Tokyo 2013 - Poland´s Skalski crowned Red Bull Street Style World Champion
Szymon Skalski (POL) tricked his way to the men’s Red Bull Street Style World Final in Tokyo on Thursday, beating Carlos Iacono of Argentina as top judge and World Cup winner Marco Materazzi (ITA) looked on in awe. Hungary’s Kitty Szasz successfully defending the women’s title with a narrow victory over surprise finalist Alice Fougeray (FRA) in front of the famous Zojoji Temple and the iconic Tokyo tower.
TOKYO, Japan - It was the first World Finals held in Asia and they lived up to their huge hype when Szymon Skalski first ousted defending champion and local favourite Tokuda Tokaro in the semis and then grabbed his maiden world championship title with an audacious performance against Carlos Iacono in a packed arena.
In a pulsating event where athletes from up to 30 countries faced off over two days for the world’s most prestigious freestyle football championship title Skalski hung on in a pulsating final for the biggest win of his career.
“I am in shock, I am speechless, to have beaten Carlos in the final,” said Skalski after wild celebrations on stage. “I feel very good.”
2006 World Cup winner Marco Materazzi of Italy, who headed the five-judge panel, was left mesmerized by the performances, staged with the sensational Zojoji Temple and the iconic Tokyo Tower in the background.
“This was absolutely unbelievable”, star footballer Materazzi said. “The things these ballers are able to do is something I have never seen footballers do.”
As the only local hero left in the draw Tokuda “Tokura” Tokaro enjoyed full support from the crowd from the round of 16 onwards but he had to bow out after a battle where Skalski was near flawless.
“Amazing. I am so happy, whatever happens in the final,” Skalski beamed after beating Tokura. But he kept his focus with another largely error-free performance to win the title as Carlos “Charly” Iacono saw several mistakes creep in to his routine.
In the women’s final Hungary’s defending champion Kitty Szasz narrowly edged past surprise finalist Alice Fougeray of France, to successfully defend her world championship title won last year in Lecce, Italy.
Alice stunned the packed crowd when she dumped Melody Donchet, runner up in 2012, out of the competition in the semis and book her spot in the grand finale.
“I was not prepared for this final (against Alice). It was surprising really but I am really happy to have managed to win,” said Kitty. “A big thanks to this crowd. They were absolutely fantastic.”
It looked like outsider Alice could clinch the title after some early mistakes by Kitty as the French baller, supremely confident after her semi-final win, turned on her French style and flaunted her battle mentality during her opponents’ tricks.
Kitty initially struggled but with two minutes left on the clock put in the moves, recovering with a string of smooth tricks as her opponent paid the price for too many repeat efforts.
Red Bull Street Style World Final 2013, Men: 1. Szymon Skalski (POL), 2. Carlos Iacono (ARG), 3. Andrew Henderson (GBR).
Red Bull Street Style World Final 2013, Women: 1. Kitti Szasz (HUN), 2. Alicia Fougeray (FRA), 3. Melody Donchet (FRA)