FISE Hiroshima

First FIG Parkour World Cup proves big in Japan

11 Apr 2018 13:53
The first FIG World Cup event for Parkour concluded in Hiroshima on Sunday with the women’s speed-run and men’s freestyle final – and with the satisfaction of having proved a huge popular success. Launched as part of a new Japanese leg on the FISE’s Festival of Action Sports circuit, the Parkour competition generated massive public interest.
David Belle, who created Parkour as a method of physical training in the 1990s and today presides over the FIG Parkour Commission, said: “I didn’t think the public would be so receptive. There was an immediate connection and it created a wonderfully positive energy for everybody, which is extremely positive for the future.”
It was the FIG President, Morinari Watanabe, who had initiated the idea of organising a Japanese stage on the FISE world tour and he was also taken aback by the massive crowd which showed so much enthusiasm for this young discipline. “This World Cup has provided a first milestone which we must build on for future progress. There were thousands enjoying this spectacle and we can take elements from this positive experience and use them also in the world of Gymnastics.”
Women’s speed-run
With its series of walls and blocks, the course was certainly intimidating for the eight women in contention, all of them well aware that their four limbs would be tested to the full. Saskia Neville from the Netherlands had devised a strategy for surmounting the obstacles without sapping her strength too quickly and she followed it to the letter, her tactics paying off as she finished top of the ranking.
1) Saskia Neville (NED)
2) Hikari Izumi (JPN)
3) Anna Griukach (UKR)
4) Aleksandra Shevchenko (RUS)
5) Thelma Ilbacken (SWE)
6) Anna Yamashita (AUS)
7) Stephania Zitis (AUS)
8) Karla Gonzalez (MEX)
Men’s freestyle
Just like the previous day’s speed-run final, the freestyle final captured the imagination of the watching crowd. The eight finalists had the freedom to use the different elements of the course in whatever way they wished, and they took full advantage, the most audacious among them even daring to launch into somersaults from a platform several metres above the crowd. For the judges, however, it was fluidity of movement and creativity, rather than bravery, that they rewarded most highly and Latvia’s Pavels Petkuns, a well-known figure on the Parkour scene, emerged as the unanimous winner thanks to his impressive mastery of the space around him.
1) Pavels Petkuns (LAT)
2) Waldemar Muller (GER)
3) Kamil Tobiasz (POL)
4) Johan Tonnoir (FRA)
5) Pedro Leon Gomez (ESP)
6) Kenichi Sato (JPN)
7) Hajime Yuuki (JPN)
8) Zen Shimada (JPN)
After Hiroshima, Montpellier in France will host the second Parkour World Cup again under the umbrella of the FISE event which will be held on 9-13 May.