The Korea Herald

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S. Korean breakdancers eye gold at Asian Games

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Oct. 6, 2023 - 17:09

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Breakdancers practice in Hangzhou, China. (Yonhap) Breakdancers practice in Hangzhou, China. (Yonhap)

South Korean breakdance competitors are eyeing the top stop for the Asian Games' first-ever breakdancing competitions, the preliminary round of which kicked off Friday.

Two male and two female dancers Kim Heon-woo, Kim Hong-yul, Jeon Ji-ye and Kwon Seong-hui will represent Korea at the dance battle at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. They are stars in the breakdancing world, better known by their stage names -- Wing, Hong 10, Freshbella and Starry, respectively.

Two golds are up for grabs, each awarded for the men’s and women’s categories.

For the upcoming breaking competitions, two dancers will engage in a one-on-one battle. They will take turns performing improvised minute-long dances called “throw downs” on a 64-square-meter stage. A deejay will play random tracks for the dancers.

The dancers will be judged on six categories: performance, musicality, personality, creativity, variety and technique.

The final round will take place on Saturday afternoon and the entire competition, including the preliminary round, will last for two days.

The two gold-medalists will be automatically qualified to compete in breaking for the 2024 Paris Olympics, without having to compete in the preliminaries. Other medalists will win a chance to compete in the preliminary rounds.

Breaking was officially approved as an Olympic sport in 2020 after a successful debut at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2018.

South Korea is known to have some of the world’s best breakdancers, with its teams winning multiple global breaking competitions in the past.

Kim Heon-woo, aka Wing, was a champion at the Red Bull BC One -- the world’s largest breaking competition -- in 2008 when it was held in France. His breaking crew, the Jinjo Crew, remains the only group to achieve a grand slam by winning titles at five major global breaking competitions: Red Bull BC One, Battle of the Year, R16 Korea, Freestyle Session and UK B-Boy Championships. The grand slam was achieved between 2008 and 2012.