Today we catch up with 2011 1A World Champion Marcus Koh, from Singapore, for our first interview here on YoYoNews. Thanks for joining us, Marcus!
YoYoNews: You’ve been working towards being the World’s #1 for several years, and you even mentioned on Facebook before your trip to Orlando that you were chasing your dreams, how does it feel to actually be the World Champion?
Marcus Koh: Yep! It feels great to be the World champion! I think the best thing about chasing my dreams was about the amount of time and effort I spent for something I love, about falling and getting back up after making mistakes. These things make my yo-yo journey a whole lot meaningful and worth it. Nothing beats putting in effort and achieving success in the end. The feeling is… amazing.
YN: At Worlds, you had a couple of yo-yo changes on stage, when that kind of thing happens, what goes through you head? Do you fear you are ruining your chances or do you concentrate on finishing your routine?
MK: Honestly, I was in a state of shock and panic at that moment of time. Everything had to go wrong as those are mistakes that I have never made before during practice. However, the very words which came from my best yo-yo friend Lim Aik Hwee echoed through my head. Those were the words he said to me before I left for worlds. They were “Remember, it’s not the end if you switch yo-yos. You can still win with yo-yo switches. Just do not give up.” From that point onwards, I recollected myself, tried to remain as calm as possible and concentrated on finishing my routine.
YN: The 1A competition in Singapore seems to be quite fierce these days, with you, Christopher Chia and Darrell Mitchell all among the best in the world. How does it feel to compete at such high level even in local contests?
MK: I think it feels pressurizing but yet it feels good at the same time. That is because we are constantly being pushed to the limits and try to outdo each other at each yo-yo gathering / contests. As a result, this leads to more creativity and improvements from us each day.
YN: What gives you motivation to win? Is it personal drive? Friends, rivals, family?
MK: It was my childhood dream to be the world champion. Since I was 10, I was amazed by a cartoon TV series called “Super Yo-yo” and I have been working my way up ever since. My family and friends were the ones who were always there for me and they always motivate me to strive harder. So I would say the motivations were my personal drive, friends and family.
YN: Both you and Takuto practice hard together even on the contest days. How much collaboration goes between you and other players?
MK: I think there was not much collaboration/interaction before my freestyle as I was busy training for the finals. I do wish that I have had interacted more on a closer level with yo-yo players around the world. However I had to set my priorities right and select 1 thing or the other, I selected training to reach for my dreams. So after the awards, I tried my best interacting and learning from as much people as I can.
YN: Tell us about “Kill Everybody”, what’s the story behind your mass-murdering motto? 🙂
MK: To be honest, there is no story behind the motto “Kill everybody” as it does not suit me in real life. So it is only my stage presence. That and I found out that dub-step music really suits my style and this genre of music is something new for yo-yoing as a whole
YN: What’s your day like?
MK: My days are waking up early in the morning for school and maybe hang out with my friends after school. Then I will play with my yo-yo for a while when I reach home. That’s pretty much what a normal day is like for me.
Before the world yo-yo competition, my days were to wake up for school and when school ended I would rush back home straight to train for my world’s freestyle . I had to sacrifice going out with friends, social gatherings, etc. in the process. But it was all worth it in the end.
YN: Any special breakfast secret for a super bendy body for your behind-the-back tricks?
MK: Ahaha nope, Just lots and lots of practice.
YN: What’s next for Marcus Koh? More world titles? Do you feel a bigger pressure now that you carry the title of World Champion?
MK: What’s next? It shall be the same as it will always be. Me inspiring people and people inspiring me. I see myself getting to meet more different and amazing yo-yo players around the world, exchanging tricks, being amazed. Just like how every yo-yo player have experienced when he/she attends a yo-yo event/competition.
About feeling pressured. Not really, as I am sure the future generations in the yo-yo scene will soon take over me one day, and that’s a good thing! The new players in the yo-yoing scene are improving fast. It’s just a matter of time!
More world titles? Haha I can’t come up with a solid answer for now. I’ll see about that.
YN: Thanks for the interview, Marcus. Any special parting messages?
MK: Less hate, more Love. Happy Yo-yoing everyone.
Marcus will be attending the Russian National Yo-yo Contest in December, be sure to catch up and say hi!