Hey everyone, Colin here. This recap is of something you may or may not have been paying much attention to, but it'll be quite relevant come next summer - CHINA! CYCC Shenzhen, located in southeastern China, is one of the regionals that will be seeding to 2018 China Nationals. This isn’t the first regional that has occurred that will seed to next year’s nationals, however it is the first regional from which I've seen video.
Here's a few facts you may not know regarding the China yo-yo community and their contests -
- China Nationals next year will not seed to Shanghai Worlds. China’s Nationals always seed to Worlds the year after, even though the contest is usually held in July, preceding the current year’s Worlds.
- China is also one of the newest seeding contests, as it just started seeding to Worlds starting in 2014. Prior to this, there were actually multiple contests that acted as the national event, resulting in no legitimacy to earn a seed.
China is currently the largest national contest in terms of competitor count, as 1A preliminaries had approximately 175 competitors in 2017, and over 300 in 2016. That's right, 300.
Now that I've explained some relevant information regarding China's scene, it's time to talk about the contest.
CYCC Shenzhen was actually very competitive this year, with some seasoned veterans competing.....
- The winner of 1A was Chow Chakron, who placed 2nd in 1A at China Nationals this year.
- The winner of 2A was Yi Chenghao, who is a 3 time national 2A champion.
- The winner of 3A was Wong Yip Yip, who is a 3 time national 3A champion.
- The winner of 4A was Yuan Jia Jun, who placed 3rd in 4A at China Nationals this year.
- The winner of 5A was Pang Zifeng, who won 5A at China Nationals this year.
Needless to say, this region of China is strong.
Chow Chakron’s winning 1A freestyle was a polished re-do of his China Nationals routine. I would consider him one of my favorite players out of China, as his style is very balanced to me - he’s a speed player with good variation in terms of technical abilities, horizontal, and more. I think he'll be one of the frontrunners for Chinese players doing well in Shanghai next year. Check it out below.
Another 1A freestyle I really liked was Fang Xu’s. He’s new to me after this year’s China Nationals in which he made finals, and his style is very rare compared to the rest of China. I see a ton of potential in him, especially with his style being so contrasting from the rest of the country. You can watch Fang Xu's routine below.
All in all, from watching freestyles in 1A, China’s scene is very interesting - although a large majority of the competitive players have similar styles, they all put forth their own twist/strong suits to the “generic speed player” type. What I’m curious about is how this will pan out next year in Shanghai, and who from China will stand out the most. Especially when players only have such little time in the first rounds, I’m looking forward to see who will be at the top.
Check out a video (also made by the 1A champion Chow Chakron - this guy does everything!!) from the event. I highly encourage any yo-yo player to look into China's scene if you want to go into next year's world championships knowing a few familiar faces.