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With valuable ranking points for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on the line, B-boy Amir of Kazakhstan and b-girl 671 of the People’s Republic of China arrived at the WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series in Japan with one goal in mind: victory.
Neither disappointed, emerging from a pool of 180 Breakers from 48 countries to win gold in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,000 at the Kitakyushu Convention and Visitors Association in Kokura, Kitakyushu City.
Amir navigated his way out of a precarious pre-selection round on Friday that saw Olympic hopefuls Phil Wizard (Canada), Dany (France), Kid Karam (Great Britain), and Wigor (Poland) all fail to reach the knockout stage.
He then overcame legendary Dutch b-boy Menno in the quarterfinals before edging crowd-favourite Shigekix (Japan) 5-4 in the deciding set of the semis to book a gold-medal showdown against b-boy Jeffro of the United States.
Amir made quick work of eventual runner-up Jeffro, dominating the first two sets 8-1 and 7-2 to earn his rightful place at the top of the medals podium.
Asked what the secret to his golden performance was, the 25-year-old Kazakhstani said simply: “Make art. Be yourself.”
Shigekix, fresh off an All-Japan Breaking title earlier in the week, had to settle for bronze after defeating Ukraine’s Kuzya in the battle for third.
The top three b-girls from the WDSF World Rankings also finished on the podium in Kitakyushu, with No. 1-seed India of the Netherlands defeating b-girl Ami of Japan in the final and Italy’s b-girl Anti claiming bronze.
It was no cakewalk for teenager 671, who needed to dig deep in the final set to overcome a spirited performance from Ami. The judges gave the first round to Ami 6-3 before 671 found another gear to win the last two frames 7-2, 5-4.
“After the final I feel tired,” 671 told Olympics.com. “This was the first battle of the year so I’m really happy.
“We take a lot of time to prepare for the battles. I think b-Boys and b-Girls are always confident.
“The Olympics is my dream. I hope I can stand on the Olympic stage. Of course, I want to win a medal.”
In total, 99 b-boys representing 44 countries made the trek to Japan for the World Series along with 81 b-girls from 38 countries.
“It was really successful, more than what I expected and it’s because of all the support from the Breaking community,” said Head Judge KATSU ONE. “Thank you all for coming to Japan.”
Chairperson and Head of the WDSF Breaking Division b-boy Bojin, said: “This was one of the best WDSF Breaking events so far, and we will continue putting in this effort for all Breakers, to bring it back to the community.”
The next BfG World Series event is scheduled for 14-15 April in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For all upcoming competitions, check out the Paris 2024 qualification calendar, with a detailed explanation of the qualification process here.
Relive all the action from the final day of the WDSF Breaking for Gold World Series in Kitakyushu via the Olympic Channel.
Bojin (Chinese Taipei)
KATSU ONE (Japan)
Octopus (Republic of Korea)
Rush (New Zealand)
Aya (Chinese Taipei)
Mar Ski (Japan)
Japan DanceSport Federation