Under 23, a contest for under 23 years old took place at Yokohama, in conjunction with 150 anniversary festival of Yokohama port on May 31st, 2009. While the riders set up the contest, the weather was getting a bit unstable but the contest could start under clowdy sky. The categories were separated in 3 - Hi, Low and Kids. Also a short lesson was held in between and many kids were excited and their eyes were shining to be able to ride BMX for the first time.
In the hi-class final, it’s actually open class in general, the top 8 qualifiers battled for the victory. The riders who survived the battles and competes in the grand final were Takahiro Ikeda and Nao Yoshida. They both have similar styles based on spinning, so they appearently increased their fighting spirits.
In the beginning, Ikeda was very consistent but seemed a bit less challenging. Yoshida was exhausted from series of runs before the final and touched a couple of times. The head to head battle finally came to the last runs with Ikeda’s advantage. Ikeda pulled fancy spinning tricks and Yoshida busted new tricks to overcome. A crowd of over 400 people surrounded the contest venue and applauded loud and long during the runs.
At the ceremony, judges pulled their flags for the result of the final. 3 flags for Yoshida so he finally obtained the victory even so he was also working as a core staff member. Another chapter was engraved in the 6 years history of Under 23. See you at Yokohama Port Festival next year!
Results - Top 3
1st Nao Yoshida
2nd Takahiro Ikeda
3rd Yasunuri Isijima