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B-girl Ayumi (JPN) and b-boy Victor (USA) were crowned World Champions on 4 December at the 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship in Paris.
The two overcame a pool of 204 Breakers from over 50 countries in 1vs1 battles that took place throughout the day at the sold-out Théâtre du Châtelet in the heart of the French capital.
Ayumi went head-to-head against compatriot and defending World Champion Ami in the first final of the evening, coming from behind to take the title 3 rounds to 1. B-girl Jilou (GER) finished third by outlasting a spirited Anti (ITA) in the bronze-medal battle.
It was an all North American final on the b-boy side, with Vicious Victor exhibiting great power moves as well as stamina in all four rounds to beat Canada’s Phil Wizard 3-1. The Impressive rise of Kazakhstan’s Amir also continued in Paris, the 24-year-old member of the Predatorz crew taking home bronze with a victory over Luan San (BRA).
Rounding out the Top 8 were b-girls Kastet (FDSARR), Madmax (BEL), Sunny (USA) and Paulina (POL), and b-boys Danny Dan (FRA), Gun (FDSARR), Xak (ESP) and Mini Joe (VEN).
“Congratulations to all the Breakers who competed this weekend in Paris for providing such inspiration and enjoyment, especially the medal winners, who were a step ahead of the rest,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “The fact that the finals were a sell-out is proof of the huge appetite for Breaking globally and it bodes extremely well for our debut at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in three years.”
The 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship doubled as a qualifying event for next year’s The World Games 2022, scheduled for 7-17 July in Birmingham, USA.
In total, 91 b-girls and 113 b-boys took part in the Championship, including 2018 Youth Olympic Games alumni Shigekix (JPN), X-Rain (CHN), Emma (CAN) and Señorita Carlota (FRA).
A stellar line-up of judges included Skim (KOR), Kujo (USA), Valentine (FRA), Fastfoot (FDSARR), Bojin (TPE), Kim (CHN), Storm (GER), Dora (HUN), Fox (CYP), and Extremo (ESP). Renegade (GBR) filled the head judge duties, while Katsu One (JPN) was the chairperson.
MC Amjad and MC Maleek shared the mic, with DJs Nobunaga and One-Up manning the turntables.
The event was organised by the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) and the French Dance Federation (FFDanse) in partnership with the Agence Nationale du Sport, the Ile-de-France region and the city of Paris.
Back to the Future
The location of the World Championship was highly significant because it was on the Place du Châtelet, in front of the theatre, where French b-boys and b-girls first practiced Breaking after importing the art form from the United States in the 1980s.
Breaking was officially added to the sports programme for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in December 2020. The Breaking competition will comprise two events at Paris 2024 – one for men and one for women – where 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls will go face to face in solo battles on the Place de la Concorde.
Photo credits: © Little Shao