The 2013 Winter Freestyle Contest and Polish Nationals is tomorrow in Krakow, Poland and we’ve got a look at the top contenders for the 1A Division.
Tomas Bubak (C3YoYoDesign)
Just last month, Tomas announced his departure from Duncan Crew to join the C3YoYoDesign team, shortly after taking 3rd Place in the Czech National YoYo Contest. Tomas is one of the brightest stars of the European scene, and is always a contender for Top 3 in any event he wants to win.
Petr Kavka (CLYW)
Petr is the 2013 Czech National Champion, and easily the top contender for this year’s WFC 1A Division. But for all his talent, Petr is just as susceptible to nerves as anyone else, and at this level of play it only takes one mistake to knock yourself out of First Place.
Ben Conde (YoYoJam)
Ben Conde is a wild card for this event…while not usually one of the top competitive players in 1A, he’s a much better 1A player than many people realize. His trick construction is extremely well regarded among top-name players, but his natural tendency towards absurdly difficult banger tricks makes him a hit-or-miss in a contest setting.
Jan Hlinka (Turning Point)
With a strong 4th Place finish in the Open division at the 2013 Czech Nationals, Slovakian player Jan Hlinka is definitely a top contender this year. While other competitors might benefit by coming from larger scenes, the smaller scene in Slovakia and less exposure for Jan leaves him with a lot of room to roll in and surprise everyone. And while swagger will get you noticed, more than a few judges have crowned champions on skill + surprise.
Grzegorz “Plamek” Wójcik (C3YoYoDesign)
With a solid 2nd Place finish at the 2013 European YoYo Championships, Plamek is not only a lead contender for the title but he’s also got the home-field advantage. While venue may not help much in yoyoing, being able to represent your country at a major event IN your country definitely boosts the confidence…and since Plamek already has the skill, that extra boost of confidence may be just what he needs to take home the gold.
Adrian Koniecki (YoYoJam)
With only an 11th Place finish at this year’s European YoYo Championships, Adrian Koniecki is an unlikely name on our list…but his play shows a ton of promise, and watching his freestyle you can see that he’s just on the edge of being a serious threat for the Top 3. He lost his nerve with a major mistake in the first minute of his finals routine at EYYC, but if he can keep it together and learn to recover quicker, we could easily see Adrian in the Top 3 at WFC.
Marcin Drzewiecki (YoYoFactory)
Last year’s Polish National Champion Marcin Drzewiecki has kept a low profile this year, but it’s hard to deny his skill. Without recent contest standings to guess from, it’s hard to say what kind of a contender Marcin is going to be tomorrow. But with piles of talent, a home town crowd, and last year’s Polish National title under his belt, he’s got everything he needs to take home another win.
Marcin Fresel only took 17th Place at the 2013 European YoYo Championships, but watching the video above it’s hard to understand why. One of the most unique players in Poland, Marcin has a style all his own and trick construction that has tons of potential. If Marcin can speed things up a bit and get those points in, he stands a good chance at Top Five.
Michał Zakrzewski (YoYoFactory)
With a strong 6th Place finish at EYYC and a 1st Place win at the 2012 WFC, Michał Zakrzewski is one of the strongest contenders for the Top 3.
Kentaro Kimura (Turning Point)
It’s REALLY hard to know what Kentaro is going to do! Competitively, his focus is primarily on 3A but he is such an effortlessly amazing 1A player that he can show up, completely unprepared, and land in the Top Five easily. Kentaro walked away from EYYC with 4th Place in the 1A Open division and rumor has it that he only decided to compete at the last minute and hadn’t prepared at all. No idea if that’s true, but Kentaro has the chops to pull if off and everyone else better bring their A-game.