First written in 2012, updated with titles up to 2017.
We have no new World Champions in 2017! Every winner this year had won the World Title previously! In 1A, Shion Araya repeated his solid performance from last year to become only the second 1A player in history to win two titles back to back. Shu Takada won his third consecutive title, including the 2015 AP division title with Shaqler. Hajime Miura remains undisputed in 3A, winning his fourth straight title! Rei Iwakura proves hard work pays off, winning his sixth title! 5A saw the return of 2009 World Champion Takuma Inoue, winning his second title after eight years! AP also saw the return of past champions, with the Swiss duo InMotion! (Ivo Studer and Jan Schmutz) also winning their second title.
Some considerations before we give you the goods: we’ve only considered the “modern era” World YoYo Contest, held since 1992. There was one true World YoYo Contest before it, but it wasn’t a freestyle contest. Its winner was mister Harvey Lowe, in 1932. Between 1995 and 1997, the “Pro-Am” division was considered, and counted as 2A for this article’s purpose, as all winners in that division were expected to play with two looping yo-yos.
So without further ado, these are all the multiple time winners of the World YoYo Contest by number of titles.
Multiple Winners of the World YoYo Contest
|Shinji Saito||Japan||13||2A, Combined||2A: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015
Combined: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
|Takeshi Matsuura||Japan||7||5A||2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016|
|Rei Iwakura||Japan||6||4A, AP||4A: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017
|Daisuke Shimada||Japan||4||X, 3A||X: 2002
3A: 2003, 2004, 2005
|Hiroyuki Suzuki||Japan||4||1A||2004, 2005, 2006, 2012|
|Yu Kawada||Japan||4||1A, AP||1A: 2000
AP: 2006, 2013 (with Spination), 2014 (with Spination)
|Hajime Miura||Japan||4||3A||2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|Shu Takada||Japan||4||2A, AP||2A: 2012, 2016, 2017
AP: 2015 (with Shaqler)
|Bill de Boisblanc||USA||3||2A||1994, 1995, 1997|
|Takahiko Hasegawa||Japan||3||AP||2002, 2005, 2011|
|Hank Freeman||USA||3||3A||2011, 2012, 2013|
|Takuma Yamamoto||Japan||3||2A||2008, 2013, 2014|
|Tomiyuki Watanabe||Japan||3||AP||2004, 2013 (with Spination), 2014 (with Spination)|
|John Ando||Japan||3||1A, AP||1A: 2008
AP: 2010 (with Shaqler), 2015 (with Shaqler)
|Tomonari Ishiguro||Japan||2||1A, AP||1A: 2001
|Yuuki Spencer||USA||2||1A||2002, 2007|
|Eiji Okuyama||Japan||2||4A||2003, 2007|
|Tsubasa Onishi||Japan||2||4A||2004, 2010|
|Naoto Okada||Japan||2||4A||2009, 2011|
|Atsushi Yamada||Japan||2||AP||2010 (with Shaqler), 2015 (with Shaqler)|
|Takeshi Maruyama||Japan||2||AP||2010 (with Shaqler), 2015 (with Shaqler)|
|Shion Araya||Japan||2||1A||2016, 2017|
|Takuma Inoue||Japan||2||5A||2009, 2017|
|Ivo Studer||Switzerland||2||AP||2012 (with InMotion!), 2017 (with InMotion!)|
|Jan Schmutz||Switzerland||2||AP||2012 (with InMotion!), 2017 (with InMotion!)|
Shinji Saito dominates both 2A and Combined, and is the sole winner of the four editions ever held of that division. 4A has a surprising number of two-time winners, and Shaqler is the only team to win more than one World Title.
Surprisingly, we only had one first-time winner this year, Shion Araya!
One-Time World YoYo Contest Winners:
- 1A: Ryoichi Suzuki (1998), Joel Zink (1999), Johnnie DelValle (2003), Shinya Kido (2009), Jensen Kimmitt (2010), Marcus Koh (2011), János Karancz (2013), Gentry Stein (2014), Zach Gormley (2015)
- 2A: Dale Oliver (1992), Rocco Ysaguire (1993), Dale Myrberg (1996), Jennifer Baybrook (1998), Takumi Nagase (1999), Tomoya Kitamura (2000), Matt Harlow (2001), Yasushi Furukawa (2010)
- 3A: Paul Yath (2006), Yuuki Tanami (2007), Hiroki Miyamoto (2008), Kentaro Kimura (2009), Minato Furuta (2010)
- 4A: John Narum (2005), Taiki Nishimura (2006), Michael Nakamura (2013), Naoto Onishi (2015)
- 5A: Rafael Matsunaga (2003), Makoto Numagami (2004), Maya Nakamura (2005), Dana Bennett (2006), Tyler Severance (2007), Jake Elliott (2015).
- X: Hironori Mii (2000), Shingo Terada (2001)
- AP: Mark Montgomery (2003), John Higby (2008)
What about per-country count? Can you tell how far ahead Japan is? Check it out:
World YoYo Contest Winners by Country
Japan is far, far ahead of the competition, having added another five titles in 2017, with USA in clear second, Switzerland comes third with the two title from InMotion!, followed by one-timers Brazil (Rafael Matsunaga, 2003), Canada (Jensen Kimmitt, 2010), Singapore (Marcus Koh, 2011), and Hungary (János Karancz, 2013)! If we take the 1932 Worlds into account, Canada rises to two titles, although officially Harvey Lowe competed for China, as there was another Canadian competing and rules only allowed one contestant per country.
Will someone ever equal Shinji’s astounding number? We’ll need to wait at least six more years to find out! Or hope someone wins more than one title in the same year!