07 Oct 2018 21:41Photos: Owen Hammond for WDSF
We couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere for Breaking’s Olympic debut today at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Under cloudless, sunny skies and with a massive, enthusiastic crowd cheering them on, our 24 b-boys and b-girls brought their A game and then some in the 1vs1 preliminaries.
“They brought a very high level today,” head judge DJ Renegade said of the athletes. “These were not kids battling, they were young adult level, maybe even higher.”
B-girls Vicky (NED) and Ram (JPN) are now in the history books as the first breakers to appear on an Olympic stage, and they did not disappoint. With an appreciative audience spurring them on, the two went toe to toe over four rounds with B-girl Ram – the heavy favourite after finishing first in the final YOG qualifiers – eventually winning the battle 2-0.
The breakers then took things to the next level as DJs Fleg and Lean Rock provided the beats and MCs Mario Bee and Percha amped up the crowd. Making it through to tomorrow’s quarterfinals with the ultimate goal of reaching the medal podium are Ram, Matina (RUS), Yell (KOR), Senorita Carlota (FRA), Emma (CAN), Ivy (CYP), Lexy (ITA), and Vicky.
While Vale (ARG), Anastasia (LAT), Csepke (HUN), and Ella (AUS) did not make the cut, they will be back on 10 October for the 2vs2 mixed-gender preliminary battles.
Shigekix (JPN), the top-ranked b-boy heading into the competition, topped the b-boy rankings after the prelims, followed by Martin (FRA), Bumblebee (RUS), Bad Matty (ITA), Axel (POL), D-Matt (CAN), Broly (ARG), and X-Rain (CHN).
Reflow (BEL), Jordan (RSA), KennyG (TPE) and B4 (VIE) will be back for the 2vs2 battles on Wednesday.
The only thing as impressive as the breakers on the day was the crowd, which filled the venue and stretched back into the Urban Park for as far as the eye could see.
“I’m amazed by the response of the people,” said fellow head judge Storm. “For most of them – even the local breakers – this was the first time to experience such an atmosphere. It’s a knowledgeable crowd, too, because they are music and dance lovers, so they weren’t just looking for tricks. They understand what style is about.”
The Round Robin prelims were designed to give each b-girl and b-boy the opportunity to take part in three battles each. Judging the battles were AT (FIN), Crazy Legs (USA), Mounir (FRA), Moy (USA) and Narumi (JPN).
The quarterfinals are set for 8 October starting at 15:05 Buenos Aires time. All the action will be broadcast live on www.breakingforgold.com and www.olympicchannel.com.
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