World Yoyo Contest Comes to Cleveland

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260 yoyo-ers from almost 30 countries are in Cleveland this week to compete in the 2016 World Yoyo Contest. On Saturday, five people will earn the title of Yoyo World Champion.

On stage, the contestants one by one perform complicated routines to electronic music. They're judged like figure skating or gymnastics: on number and difficulty of tricks, technical skill, and speed.

For his very first World competition, 16-year-old Paul Zorovich and his family drove 12 hours from Alabama. 

"It’s a whole different world when you’re on the stage," he said. "It’s harder to focus, and I don’t think I did too well. I messed up a couple of times and had to change my yoyo once which is a major deduction. But hopefully, the tricks I did hit were enough to make it to the semi-final round."

The participants range from ten to their mid-twenties. They're competing for a world title and $10,000 in cash prizes--money they can use towards college, or to buy a new yoyo.

Update August 8, 2016: Japan swept the number one place for all five divisions. Shion Araya won division 1A, Shu Takada won 2A, Hajime Miura won 3A, Rei Iwakura won 4A, and Takeshi Matsurra won 5A.

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