FITNESS ace Harry Thompson faces a further battle to win one of the three remaining places in the biggest event in his sport.

The 29-year-old Slaughter and May lawyer participated in the Washington DC Elite15 Major hyrox competition at the weekend, but an 11th-place finish was not good enough to qualify for the world championships in France.

Thompson, who became a world champion in his age group last year but has now set his sights on the overall title, will now need to bid to qualify for Nice in June via events in Cologne, Germany on April 13 or Anaheim, California, USA on May 19.

Hyrox is an intense fitness race, combining eight 1km runs with workouts like ski erg, sled pull, rowing, sandbag lunges and wall balls, and is increasingly growing in popularity all over the world.

And Thompson, who has a sporting background in rugby union, excels at it.

The hyrox world champion in the 25-29 age group delivered one of the best global times of 2023 in winning both the Barcelona and London events late last year.

Then at Manchester’s annual event in January, he raced with Australia’s top hyrox male athlete and eighth-in-the-world last year, James Kelly, in a men’s pro doubles pair and broke the existing world record by over two minutes.

They finished second behind Hunter McIntyre, the current reigning three-times men’s world champion and world record holder, and Northwich’s Michael Sandbach, who was 10th in the world last year.

Thompson, who was a rugby junior at Wilmslow Wolves before spells with Macclesfield, Barnes, Burnage and Sons of Lazarus Sevens, lives in Wilmslow and is a former student at The Ryleys in Alderley Edge and Manchester Grammar School.

He has worked hard on developing himself in hyrox, while also building a strong team around him.

“Hyrox is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world,” said Thompson.

“It is a sport designed to be both accessible to everyone and test all areas of fitness for even elite athletes.

“I like hyrox because of the accessibility and because it combines several different disciplines to create an all-body challenge.

“This variety makes it a really enjoyable event to both train for and compete at because it tests a wide variety of fitness disciplines from strength to cardiovascular endurance and mental resilience, and so any training plan must address all those areas to be successful.”