The race to become Red Bull BC One 2023 World Champion is over as 38-year-old Korean b-boy Hong 10 and Japan’s b-girl Ami were crowned winners at the World Final of world’s largest one-on-one breaking tournament inside the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France. Here is all you need to know:
The home of world-class tennis, Paris’s iconic Stade Roland-Garros was transformed into the ultimate breaking arena as 32 b-boys and b-girls took to the stage to showcase gravity-defying dance and powermoves in the hotly anticipated final of the global contest.
Veteran breaker Hong 10 outperformed his younger rivals and came out victorious for the third time in the b-boy bracket, pulling out some showstopper moves to beat Canada’s Phil Wizard in the final round. Hong 10 flexed his original moves and steps , including his famed Hong 10 Freeze, to win the judges’ votes.
Hong 10, who competed in his first Red Bull BC One World Final back in 2005 proved that age doesn’t matter and added to his 2006 and 2013 victories in style.
He now joins b-boy Menno from the Netherlands as one of only two b-boys to win a hat-trick of Red Bull BC One titles.
“My goal was to get to the final with Phil Wizard, so I was already happy when I got there. I’ve practised with Phil loads before and he’s next level, but you never know who will win a battle. It ain’t over till it’s over. “I don’t think I’ll be going for a fourth Red Bull BC One World Final title, I’ll leave that to the young guns. For now, I plan to focus on working with the breaking community instead of competing in battles.”B-boy Hong 10 said of his win:
In the b-girl bracket, 24-year-old Ami of Japan took home the title following four intense battles to get to the final stage.
Taking on China’s 671 in the final three-round battle, she showcased her characteristic smooth flow, razor-sharp footwork and explosive powermoves.
This is Ami’s second World Final win, after etching her name in history as the first-ever Red Bull BC One B-Girl World Final champion in 2018. She soon joined the prestigious ranks of the Red Bull BC One All Stars after her first win, and is now just one of two b-girls who have won Red Bull BC One twice.
“I want to dedicate this win to my family, they mean everything to me. I was nervous backstage before the competition, but having my sister with me made those nerves go away. I try to focus on having fun on the stage and doing my own thing, not just the end result.”Celebrating her World Title win, Ami said:
The ultimate decision on who to crown champions came down to the five judges, all of whom are some of the most respected b-boys and b-girls around. They included superstar b-boy Flea Rock, breaking extraordinaire b-boy Kill and Dr Hill, a pioneer of hip-hop culture in Latin America. Babyson, the emblematic female figure of French breaking, and series contest winner b-girl Movie One from Spain made up the rest of the judging panel.
“The level of talent today was just crazy. In the b-boy bracket the strongest breakers were more obvious, whereas the b-girl talent was super close. Taking home the title is not just about having the best power moves, but also about story-telling, which often comes from experience.”Judge Babyson, commented:
The Red Bull BC One World Final started with a top 32 line-up of 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls, who battled in front of a crowd of over 8,000 spectators to make it into the tournament’s competitive quarter-finals.
B-boys Kastrito (Mexico), Phil Wizard (Canada), Hong 10 (Republic of Korea), Kid Karam (UK), Khalil (France), Mighty Jake (Venezuela), Dany Dann (France) and Issin (Japan) made it through to the quarter-final battles.
In the semi-finals, Canada’s Phil Wizard took on Japan’s Issin, whilst homegrown talent Dany Dann competed against Hong 10, with Phil Wizard and Hong 10 emerging victorious, setting up the final showdown between two breakers of Korean heritage.
In the b-girl bracket, Ami (Japan), India (Netherlands), Nicka (Lithuania), Riko (Japan), 671 (China), Syssy (France), Yasmin (Japan) and Stefani (UK) all took to the floor in the quarter-finals. – It was 2022’s returning champion India versus Ami in the first semi-final, whilst China’s 671 took on Lithuanian dancer Nicka in the second heat, before the final between Ami and 671.
The contest tested breakers’ power, style and endurance before the sport makes its return to the city of lights next summer.
Also looking ahead to 2024, next year’s Red Bull BC One World Final will be held in Brazil’s vibrant heart, Rio de Janeiro, on December 7.
The tournament’s 21st edition will be the third Red Bull BC One World Final to take place in the country after São Paulo hosted in 2006 and Rio welcomed breakers from around the world in 2012.
Watch the full replay of the Red Bull BC One World Final by clicking here.