Remember breakdancing? Maybe not. Nevertheless, Nanjing now knows all about the athletic street dance, thanks to the World DanceSport Federation World Breaking Championship held yesterday, 23 June, also known as Olympic Day.
Taking place at the Lishui Sports Park Gymnasium, over 150 breakdancing boys (b-boys) and girls (b-girls), from 66 countries and regions, competed in the inaugural tournament.
They were scored by 12 judges, who rated their performance utilising the criteria of creativity, personality, technique, variety, performance and musicality.
For the men, it was two-time Red Bull BC One World Champion, the Dutch Menno Van Gorp, who took home first place, while Yuasa Ami of Japan won the women’s title.
As reported by Inside the Games, Van Gorp, who suffered from jet lag early on in the championship, said, “I feel really happy because I trained really hard for it”.
This World Breaking Championship in Nanjing is being seen as one of the qualifying events for the first GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations) World Urban Games, that shall take place in Budapest, capital of Hungry, in September this year.
Breakdancing as a sport is a far cry from that which began as a 1970s fad, having now been proposed to be included on the list of disciplines for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, after a successful trial run at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last year.
An invention of African American youth, breakdancing quickly gained popularity in other communities as the 1970s drew to a close. Many of the acrobatic moves in breakdancing have distinct links with gymnastics.
Coming a month after an IAAF meet and the month before the Asian Premier League, both in Nanjing, the championships again demonstrate the sporting prowess of Nanjing; few remember that Nanjing was host to the country’s first national games in 1910, the China National Sports Association (predecessor to the Chinese Olympic Committee) was established in Nanjing, while China’s first Olympic delegation trained, assembled and departed from Nanjing.