KOG Round 1 Expert Class

imageKing Of Ground 2008 final round came to an end with the world circuit final battle, Matthias Dandois vs Sam Foakes. 2009 round 1 started with a 100% japanese contest. Here is a little report about the expert class that still produce some of the next best flatland riders.

The event takes place in Yokohama huge shopping center called Queen´s square for the second year in a row. Easy to access by subway that over crowded place make the attendance huge. The floor is all clean wooden as usual there. Some riders should complain with the lack of space, especially for training, also the contest area is not exactly a square. That being said, riders were focused on riding, available space was not the topic. Moreover, organisers claim their goal to run contests with as more exposure as possible, it obviously requires to make concessions. Looking at the expert class, it has always been a passionating moment at the KOG, the first round of the year was interesting as expected. Is it still necessary to mention a 1st place in the expert category is a ticket to pro class? A lot of riders, most of them unknown abroad, but well supported by locals who came to the event, entered the category. Many riders follow trends but have already achieved high level skills. imageWith some more original ideas they will probably do good results in the next few years. Thanks to the judges, the riders qualified for the final were the best both at skill and creativity. Syuichi Osada won the category with a long and perfectly mastered routine on the front. He did not enter contest last year to focus on riding, it works quiet well as he could enter the pro competition right after. Eichiro Watanabe also did very clean runs both for qualification and final, he ends up 4th. Some riders like the second Taiko Kaneta and the third Shinya Matsuura prove they have progressed to a next step, last year they were in the twenties or so of the category. Shinpei Hanawa keeps a good result compared with his last year ones because of a solid run. The last but not the least, Fumiya Sasagawa finished 10th, entered the final with a very innovative and risky riding. Pressure also was huge and we saw many good riders unable to pull their tricks in front of judges, rider counterparts and attendance. It may be good to notice than most of the above mentioned names are not exacly new comers in Japan, most of them had video part in more or less recent japanese dvds or even receive support from shops or makers.

About the pro catogory, many people were at Yokohama with video cameras, hope they will share pro class videos somewhere on the internet.... One more time, big respect to last year expert competitors, Yuki Sakai made a very impressive and stylish run, Takahiro Ikeda  and Yasunari Ijima both reached a good result.

Photos: http://jimalog.blogspot.com

Expert Results:

Rank Name Points
1 Syuichi Osada 1000
2 Taikou Kaneta 939
3 Shinya Matsuura 897
4 Eiichiro Watanabe 865
5 Takahiro Higaki 840
6 Nao Yoshida 817
7 Masatoshi Karino 796
8 Shinpei Hanawa 778
9 Minehito Shinzato 761
10 Fumiya Sasagawa 745
11 Kouichi Higo 728
12 Seiya Kainuma 712
13 Masato Ito 696
14 Tomoyasu Nozaki 681
15 Ayumu Nishihara 665
16 Ikko Tanaka 650
17 Yasuhiro Uehara 635
18 Yuuki Sugimoto 620
19 Susumu Morioka 605
20 Yasushi Tanabe 590
21 Ryousuke Takagi 576
22 Daiki Aono 562
23 Yoshiaki Mukai 548
24 Hiroki Iwata 534
25 Akihiro Kasahara 520
26 Masaki Morikawa 507
27 Mao Yuasa 493
28 Takuji Kasahara 480
29 Satoshi Kojima 467
30 Naoto Tamaru 454
31 Namito Watanabe 442
32 Kikumaru Honda 429
33 Kazuaki Kohasi 417
34 Kousei Suzuki 405
35 Atsushi Kato 393
36 Kouhei Yamamoto 381
37 Takao Fukuda 370
38 Kazuma Sakou 359
39 Kou Yoshida 347
40 Naoto Kiyohara 336
41 Keiji Sasaki 326
42 Takuya Higa 315
43 Hiroki Uchiyama 305
44 Hitoshi Tamaki 294
45 Takeomi Okimitsu 284
46 Toshiyuki Yoshioka 274
47 Ryo Sakamoto 265
48 Susumu Kase 255

Pro Results:

Rank Name Points
1 Hiroya Morizaki 1000
2 Yoshihiro Shinde 939
3 Shintaro Misawa 897
4 Tsutomu Kitayama 865
5 Akira Okamura 840
6 Yoshihiro Nishikawa 817
7 Shinichi Kiba 796
8 York Uno 778
9 Yoshiki Uchino 761
10 Yuki Sakai 745
11 Akihiko Takahasi 728
12 Kotaro Arai 712
13 Yasunari Ishijima 696
14 Ryoji Yamamoto 681
15 Tomokazu Morinaga 665
16 Takahiro Ikeda 650
17 Hirokazu Miura 635
18 Takuma Kawamura 620
19 Keisuke Matsumoto 605
20 Yorimitsu Miyata 590
21 Shinichiro Hara 576
22 Hironao Doukou 562
23 Yorihisa Shiota 548
24 Junichiro Sakamoto 534
25 Yosuke Sakuma 520
26 Syuichi Osada 507


2009-04-06 - Laurent Dusserre