Kosta Ilic Underground King Goes International - The Asia CrossFit Championship

As the sun set on the last day at the Asia CrossFit Championship, we take a look back and recap the superb performance of Flex Athlete Kosta Ilic after conquering all 6 events.

In a field rich with talent, including giants such as Brent Fikowski and none other than Rich Froning (in the team event), the Asia CrossFit Champs is no joke. It has seen the best athletes from the Asia Pacific Region and abroad throw down in China’s second biggest city Shanghai, to see who can secure their ticket to the mythical CrossFit Games.

Only the top place finisher at a CrossFit sanctioned event wins their ticket to the games, so the competition is fierce. After completing a grueling online qualifier Perth native and previous Crossfit Regionals athlete Kosta Ilic was ready to slay some giants as he flew to China to take on the best.

Day 1

Event 1

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 15

4 Rounds:

  • Run 400m
  • 10 Sandbag Cleans (150/100lb)
  • Time Cap:15min

In Event 1 Kosta completed the workout in a scorching time of only 11:54 which put him in 5th place. His time was hot on the heels of the lead, with event winner Brent Fikowski only 29 seconds ahead of him!

On the Air runner he looked calm and composed, and methodically worked through the rounds to finish with a top position heading into event 2.

Event 2

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 9

"Heavy Karen"

For Time:

  • 150 WallBalls (30/20#)

Time Cap:

  • Guys 8 min cap
  • Girls 9 min cap

In event 2 Kosta took on one of the most mentally challenging workouts there is; Karen. If you have ever done Karen it is notorious amongst the CrossFit community, with 150 wall balls as fast as possible. As if that wasn’t hard enough the male athletes had to do a heavy version with a 30lb ball, a full 10lb heavier than the usual 20lb ball!

Kosta took this event in his stride however finishing in a sickeningly fast 7:49! This event saw him come 9th, which kept him at the top end of the leaderboard at the end of day 1.

Day 2

Event 3

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 35

Concept 2 Triathlon:

  • 6,000m Bike Erg
  • 4,000m Row
  • 2,000m Ski Erg
  • Time CAP: 35min.

In event 3 Kosta would take his highest place yet, finishing event 3 in only 32:39 which gave him 4th place in the event! If you have ever done a 2k row time trial, you know it is a miserable affair. So to complete 6k on a bike erg, 4k on a row erg and then another 2k on a ski erg is something else entirely.

To give you an idea of how fast this is; to get through this workout in only 32:39 you would have to hold an average of around:

  • 6000m Bike at 1:45/1km pace
  • 4000m Row at 1:45/500m pace
  • 2000m Ski at 1:45/500m pace

Non-stop for almost 33 min! To build up that kind of cardiovascular ability takes years of dedicated training. A large amount of the field didn’t even manage to finish this event.

Event 4

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 15

3 Rounds:

  • 7 Thrusters (165/115#)
  • 15 Muscle Ups
  • 10 Power Snatch (165/115#)

Anyone that has done CrossFit will tell you Thrusters are everything that is wrong with the world. They’re heavy, gassy and hard, but in event 4 athletes had to do a triplet with heavy thrusters (165/115lb), ring muscle ups and power snatches! Kosta finished this workout in 14:12 which kept him right in the thick of race for the podium.

Some highlights of the event were another Australian athlete, Zeke Grove finishing it in only 11min! However CrossFit competitions look at an athletes ability over all areas and Kosta still sat above athletes like Zeke, due to his dominant performance in the first 3 events.

Day 3

Event 5

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 10

  • 2 Legless Rope Climb (15')
  • Handstand Walk (10m)
  • Sprint Back to Rope
  • 2 Legless Rope Climb (15')
  • Handstand Walk (20m)
  • Sprint Back to Rope
  • 2 Legless Rope Climb (15')
  • Handstand Walk (30m)
  • Sprint Back to Rope
  • 2 Legless Rope Climb (15')
  • Handstand Walk (40m)

Event 5 was a curveball. One of the major areas covered by Crossfit is gymnastics and event 5 was all gymnastics. The event fatigued athletes shoulders with two 15’ legless rope climbs using only their arms to haul themselves up the rope. They then had to follow this with a handstand walk, which is hard enough on fresh shoulders. This was repeated 4 times with the handstand walk increasing from 10,20,30 and finally 40m!

This was Kosta’s less favored event with his lowest finish of 34th in 9:27. He would have to finish solid in the last event to retain his top 10 finish and he rose to the challenge.

Event 6

Scoring: For Time: Fastest is Better | Time Cap: 5

  • 50/30 Cal Air Bike
  • Double DB Overhead Walking Lunge (60/40#)

The last event for the competition was short and sweet. The athletes had only 5min to complete a 50 calorie Air Bike followed immediately by a double dumbbell overhead walking lunge. Shorter events may seem easier, but the shorter the duration of the event the higher the intensity.

The major factor here was overhead shoulder strength while lunging. Once the athletes completed the calories they had to pick up the two dumbbells extend them directly overhead and lunge with them across the stadium floor to the finish. Most of the athletes couldn’t accomplish the walk in 10 min but Kosta did in a solid time of 4:06 which put him in 16th for the event.

As the dust settles on the first ever CrossFit Championships held in China, we can see the favorites won their respective fields with; Fikowski earning the male spot, Kristin Holte winning the female spot and CrossFit Mayhem winning the team spot. Kosta ended up placing an overall position of 9th.

In talking about the event, he said it was “Time to rezone in and attack some massive weaknesses”. We look forward to seeing what Kosta brings to the table the next time he steps into the Colosseum of the competition floor under those bright lights.


Category: News & Events

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