by Brian Friend.
Featured Image: @alex_kotoulas and @jgreenewod on Instagram