MANX athlete Erin Callister’s prospects of competing at this year’s CrossFit World Games received a boost with a solid debut performance at the European championships at the weekend.
The 24-year-old from Kirk Michael held her own at the London Throwdown to rank 59th out of the top 100 female athletes from as far afield as France, Italy and Iceland.
‘It was ace, I just want to go back and do it all again!’ said Miss Callister.
‘My shoulders are a bit achey, but it has definitely spurred me on to get better, having seen the standard.’
CrossFit, currently being considered for Olympic inclusion, comprises a mixture of events covering Olympic weight lifting, power lifting, gymnastics and endurance such as running, rowing and swimming, earning it the nickname ‘the sport of fitness’.
Erin earned her spot for the two-day event at Brunel University Sports Institute after scoring highly enough in three qualifying workouts to rank as one of the top 100 entrants.
Before the event she was concerned that her slim build, though being an advantage in gymnastic challenges, would count against her in the heavy lifting events.
In the end she surpassed her expectations, managing three overhead squats with a 45kg bar, a weight that she had only ever completed one repetition with.
Her best performances saw her rank 44th in the one kilometre row, 33rd in the gymnastic pull ups, and 32nd in the shuttle sprints.
‘I was definitely one of the lightest there, but it was reassuring to know I’m improving,’ said Erin. ‘I only just qualified inside the top 100, and then improved in the space of a month to come in 59th.’
Her mother and sister waved the Manx flag as part of the big crowd, and her fiancé and fellow CrossFit athlete Dan Bonett was coaching her from the sides.
Erin and Dan opened up their own CrossFit gym in Braddan in September last year, and it is only since then that she has been able to properly train for this kind of competition.
Qualifiers for the World Open taking place in March, from which the top 60 males and females in Europe will go on to regional finals in Denmark to compete for a place to take on the rest of the world.
Dan is hoping to recover from a shoulder injury in time for himself and Erin to enter the competition together.
Having rubbed shoulders with seasoned athletes this weekend in London, how does Erin rate her chances come March?
‘Watching some of the top girls, they just don’t stop,’ she said. ‘They don’t rest, they just keep going. But it’s definitely given me a lot more confidence that I can compete.’