World Yo-Yo Champ crowned, world record broken

Mike Smith

You can Walk the Dog. You can probably Rock the Baby. Maybe you've even been Around the World a few times. But no matter how sharp your yo-yo skills might be, you're bound to be impressed by the talent on display over the past weekend in Orlando, Florida, where the 2012 World Yo-Yo Championship just wrapped up.

Yo-yo pros from nearly 30 nations participated in the event, which has been running annually since 1992. Almost 150 competitors entered the top-class 1A division, but there was only one winner: Japan's Hiroyuki Suzuki, who despite winning the World Championships three straight years in 2004-06, began this year's contest as an outsider.

"He was not on anyone's radar anymore even though he won the Japanese National contest this year," said Gregory Cohen, the contest's chairman. "He was blinding fast."

How fast? This fast:

Another competitor stole Suzuki's thunder, however, by throwing the longest ever sleeper -- a simple yo-yo trick that involves throwing the yo-yo and letting it spin at the bottom of its string. Yeah, you can probably do it, but you probably can't do it quite as well as Hong Kong resident Wang Wai Sheuk Simpson.

Using a purpose-built yo-yo from a specialist Hong Kong design studio, Simpson threw a sleeper that spun for a tad over 30 minutes. That was good enough to smash the previous record by almost ten minutes. We'd show you video of that, but a half hour of a yo-yo spinning isn't exactly compelling viewing.

Fortunately, here's something that is. From the "Artistic Performance" division, here's Japan's Taka Hasegawa's spectacularly zany Mario-inspired (or perhaps that should be Luigi-inspired) yo-yo routine:

If that doesn't have you booking your tickets to next year's contest, we're not sure what will. It returns to Orlando next August.

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