Omry Peled

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

CrossFit Scouting Report: Middle East, South Korea, and Japan Edition

The Heat from the (Middle-)East

With the 2011 CrossFit Games season only a few months away, preparation for the Games is heating up. If there is anything we have learned from years past, it’s that previously low-profile athletes will come out of nowhere to challenge CrossFit’s elite.

Last week we covered lesser-known athletes from Australia and New Zealand; a region that is known for CrossFit might, churning out top Games athletes including “Commando Steve” Willis, Chad Mackay, Tamaryn Venter, and others. Today, we expose a few athletes from parts of the world where CrossFit has only recently gained hold: the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. With a strong showing at the Asia Regionals, these athletes may make it to the 2011 CrossFit Games. The heat from the (Middle-) East features a female Marine based in Japan with a Jackie time that is five seconds faster than Kristan Clever's, a couple "dark horses" from South Korea, and a few guys based in Israel and UAE who are working to build a civilian CrossFit presence in the Middle East.

Omry Peled and Zack Finer

Omry Peled and Zack Finer train at CrossFit Herzliya in central Israel. CrossFit Herzliya is the only box in the country and it opened its doors just one year ago. Omry, the owner of the box, is proud of building a CrossFit presence in Israel “from scratch” using the CrossFit Journal and the mainsite for professional support. Omry and Zack intend to push for the CrossFit Games, and are training hard to make a strong showing at the 2011 Asia Regionals.

Omry grew up on a mix of gymnastics, martial arts, and later combat training. After five years of following mainstream fitness training (spinning, kickboxing, and pilates) he felt something was missing and happened across CrossFit on the internet. He came to the US to for a CrossFit certification seminar, and has since been coaching himself and others.

Age: 33
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 182lbs

Fran: 4:00
Annie: 5:15
Cindy: 23 rounds
Diane: 5:20
FGB: 345
Angie:17:54

5k run: 20:10 min
5k row: 19min
400m run: 65 sec
Max pull-ups (butterfly): 60reps

Deadlift: 374lbs
Back squat: 286lbs
Shoulder press: 154lbs
Clean and Jerk: 185lbs
Snatch:154lbs

Zack is a twenty two year old American transplanted in Israel. He discovered CrossFit three years ago and trained at CrossFit Seattle before moving to Israel to finish his schooling. He now is a trainer at CrossFit Herzliya. Finer comes from a background of competitive ski racing, a sport that developed in him a craving for pushing his own body. 

Age: 22
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 167lbs

Fran: 3:52
Angie: 11:45
Annie: 6:10
Barbara: 18:22
Chelsea: 30
Cindy: 19+ 5 pull, 10 push, 10 squat
Diane: 4:14
Helen: 9:01

Deadlift: 355lbs
Squat: 275lbs
Press: 142lbs

Craig Harriman

Craig is a Brit living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Harriman trains at CrossFit Fahrenheit, a box aptly named in a country where the temperature soars over 90 degrees Fahrenheit for six months of the year. Just like CrossFit Herzliya, CrossFit Farenheit is the only CrossFit box in the country. Together, the two boxes represent CrossFit to the entire civilian population of the Middle East.
        Harriman has been casually involved in sports and local fitness competitions. Craig has played local community rugby and been actively weightlifting for years before joining CrossFit two years ago. He is now training to make a run for the Asia Regionals.

Age: 21
Weight: 198lbs

Fran: 2:42
Helen: 8:41
5k run: 22:00

Dead: 529lbs
Squat: 363lbs
Clean and Jerk: 275lbs
Snatch: 176lbs
Press: 165lbs

Donghwan Kim and Yousik Kim

Donghwan Kim and Yousik Kim are a couple of strong athletes emerging from CrossFit SAP in Seoul, South Korea. Although CrossFit is new to South Korea, by all accounts it appears that CrossFit has been thriving in South Korean soil. Affiliates in Asia suspect that South Korea will likely produce several “dark horses” for the 2011 Asia Regional. We have yet to hear the full story from CrossFit Hankook, the other affiliate in Korea, but Donghwan and Yousik are the owner’s favorites at CrossFit SAP.

Donghwan Kim
Age: 23
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 174lbs

Fran: 3:01
Cindy: 25 rounds
Deadlift: 440lbs
Back squat: 341lbs
Clean and Jerk: 220lbs
Snatch 165lbs           
Press: 176lbs

Yousik Kim
Age: 28
Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: 187lbs

Fran: 3:31
Isabel: 3:25

Deadlift: 473lbs
Backsquat: 418lbs
Clean and Jerk: 275lbs
Snatch: 231lbs
Press: 187lbs

Christen Wagner

Christen is a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan. She began training using the CrossFit method just eight months ago, but she has already shown strength and skill in complex movements including the snatch. Her benchmark stats are impressive, including a Jackie time five seconds faster than 2010 champ Kristan Clever’s. James Light, her trainer at CrossFit Asia, describes her as their “true standout” and he is excited for the CrossFit community to see what she can do in 2011.

Age: 24
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 140lbs

Jackie: 7:08
Cindy: 22 rounds
Angie: 17:16
Nancy: 12:36
Helen: 9:26
Grace: 3:08

FGB: 319
5k run: 20:23
400m run: 1:09
500m row: 1:43

Deadlift: 260lbs
Back squat: 295lbs
Clean and Jerk: 155lbs
Snatch: 125lbs
Shoulder press: 110lbs

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6 comments on this entry

1. Stan Wojahowitz wrote...

would be nice to know what's going on with sectionals

2. Jamie@CFA wrote...

Had a chance to train with Yousik this weekend... the kid is an up and comer and definitely someone to watch in this region!! Solid performer and as humble as can be..Keep smiling Yousik!

3. Shirley BZ wrote...

I've started training at Omri Peled's box (Crossfit Herzlyia) ~ 6 months ago. Omri managed to turm me from couch potato to a crossfiter at heart... not an easy task (thousands have tried before him :-)
Omri and Zack are one of a kind: professionals, inspiring and great motivators. Go Crossfit Herzelyia !

4. John Britton wrote...

I would agree with Jamie. Yousik isn't particularly big at 5'6, but he's a beast.

5. murry zborowski wrote...

I have just started training at Crossfit Herzliyah and at age 55 I am mazed at the results. Quiet competent and unyielding in his drive Omry makes sure we all get our doses of fitness,
The results are far greater than our expectations.
Wether they go to the games or not these gusy are winners and embody the best of Crossfit .

6. Ilya Igolnikov wrote...

Does anyone know what region the middle east is part of? Or for that matter, if competitors have a choice of which region they can attend? Thinking of competing in the open sectionals, but not sure if I can afford the plane ticket to Japan. And I'd rather compare times with the stiffer competition in Europe anyway. Any thoughts? My google-fu isn't great, can someone point me in the direction of a region separating map or set of rules?

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