THREE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE FIRST FIG PARKOUR WORLD CUP
A short walk from the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima's former municipal baseball stadium will provide the setting for the very first FIG Parkour World Cup, taking place from 6-8 April, as part of the FISE's World Action Sports Festival which also includes BMX, Skateboarding, Roller Freestyle, Bouldering and Breaking. Here are three things to know about this exciting event.
Athletes from every continent
If the weather remains kind, there will be 35 participants - 27 male and 8 female - taking part in qualifications in Speed-run and Freestyle. These competitors come from far and wide - Australia, Belgium, Benin, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine - which illustrates that Parkour, a discipline created by Frenchman David Belle as a form of physical training, has already roused considerable interest on every continent.
Taken by the waves
Like the movement of waves, with their crests and hollows, the course conceived by Charles Perrière is pitted with obstacles which unfold rapidly over a distance of 40m, offering no let-up for the competitors. In Speed-run, they must overcome this series of obstacles in first one direction and then the other, at the maximum speed possible. The eight fastest will meet in a final round comprising a series of direct duels. In Freestyle, where their technical performance is judged, they can make use of the obstacles - walls and bars - to exhibit their style and display their creativity.
A showcase for discovering Parkour
Aside from the competition itself, the public will be able to discover the art of overcoming obstacles with the guidance of some true experts in the discipline. In these exhibitions, people of all ages will be able to learn the basic principles of Parkour and the steps needed to follow in order to achieve the control of movement and mastery of the body that is required before taking on these obstacles. These introductory workshops are an important educational tool for the development of this young discipline, promoting an approach which respects the principles of basic safety.
About the FIG
The International Gymnastics Federation is the governing body for Gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international federation of an Olympic sport and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs eight sports: Gymnastics for All, Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Trampoline - including Double Mini-trampoline and Tumbling -, Aerobics, Acrobatics, and Parkour. It counts 148 national member federations and has its headquarters in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne (SUI).