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Not even the most adverse of weather conditions can defeat the energy and positivity of Freestyle Football athletes: this is probably the main learning of the first-ever WFFA US Open, a brand-new competition that took place on the weekend of July 2nd and 3rd at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida during the Daytona Soccer Fest.
The WFFA US Open was originally split into two days and two stages, but rain and thunderstorm forced the organisers to distribute it across three different locations. The first day, Saturday, July 2nd, featured the qualifying rounds, with judges Laura Biondo and Charly Iacono, led by head judge Andrew Henderson, deciding the battle order for the knockout stage. Host Daniel Dennehy, an unmissable voice in the Freestyle Football community, presented the competition.
However, when the crowd was starting to gather in numbers, attracted by the prospect of an exciting 1×1 battle competition at the Fan Zone of the Daytona circuit, a thunderstorm alarm left no other choice for the WFFA but to postpone the thrills until the next morning.
On Sunday, July 3rd, the day started brightly, with amazing battles in the Top 32 and Top 16 rounds. Great stars of the sport, such as former World Champion Ricardinho and Colombian legend Boyka, offered amazing quality displays. However, extreme weather conditions struck again right when the Finals were about to start: the competition had to be delayed and moved to a new location, under the protection of the stands of the world-renowned Daytona circuit.
After the pause, though, the quality of the participants shone again at extraordinary levels. The men’s final featured a top-class intercontinental clash of styles and personalities, with Filipino master Philip Warren Gertsson, a.k.a. PWG, beating Costa Rican icon Jeffry Chacón a.k.a. Pagu in an extraordinary showdown. The same can be said of the women’s bracket, where local hero Caitlyn Schrepfer beat French starlet Yoanna Dallier in a fantastic battle.
Once the first WFFA US Open champions were crowned, an extra competition took place: a raffle to decide who would get the bonus prize of the tournament, no less than a trip to Super Ball 2022. Joshua Lockhard, from the US, was lucky enough to take home the award and will represent the land of stars and stripes in the world’s greatest open in Prague next August.
Re-watch the WFFA US Open Finals (including a special show featuring a Q&A with Andrew, Charly and Laura) on the YouTube channel of the WFFA:
For more information about the activities of the WFFA, follow its official channels to get the latest updates!