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The historic Sydney Town Hall in Australia set the scene for the inauguration of the Oceania Championship Breaking this past weekend. Thirty-seven B-Boys and fifteen B-Girls from the Oceania continent competed with their eyes on the coveted prize - a direct entry to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The audience, a diverse mix of devoted Breaking enthusiasts and newcomers to Breaking, shared an exhilarating experience as they came together for the very first Oceania continental championship. The excitement extended beyond the historic Sydney Town Hall as the event was broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel, providing a global audience with the opportunity to witness the inspiring performances of the athletes.
After two days of intense battles, the winners emerged. Standing proudly on the podium were top Australian breakers in both B-Boy and B-Girl categories.
B-Boy J-Attack secured the gold medal, while B-Boy Benmx claimed the silver, and B-Boy Kid Tek earned the bronze.
B-Girl Raygun won the gold medal, while B-Girl Molly took the silver medal, and B-Girl Hannah secured the bronze. They were joined by the presenters of the medals, Mr. Tony Tilenni, WDSF 1st Vice-President, Mr. Matthew Allen, Vice-President of the Australian Olympic Committee, and Lowe Napalan from AUSBreaking, organizer of the championship.
For B-Girl Raygun and B-Boy J-Attack, the victory was doubly sweet, as their gold medal performances granted them direct access to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, a testament to their extraordinary Breaking skills. Additionally, three B-Boys and three B-Girls qualified for the Olympic Qualifier Series in Budapest and Shanghai in 2024.
An emotional moment as the winner of the Oceania Championship in the B-Boy category was announced.
“[Breaking] has ignited the youth worldwide and has now firmly established itself as an Olympic DanceSport discipline. It’s particularly auspicious as this year marks the official 50th anniversary of Hip Hop Culture,” declared Mr. Tony Tilenni, WDSF 1st Vice-President and Vice-President of Finance, in his opening speech.
“It’s heartening to see so many youth involved and inspired by Breaking, particularly as it is so accessible and attractive as a sport with multi-faceted artistic and cultural elements. Importantly, I am delighted to see that so many B-Boys and B-Girls demonstrate the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” expressed Shawn Tay, President of WDSF.
A panel of international judges, Chairperson, MCs and DJs at the Oceania Championship Breaking.
Following the championship, a training camp was conducted for the athletes at the historic Bondi pavilion at the Bondi iconic Sydney Bondi Beach. It covered a wide array of topics, including musicality, technique, and vocabulary, and was expertly led by Max from Portugal and Katsu from Japan. The camp also featured a talk on safeguarding by WDSF Safeguarding Officer Isabelle Tay, underscoring the significance of ensuring the well-being and safety of DanceSport athletes.
B-Boys and B-Girls working hard on the physical training component during the “Body, Mind, Soul” workshop by Max of Portugal. All photos are courtesy of Photography.JNY.
The Championship and training camp were organized by AUSBreaking, in collaboration with DanceSport Australia and the WDSF, and strongly supported by the Australian Olympic Committee. The Oceania Championship Breaking was crucially supported by the Olympic Solidary, which provided funds for the Championship, training camp, and travel expenses for the winner of the B-Boy category. Replays of this historic Championship can be found on the Olympic Channel here or on the Olympics app.
The next championship in line leading up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is the Pan-American Games, set to take place in Santiago, Chile in the coming week. This edition of the Games is highly-anticipated, particularly as it will be the last event providing direct qualification to the Olympic Games for its winners.