Soka University Students Win Gold Medal for the Fourth Consecutive Year at the ICU World Cheer-leading Championships 2019
June 10, 2019
Seven Soka University students participated in the ICU (International Cheer Union) World Cheerleading Championships 2019 held in the state of Florida from April 24 to 29 (local time), representing Japan. In this year's competition, the pair of Masaki Matsuo (fourth year, Faculty of Letters), who has won three consecutive championships, and Koichi Omoto (fourth year, Faculty of Education) participated in the Hip Hop Doubles, and a team of 20 students called "World wings 2WDC," consisting of Masaki Matsuo, Koichi Omoto, Koichi Seshimo (fourth year, Faculty of Education), Manami Mori (third year, Faculty of Business Administration), Atsuki Kuwajima (second year, Faculty of Economics), Koji Shimokawa (second year, Faculty of Business Administration), and Satsuki Sugiyama (second year, Faculty of Business Administration) participated in Team Cheer Hip Hop.
The ICU Cheerleading World Championships was organized for the development and promotion of cheerleading and dance competitions, with a current membership of approximately 30,000 in over 100 participating countries, making it, in scale, the world's largest competition in cheerleading and dance. The ICU Cheerleading World Championships competition is an annual, official international competitive event where top cheerleaders and dancers gather to compete.
In this year's competition, the pair of Masaki Matsuo and Koichi Omoto, who participated in Hip Hop Doubles, won first place (gold medal) for the fourth consecutive years, and Team Cheer Hip Hop also won first place (gold medal) for three consecutive years.
Koichi Omoto, who achieved his fourth consecutive championship in the Hip Hop Doubles, shared: "This time, we challenged ourselves in improving the quality of not only our acrobatic skills but also our dance skills. I am very happy that this was highly regarded and that we were able to give it our best to be chosen as No.1 in the world. I am deeply appreciative of my parents, coach, team members, and many people that supported us, which led to this fourth consecutive win on a world stage. Making this experience a fresh new start, I will continue to work hard to always give our best performance, never forgetting the sense of appreciation and my aim to become a dancer that can help many others gain courage."
Masaki Matsuo, who served as a team leader, commented: "There was pressure, as other teams were hot on our heels, but we continued to practice, not worrying about other groups but aiming to give a performance that exceeds our own limitations. It was a challenge for all of us to be in rhythm with new choreography and structure with a higher level of difficulty than before, but during the competition, I was able to dance fully, enjoying it with all my heart, with the spirit to send my appreciation and hope to those who are watching and also to send them hope, while expressing through dance the struggles that we have surmounted in anticipation of this day. We will continue to practice harder so that we can continue to strive to exemplify the beauty of dance."
The results of each competition are as follows:
Hip Hop Doubles
First place: Japan
Second place: Russia
Third place: Ecuador
Team Cheer Hip Hop
First place: Japan
Second place: United States of America
Third place: Philippines
Team Cheer Hip-hop