24 Young breakers earn tickets to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at WDSF World Youth Breaking Championships in Japan.
Shigeyuki Nakara, also and very likely better known as B-Boy Shigekix, and Ramu Kawai, aka B-Girl Ram, both from Japan, were crowned Champions of the first ever WDSF World Youth Breaking Championships held on 20 May 2018 in Kawasaki, Japan. A total of 86 breakers from 34 countries had entered and competed over ten hours to identify the champions.
The two dancers were supported by an enthusiastic home crowd of more than 2,000 at the Culttz, the brand new multipurpose venue for culture and sport in Kawasaki. Organised by the Japanese DanceSport Federation (JDSF), a member of World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the inaugural championship served as the final qualifier for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will run from 6-18 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
With the gold medal around his neck, a watch in one hand and a crystal trophy in the other, World B-Boy Champion Shigekix commented on his victory: “I have never danced 19 rounds in one single day, I am dead tired. But I am also very happy. Not just because I won, also because of the special circumstances of this championship. I have made many new friends from all around the word. That was really incredible!”
World B-Girl Champion Ram was so overwhelmed by her win that it took her minutes before she was able to put it into words. When she finally did, it was a simple “Domo arigato!” directed at everybody around her.
B-Boy Bumblebee from Russia was the runner-up behind Shigekix while Axel from Poland finished third. The second-place in the B-Girl event went to Matina from Russia, Yell from the Republic of Korea was third.
WDSF President Lukas Hinder said he was delighted with the quality and spirit of the event. “This event confirms that the IOC has made an excellent choice by adding the urban dance style to the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (BAYOG),” said Hinder. “It’s the perfect fit for the BAYOG that aspire to showcase top-level competition in innovative and youth-focused formats alongside with art and culture. DanceSport is capable to wrap them all into one!”
Yasuhiro Nakamori, the Director of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s Sports Department, predicts a promising future for WDSF: “I am convinced that the breakers will be the focus of attention in Buenos Aires. Their dance is young and dynamic; it brings something new and different to the Olympic stage. Who knows where it goes from there? I am optimistic.”
For Shigekix, Ram and a few other b-boys and b-girls with top results in Kawasaki, a dream has come true as they have qualified for the YOG, where they will have a chance to win the first Olympic medals in DanceSport history.
In total, 12 b-boys and 12 b-girls qualified, with only one b-boy and b-girl per country being eligible. Argentina, as host of the YOG, had two places allocated, provided that minimum standards were met in Kawasaki. As per another IOC requirement in the qualification system for the YOG, the 24 athletes have to represent all continents between them. That turned out to be the lucky ticket for B-Boy Jordan from South Africa.
B-Boy Crazy Legs is one of the founding fathers of this culture, art and sport called breaking. Attending the World Championships as what he is, a living legend of Rock Steady Crew fame, he participated in the workshop that preceded the competition.
After taking a good look at everything in Kawasaki, he pronounced himself on Olympic breaking and the future of the dance.
B-Boy Katsu was chiefly responsible that the inaugural edition of the WDSF World Youth Breaking Championships will go down in history as an unqualified success.
Born, raised and still living in Kawasaki, he brought the event to his home town and that is from where he bids farewell to everyone ...Win or lose!
We say "domo arigato" to Katsu and look forward to come back to his city of dance.
The men's final pit one Japanese b-boy against one Russian b-boy. Shigekix kept the upper hand over Bumblebee in all four rounds and claimed the second gold medal of this first ever WDSF World Youth Breaking Championship. Congratulations!
But don't count Bumblebee out for Buenos Aires. Tired as he was after battling almost twent rounds today, he already starts planning the training for the next few weeks. Just like Marina, he wants to be ready for the next battle with his rival of today.
Here are the 12 b-boys who have qualified for the YOG. Here are the 12 b-boys who have qualified for the YOG. Because all continents need to be represented in the contingent, B-Boy Jordan from South Africa qualified over another b-boy who placed considerably higher in the final standing.
In the B-Girl final it was a 4:0 decision in favour of Ram that swept the capacity crowd of about 2,000 pspectators off their seats and had them cheering their hearts out at the Culttz. Even the runner-up, B-Girl Matina, was happy with the outcome. She vouched to step up her training between now and the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and to be ready for the next battle for gold.
The official results will be available from both website (worlddancesport.org and breakingforgold.com) shortly. Here are the 12 b-girls who have qualified for the YOG. Now it is up to their National Olympic Committees to sanction the participation.
And here is the bracket for the B-Boy Final that will conclude this 2018 WDSF World Youth Breaking in Kawasaki, JPN.
Here we can honestly say that B-Boy Bumblebee facing off with B-Boy Shigekix in the battle for gold was the prediction of nearly all the experts.
Where uncertainty starts to come in is in the outcome. We did talk to Bumblebee just moments ago, asking him about being intimitated by Shigekix. "Fear, definitely not! But I respect Shigekix a lot. We are friends. This we'll be the first time we battle each other. And I am ready!" Good answer, Bumblebee!
With just minutes to go until the final in the B-Girl event starts, here is the bracket again. Are there many surprises? Hard to tell, both B-Girl Ram and B-Girl Matina were considered to make out the first place between them.
With the two Korean b-girls battling it out between them, and with the winner Yell having to go up against B-Girl Ram, who maintains her perfect record in terms of rounds won, the possibility of a repeat Ram vs Yell as in the Taipei City final.
In the quarterfinal of the B-Girl event the situation is different in as far as two countries, Japan and Korea - the powerhouse nations, are represented by two athletes. Only the one ending up in the higher rank will get - if the National Olympic Committee (NOC) approves - her ticket to Buenos Aires, ARG.
Four b-girls know that they have it made (once more: only if the NOC sanctions the participation): Senorita Carlota (FRA), Lexy (ITA), Matina (RUS) and Connie (USA)!
That leaves six b-girls, who've already dropped after the Round Robin, with their chances intact to battle at the YOG. Figure out who they are!