Chris Oman

2011 CrossFit Games

CrossFit Scouting Report: Africa Edition

Contenders From the Motherland

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 a few exceptional athletes from the US, Australia, and the UK. Today, we focus on one continent: Africa. CrossFit is just starting to put down roots in African soil. There are just eight boxes on the continent and they are all clustered in one country, South Africa. With few CrossFit athletes to come by, the Africa Regional has been small (16 men and 7 women in 2010) but growing. We suspect that the 2011 Regional will have many returnees, including the fitter and better nourished 2010 winner Neil Scholtz. In this report, we expose a few African CrossFit athletes, including a strong fifteen-year-old rugby player, the Reichman brothers, a female Affiliate Cup competitor who may do well in 2014 Masters, and a Swede training out of Cape Town.

For those interested who may turn up strong and capable at the 2011 Africa Regional, make sure to watch the Fittest in Cape Town CrossFit competition this February. We sure will.

Alphues Ngwenya 

Alphues gives us a glimpse of the future of African CrossFit athletes: young, strong, and first drawn to CrossFit in order to be better on the rugby pitch. Alphues plays rugby for the Golden Lions, a provincial rugby team from Monument High School, which is among the best rugby schools in South Africa. He started CrossFit one year ago at the age of fourteen, in order to improve his tackling, rucking, and try count on the pitch. He has come away with a love for CrossFit as well. His coach, Hannes du Toit of the future Blood, Sweat and Tears CrossFit, remarks that Alphues is “very serious about his training” completing “roughly seven to ten hours of CrossFit per week.” At just fifteen years old, he shows strength and coordination in the technical lifts. He has a near bodyweight snatch and close to triple bodyweight deadlift.

Alphues’ short-term goals include receiving a rugby contract from a big rugby union like the Blue Bulls, and competing in the 2011 CrossFit Africa Regional. Eventually, he hopes to make it to the Games and compete against his heroes Rob Orlando and Dave Lipson.   

Age: 15
Height: 5’ 4.5”
Weight: 139lbs

Fran (77lbs): 3:45min
Grace (110lbs): 3:30min
Max pull ups: 31
Burpees (100): 4:56min

Deadlift (1RM): 374lbs
Back Squat (3RM): 319lbs
Clean and Jerk (1RM): 187lbs
Snatch: 132lbs

Julian Reichman-Israelsohn

Julian Reichman-Israelson is the owner and head trainer of Fitness Technologies which is home to CrossFit Platinum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Before joining CrossFit, Julian lived Glassman’s motto to “regularly learn and play new sports.” He competed in multiple sports, including martial arts and cycling, which notably require different physical skill sets.

He was a natural CrossFit covert. Julian says that he enjoys the challenge of CrossFit and that it drives him to constantly work to better his times, lifts, and rounds. He appreciates the connection to the broader CrossFit community, as he puts it, he finds it “very comforting, while training alone, that there are many others out there who are suffering just as much during the day’s WOD.”  

Julian is working to develop his skill in the Olympic and power lifts, which “take time to get comfortable with.” But fortunately, he has found that he is steadily learning technique and developing strength in the lifts.

Reichman placed fourth in the 2010 Africa Regional, just four points behind first place winner Neil Scholtz. He’s working to close the gap.

Age: 34
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 176lbs

Annie: 6:23
Barbara: 25:42
Diane: 7:52
DT: 15:40
Fran: 4:00
Linda: 21:50
Nancy: 14:45
Randy: 6:43

Deadlift: 375lbs
Back Squat: 309lbs
Bench Press: 243lbs
Clean and Jerk: 220lbs
Snatch: 154lbs
Press: 176lbs

2010 Africa Regional: 4th

Craig Reichman-Israelsohn

Craig Reichman is still new to CrossFit with just eight months of experience. He joined his brother Julian at CrossFit Platinum in Johannesburg, South Africa and has since then been making the switch from bodybuilding to functional fitness. He has yet to compete at the Africa Regional, but he’s hoping to make a strong showing this coming year. Craig is very active and described by his brother as “extremely competitive” in the cycling arena and motorsport. Craig is working on the Olympic lifting and trying to improve his flexibility coming out of the bodybuilding. Craig eats extremely clean, keeping quite close to the Zone principles.

Age: 40
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 182.6 lbs

Barbara: 27:47
Diane: 6:47
DT: 13:30 (132lbs)
Fran: 6:04
Helen: 10:07
Jackie: 8:51
Linda: 22:40
Randy: 6:56

Deadlift: 397lbs
Back Squat: 309lbs
Bench Press: 265lbs
Press: 176lbs
Clean and Jerk: 198lbs
Snatch 110lbs

Christian Oman

Chris Oman is a Swede training out of Cape Town, South Africa. He runs a blog detailing his training in relation to his life and thoughts. Although still new to the scene, with just over a year of CrossFit behind him, he’s done quite well in competition. He recently competed against some of the top European athletes at the Swedish SM CrossFit Challenge and placed a respectable 18th out of 68 male competitors.

Making his living as a professional poker player, Oman lives by the “no regrets” mentality. It’ll be interesting to see if he comes out for the Africa Regional this year.

Age: 30

Fran: 3:52
Angie: 17:46
Annie: 6:40
Barbara: 22:00
Cindy: 22 rounds
Diane: 5:41
Elizabeth: 10:55
Grace: 2:55
Helen: 8:58
Isabel: 6:01
Linda at 176lbs: 20:46

FGB: 293
400m run: 1:05
5k run: 21:30

Deadlift: 434.5lbs
Back Squat: 334lbs
Clean and Jerk: 231lbs
Snatch: 165lbs
Shoulder Press: 176lbs

2010 Swedish SM CrossFit Challenge: 18th

Norma Weeber

Norma Weeber comes out of CrossFit Rebel in Johannesburg, South Africa. Raised just west of Kalahari Desert in Namibia, Norma casually played sports as a child and always enjoyed running and hiking outdoors. She lived as a housewife for twelve years in order to raise her two sons, age twelve and thirteen. Two years ago she was going through a rough time in her life when a friend suggested that she do the CrossFit Bootcamp Challenge. She has been CrossFitting ever since. In July, Norma came to Carson California to compete in the Affiliate Cup alongside CrossFit Rebel. In just three years Norma will qualify for Masters competition, and may be a strong Masters contender at the 2014 Africa Regional.

Age: 42
Height: 5' 4.5"
Weight: 125lbs

Cindy: 24 rounds
Max pull ups in 1min: 30
500m row: 1:59
400m sprint: 1:17

Deadlift: 275lbs
Squat: 165lbs

Affiliate Cup, CrossFit Rebel SA: 67th place

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3 comments on this entry

1. Rosalind wrote...

I'm not sure why the article says that it's concentrating on the "whole continent" of Africa when every single athlete profiled is South African. That's just 1 country out of 47 on the continent.

2. Megan wrote...


The article is on CrossFit athletes and affiliates in Africa. As it says in the beginning of this scouting report, it happens to be the case that all of the affiliates in the continent are clustered in the same country: South Africa. As soon as affiliates and athletes start appearing in the other 47 countries you mentioned they will surely have the same chance to be profiled.

The main point is that one country currently represents the CrossFit presence for the continent.

On another note, way to go to those CrossFitters above!

3. Lauren G. wrote...

Guess I'll just have to show what's going on at the opposite (top) side of the continent. Hope South Africa doesn't mind some competition coming from Tunisia!


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