York Hall hosts World Chase Tag European Championship finals
- Credit: Archant
Global sport makes its mark in the capital with 300 in attendance to watch Blacklist claim crown
Blacklist were crowned the PRO 2GO World Chase Tag European Champion last week after a thrilling final between the French side and Urban Generation (U-Gen) of England.
The classic playground game of 'Tag' is now a global sport, played by professional athletes with its own governing body, and has been watched online by over 250 million people.
On Wednesday night, the Championships took place at York Hall, Bethnal Green and attracted a crowd of 300 to the iconic venue, better known for hosting some of British boxing's most famous bouts.
In the final, Blacklist - managed by James Bond actor and professional freerunner Sebastian Foucan - came out victorious in a frantically-contested final.
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Foucan's team came out on top after eight teams, consisting of five members each, battled hard over two hours for a place in the final.
Their winnings include a cash prize, as well as a trophy and qualification for the World Championships.
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Further individual awards include the 'Knight of Flight', akin to a Man of the Match award, and a Best Chase prize; presented to the two participants involved in the most frantic, high quality chase of the night.
After the event, Foucan said: "I'm very happy for my team, they did exactly what we planned. It was as enjoyable being a manager as I've had my moment to shine and now I can give them this opportunity to shine themselves.
"It's very hard to be successful so it was important for them to listen and be able to experience success. The sky is the limit for World Chase Tag because it is an amazing discipline. It is up to us to keep the spirit of the game going."
Losing finalist Andy Tomin said: "We are not disappointed. The athletes are at the top of their game.
"Blacklist have never done this well so I'm really glad to see an underdog like them reach the podium, it was amazing.
"I was a bit disappointed as I picked up an injury just before our first match; it impacted the force that I usually play with. I think [World Chase Tag] can even be an Olympic event one day."
The sport was invented by Christian Devaux in the aftermath of a light-hearted row between him and his son about who was better at Tag.
Christian was amazed by the enjoyment he gained from the rediscovery of this globally recognised pastime that he decided to turn it into a mainstream sport.
They developed a formal set of rules and several formats of the game and the first event took place in December 2016 with the footage immediately going viral.
Within 18 months, footage from WCT events received more than 150 million views on social.
It is now one of the most watched sports on the internet. Not only that, the sport has also made its way into pop culture, when Hollywood released a film about the sport 'Tag' staring one of the most iconic actors on the planet, Jon Hamm.
The European Championships were part of a two-day taster event for the sport, organised in collaboration with PRO 2GO and giving the public the chance to take part before the pro tournament itself.
In an event attended by the likes of TV host Laura Whitmore, hundreds of keen taggers joined the pros and tried out the sport for themselves.
PRO 2GO have been admirers of the sport and the collaboration comes in time to celebrate the launch of their new protein packed snacks.
The brand is all about enabling people to GO. Their new range was designed for people who live active lifestyles and love discovering new experiences. They want people to be able to try all the latest and most fun ways to stay active.
So when they saw the latest sporting phenomenon taking the world by storm, world chase tag, they wanted to bring this fun active game to the masses and create an event to ensure that anyone in London got the chance to give it a GO!