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 Bad Matty from Italy 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 and for B-Boy Jericho from Australia.