Saturday’s second day of the World Urban Games in Budapest saw a packed and adrenalin-fuelled day of action and the first ever medal awarded.
That medal came in the first final, the women’s roller freestyle, and after a thrilling competition it was Japan’s Misaki Katayama who took gold. Her score of 78.33 beat fellow Japanese freestyler Suzuka Hyoyama who took silver with Spain’s Maria Munoz in third taking bronze.
Speaking afterwards, Katayama said: “I am very happy that I won this competition. I am still just 18 but I think the age does not matter. I was relieved to win. Mentally I was strong and I felt very well during the final. I think that is why I could perform better than the other girls.
“The roller freestyle park is great. I really like the venue and Budapest is amazing with many beautiful buildings.”
The men skaters amazed the spectators with many great moves which were reflected in the final scores. The French skater, Roman Abrate won the gold medal with the score of 92.00, ahead of Switzerland’s Maxime Genoud who reached 90.66 points for silver. The bronze medal went to Sem Croft from The Netherlands with a score of 89.33.
The first two places of flying disc freestyle were taken by those two American duos who also won their respecting qualification groups on Friday. Emma Kahle and Daniel O’Neill achieved the gold medal. Juliana Kurver and Ryan Young’s performance meant a silver medal for them, while the Italian couple, Eduardo Turri and Maxine Mittempergher could step on the podium with a bronze medal.
Even though the qualifications of the freestyle flying disc brought American dominance, Zoltán Erdősi, president of the Hungarian Flying Disc Federation believes that after the World Urban Games there will be lot of Hungarian youngsters who catch the vibes of this freestyle event to enable them to build up a strong base of flying disc athletes.
Freestyle was the first of the women’s parkour events which was won by Russian Aleksandra Shevchenko. Her score of 24.50 saw her take gold from Adela Merkova of the Czech Republic (22.00) and Bo Zuijderwijk of The Netherlands (20.50).
It was a close run battle in the parkour men’s speed event which was won by Matej Srovnal of the Czech Republic. His final time of 21.92 was enough to deny Spain’s Alberto Gomez who took silver and Ukranian Oleksandr Titarenko with only one thousandth of a second between the leading trio.
The second day of the women’s 3×3 basketball matches saw Russia and China reach the Semi Finals. Ukraine are set to compete against The Netherlands and France will facing the host country, Hungary for the other two spots.
In the men’s event, Russia and France have already secured their places in the Semi Finals, whilst there will be a repeat of the women’s match when Ukraine will meet with The Netherlands, plus Belarus will come up against Romania on Sunday.
The qualification round of the men’s BMX freestyle event went down on Saturday afternoon and was surrounded by a great atmosphere thanks to the fantastic tricks performed by the qualifiers.
In the two showcase events being staged at the World Urban Games, another two challenges went down in indoor rowing whilst the men’s, women’s and relay heat competitions of laser run were also held during Saturday afternoon.
One of the most highly anticipated events was the men’s braking battle which finished with the victory of the American B-boy, Victor. The other finalist was the Dutch Menno who took silver, with the bronze battle won by the Russian Bumblebee.
After the final battle Victor said„ “I am really happy about my victory. At the podium, during the anthem, I was praying for everyone. I was praying for myself, for my family and for the opportunity that God gave me.
“I love everything about this festival. I love the venue, the city and the vibe. I like how the crowd gathered around us. They were near to us, dancers, so I could feel them responding to my moves. I felt very great, I got more energy to perform. I really liked the venue, this building, it has a quite special atmosphere.
“For me this is perfect. It is kind of underground. During the tournament I did not underestimate anybody. I was focusing on my next opponent only.
“There is no day without preparing my body and inventing tricks. I work hard to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games. That time I will be around 30, so I will still have the chance to participate there.”
Japan’s Ami won the b-girls’ breaking battle, taking gold agead of the USA’s Sunny who claimed silver. The winner of the bronze battle was Logistix, also from the USA.
Ami shared her experiences after the final battle by saying, “Not so long ago I won a contest in China, this is why I had the chance to be here. It was very exciting and cool to dance in front of this huge audience.
“As the judges always change, the result is also changing every time so you are never sure if you are going to win the battle or not. So I just put all of the difficult movements in each round that I know. I am really grateful that I could do my best this time.”
Organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the three-day festival of the inaugural World Urban Games draws to a close at the Nagyvásártelep in the south of Budapest on Sunday.