Lithuanian teenager Dominika Banevič and American Victor Montalvo both qualified for next year’s Olympics in Paris after winning the World Breaking Championship on Sunday.
16-year-old Banevič, known as B-Girl Nicka, was the youngest in the women’s category at the event in Leuven, Belgium. She ended her fight by rising onto her right arm and turning her body almost completely around. She received finger-snapping recognition from her defeated opponent, 40-year-old Ayumi Fukushima from Japan, known as B-Girl Ayumi.
The 29-year-old Montalvo, ranked No. 5 in the world and competing under the name B-Boy Victor, flashed a wide grin after his bout ended. He was lifted triumphantly by his opponent Philip Kim of Canada, known as B-Boy Phil Wizard.
Breakdancing originated in the United States 50 years ago and the hip-hop dance form is making its official debut at the Paris Games.
Rankings are compiled by the World DanceSport Federation, the International Olympic Committee-recognized body that manages breaking battles. Dancers must win or perform well in WDSF-sanctioned events to earn points toward qualifying for the Paris Games. Leading B-Boys and B-Girls, the term for male and female breakers, competed in head-to-head competitions in Leuven, east of Brussels.
None of the American B-Girls made it into the top three.
However, further Olympic qualifying competitions are planned in China and Chile until mid-December.
Further Olympic trials will take place early next year and run until June 2024. At the end of the process, 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls will be allowed to compete for two days at the legendary Place de la Concorde in Paris.
The IOC announced three years ago that breaking would become an official Olympic sport.
2024 Olympic Games in Paris