ROMAN KHRENNIKOV LED the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games at times during the four-day event—but an injury sustained on the final day of competition put not only his championship hopes in question, but his ability to finish the last stages at all.
According to the Morning Chalk Up, Khrennikov was spotted in a wheelchair with his left foot wrapped up just after competing in Test 10, Muscle Up Logs. After being seen by medical personnel, Khrennikov continued to compete through the two remaining tests to finish the Games. The Russian-born athlete, who now competes out of Rich Froning’s CrossFit Mayhem gym for the U.S., finished the Games in third place after reportedly breaking his left foot in the tenth test.
The test following the injury, the Parallel Bar Pull, required athletes to complete eight rounds of 30 double-unders with a heavy jump rope, followed by a series of sled pulls. Khrennikov shocked the audience by undertaking the test on one foot. Though he didn’t finish within the 15 minute time limit, the crowd that chanted his name. The final test, Echo Thruster Final, required participants to undergo a series of calorie burnouts on an Echo bike, thrusters, and 66 feet of walking lunges. Khrennikov was only able to bike.
“I can do things on one leg, and I’ll continue doing them on one leg. Everything for you guys,” Khrennikov said, according to Morning Chalk Up.
Despite coming in last in the final tests, according to BarBend, Khrennikov finished third overall with 801 points. He finished just behind Canada’s Jeffrey Adler (953 points) and Patrick Vellner (837 points).
This is only Khrennikov’s second year competing in person at the sport’s highest level. In his debut in-person performance at the 2022 Games, he finished second, cementing him as one of this year’s favorites to win it all.
Though he may not have taken the title of Fittest on Earth, Khrennikov’s “fight to the end” is an accomplishment in itself. “I want to be a hero for my son and have him see me fight to the end,” the athlete said via interpreter on the competition floor after Test 11.
Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT is an Associate Health & Fitness Editor at Men’s Health and a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. You can find more of her work in HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and others.