Zach Gormley is the winner of the toughest and greatest yo-yo contest in history!
In a final round filled with favorites, Zach Gormley brought his best and was crowned the new 1A World Champion last night in Tokyo!
2A was equally exciting, with Shiji Saito winning the battle of World Champions against Shu Takada and Takuma Yamamoto!
In 3A, Hajime Miura had no trouble whatsoever, finishing almost 20 points ahead of runner-up Alex Hattori!
We also got a new 4A champion! Naoto Onishi won offstring in an incredibly balanced division!
In 5A champion, Jake Elliott, won by the tiniest of margins: just 0.03 points ahead of Takeshi Matsuura!
Finally, AP was a delight to watch, but ultimately it’s a competition, and Shaqler won with a jaw-dropping routine! Check the full results and commentary below!
With the new seeding rules in place, only the current World Champion was granted a spot in the final round. The result was a final round completely stacked with the best of the best who were able to make it through the qualifying rounds!
In such a high-level contest, predicting a winner was no easy task, reflected on the final scores, where there was only 1.5 point between the 2nd and 7th place finishers, but the online chatter correctly predicted Zach’s win! Another strong candidate was Iori Yamaki, who also had strong popular support, but ended up in 3rd place.
Perhaps the biggest surprise here is the young Shion Araya, who, despite competing at the World Yo-yo Contest for the first time, showed an amazing level of play and maturity, managing to do well not only in the qualifying rounds, but also in the grand final, earning a much-deserved second place!
Last year’s champion Gentry Stein had a great routine, but a single discard cost him the three points that would have put him immediately in second place, and perhaps even first considering the time spent switching yo-yos, and thus he finished 6th overall.
A few other strong contenders had discards as well. World Champions Marcus Koh, and Hiroyuki Suzuki, Ahmad Kharisma, Colin Beckford, and Ryota Ogi were all penalized for the yo-yo switch and ended up in the lower half of the placings.
János Karancz had several unbelievable tricks, as usual, but was unable to go as clean as he hoped, while Anthony Rojas had a fantastic routine, but ultimately without the trick density to achieve a high Technical Execution score.
A fierce battle between World Champions took place in 2A, with Shinji Saito emerging victorious with a high-level routine we expect from the now 13-time World Champion!
Shu Takada brought some very innovative tricks to the stage, that combined with his usual top-notch choreography and music use, were enough to bring his pre-deduction score on par with Takuma Yamamoto’s, even though Shu’s Technical Execution score was almost 8 points behind Takuma’s.
What ultimately decided the final placings was Takuma’s Detach penalty. Hiraku Fujii also suffered from penalties and was unable to place this year.
If there were any doubts about Hajime Miura’s supremacy after his fourth place finish at Japan Nationals, there surely are none left after his outstanding performance in Tokyo!
Finishing almost 20 points ahead of the second place with an unbelievable score of 96.5, Hajime Miura earns his second World Title and becomes a very young legend in 3A play!
In second and third places were US players Alex Hattori and Hank Freeman, respectively, both with very clean routines, but without the extra refinement and difficulty of Hajime’s freestyle.
Be sure to watch Patrick Borgerding’s routine as well! Pat himself stated his goal is not to win, but to bring insane tricks to the stage, and he did not disappoint, hitting all his bangers on the stage in Tokyo!
World Champion Minato Furuta had a very unfortunate run. His tricks were amazing, and he would have been a serious contender had it not been for two disastrous double discards that cost him 12 points in penalties, and a lot of downtime on stage.
Naoto Onishi won the 4A World Champion title in a division where the final standings were decided by the penalties!
While Naoto’s routine itself was completely clean and deserving of the title, it was Takumi Yasumoto’s 2 penalty point that knocked down the latter to second place, and amazingly, Rei Iwakura’s astonishing 6-point penalty that cost him the World Title!
The next spots were taken by the three American players. 2013 World Champion Michael Nakamura had a solid routine, but his Performance Evaluation scores prevented him from getting a better placing. Ben Conde was certainly the crowd favorite, and while he managed to hit his unbelievable tricks, they were not in large enough number to guarantee a better Technical Execution score. An epic performance, nonetheless!
Jake Elliott did it! The new World Champion becomes the man who beat Takeshi Matsuura in 5A! What everybody thought was impossible now becomes true as Jake Elliott raises the bar for 5A play, bringing a whole lot of new tricks to the division!
And check out the final score! This is the closest score ever to determine the World Champion! If this is any indication of the future, we can expect truly legendary contests with these two beasts of counterweight play!
On the human side of things, Sora Ishikawa repeats his third place finish from last year with another entertaining freestyle, followed by Hideo Ishida and Bryan Jardin, who went slightly less cleanly than they hoped.
Shaqler! Wow! The AP division this year was truly amazing, and every performance there deserves to be watched several times, but Shaqler’s freestyle is truly epic! Their 2010 routine is already a classic, but this takes their teamplay concepts and skills even further!
The addition of Shu Takada brought even more energy and acrobatics to the team, and making them only the second team ever to win two World Titles!
Shaqler also took home the Entertainment Award, while BeatPoint’s beatbox/yo-yo combo was awarded the Artistic Award, and Taiwan’s WHO Theatre got the Creativity Award for their fantastic team offstring performance!