09 Oct 2018 13:00Photos: Owen Hammond for WDSF
Russian B-boy Sergei Chernyshev, aka Bumblebee, and Japanese b-girl Ramu Kawai, aka Ram, today became the first ever Youth Olympic Games champions in Breaking.
The teenage breakers wowed the large and vocal crowd with spirited performances in the finals, with Bumblebee outlasting b-boy Martin (FRA) and Ram defeating Emma (CAN).
In the bronze-medal battles, B-boy Shigekix (JPN) beat Axel (POL) while B-girl Yell (KOR) overcame Matina (RUS).
B-boy Bumblebee impressed the judges and spectators alike with his athletic skills, creativity and musicality. After the victory, he said the fact that he was an Olympic champion had not quite sunk in. “I don’t really understand the result,” he said. “Not now. Maybe tomorrow. All I can say is that I did this for my father, for my family, my friends, for Russia. I’m happy, but I still don’t understand it.”
Bumblebee had placed second at the 2018 WDSF World Youth Breaking Championship in Kawasaki, which was the final qualifier for the YOG, in May.
B-girl Ram, who also won the 2018 WDSF World Youth Breaking Championship, never wavered throughout the day, showing a perseverance and stamina that belied her young age.
“I’m just happy when I’m dancing - it’s a happy thing,” Ram, 17, said after defeating Emma, 18, in the final “It gives you joy, when the crowd is feeling the music, and you are feeling the music. There’s nothing better.”
Emma, clearly pleased with her silver medal, agreed: “There’s a bit of smack talk during the battles, but away from competition it’s all love,” she said. “I think that makes breaking unique. We genuinely are like family. I’m so happy right now.”
When the first ever Youth Olympic Games champions in Breaking were finally announced, you could have heard a pin drop such was the tension among the athletes and the crowds. The judges got off their seats to pay respect to the breakers, who embraced each other in a true show of Olympic spirit.
Also making it to the b-boy quarterfinals were Bad Matty (ITA), D-Matt (CAN), Broly (ARG), and X-Rain (CHN). On the b-girl side, Senorita Carlota (FRA), Ivy (CYP), Lexy (ITA), and Vicky (NL) rounded out the Top 8. Click here for the full results.
The breakers now have a day to recharge their batteries. On 10 October, all 24 b-boys and b-girls at these Games, including those who didn’t reach the knock-out stage, will be back for the 2vs2 mixed-gender preliminary battles, which will be broadcast live on www.breakingforgold.com and the Olympic Channel. The knock-out stage for the 2vs2 mixed-gender event will take place on 11 October.
The third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, where Breaking and DanceSport are celebrating their Olympic debut, is taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 6 to 18 October 2018. At the YOG, a number of big names from the Breaking scene, including Crazy Legs, Renegade and Storm, are supporting the running of the competitions, including the judging. In the run-up to the YOG, the same experts also helped define the qualifying system, which led to the first ever online qualification process in Olympic history, open to any b-boy or b-girl across the globe.