How Tia-Clair took on the world at CrossFit Games
GLADSTONE'S Tia-Clair Toomey is arguably the second-fittest woman on earth.
In just her third year as a crossfit athlete and her first appearance at the CrossFit Games in Carson, California, the 22-year-old CrossFit Gladstone owner and coach, finished second behind Iceland's Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir.
Capping off Toomey's meteoric rise was the Rookie of the Year award presented to her at the completion of the Games, a fitting reward for an athlete who beat a field of more fancied competitors.
Over four gruelling days of competition, Toomey proved that consistency is the key to success, finishing a meagre 50 points behind first place, in a Games many fans and athletes are ranking as one of the toughest in history.
Toomey finished eight of the 13 events inside the top 10.
Her best performance was in Event 7 (a sprint course), where she placed third, and her worst performance came in Event 5 (Heavy DT), where she finished 31st.
Event 5 was one of many surprises revealed by CrossFit Games director Dave Castro.
The DT WOD (created in honour of USAF Sgt Timothy Davis who was killed in action in 2008) consists of five rounds for time of 12 deadlifts, nine hang power cleans and six push jerks per round, all at 50kg.
However, crossfit fans and athletes were given the chance to vote on the event with an overwhelming majority selecting a 'heavy' version of DT (performed with 65kg on the bar) over a 'double DT'.
The live vote on the day of the event was a Games first.
Castro's first surprise announcement was Event 1 - a WOD that forced athletes to draw on skills outside the traditional wheelhouse of most crossfitters.
The event consisted of a 500m swim, followed by a 3km paddle board leg and another 500m swim.
Toomey finished the event in fourth place thus setting the tone for her future success.
The other significant challenge appeared in Event 12 with athletes required to climb a vertical wall by inserting pegs into holes on the wall.
The event proved to be taxing with athletes forced to scale the wall 'hand over hand' with no place to secure a foothold.
Only three female athletes finished the required three ascents and no one finished the event, which also consisted of a 24-calorie row, 16-calorie stationary bike ride and dumbbell snatches inside the six-minute time cap.
Toomey finished in fourth.
The gruelling Murph WOD, a 1.6km run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another 1.6km run, also made an appearance.
Like DT, Murph is another crossfit Hero WOD, this time honouring Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy.
The American soldier often wore combat armour during workouts.
Female athletes at the games wore 6kg weight vests.
Toomey finished last year's Australia/New Zealand Regional Qualifier in 18th.
This year she finished third which earned her Games qualification.