The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) has announced the freestyle athletes who will compete at the inaugural edition of the World Urban Games (WUG) in Budapest next week.
In order to strike a balance of world regional talent, and to field top-quality teams for the WUG competition, the WFDF Freestyle Committee – in consultation with the Freestyle Players Association (FPA) – used four selection priorities.
A diversity of freestyle athletes to represent as many countries as possible, emphasise youth, utilise the FPA competition rankings, and consider recent competitive success.
For WUG, the WFDF will hold a mixed-gender pairs competition with 12 teams from nine countries.
The qualified athletes include the United States' Juliana Korver and Ryan Young, and Emma Kahle and Daniel O’Neill.
They are joined by German duos Bianca Strunz and Fabian Dinklage, and Ilka Simon and Waldemar Wagner, as well as Italian pairings Maxine Mittempergher and Edo Turri, and Anna Bragagnolo and Andrea Rimatori.
Completing the list are Sweden's Joakim Arveskar and Vendella Arveskar, Israel's Meirav Pinhas and Yuval Reikoren, Canada's Benedicte Audet and Brett Schramek, Poland's Marysia Ryszarda Krajewska and Kuba Radwanska, Great Britain's Sophie Rickers and Gordon Brown, and Colombia's Paola Andrea Garcia Palaez and Pablo Azul.
"The WFDF freestyle community is ecstatic to have this opportunity to present their sport through the inaugural World Urban Games in Budapest," Kevin 'Skippy Jammer' Givens, a WFDF Board member and chair of the Freestyle Committee, said.
"Being able to present freestyle in a multi-sport event has been a long-time goal.
"We look forward to future opportunities for the growth of our sport that participating in this event will catalyse."
Freestyle flying disc is one of six competition sports to be featured at the WUG, with the others being 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, roller freestyle and parkour.
The WUG will take place at the Nagyvásártelep in the south of Budapest, just 15 minutes from the city centre, from September 13 to 15.
The whole area, originally built in the 1930s, is being regenerated specifically for the multi-sport event.
WFDF has been promoting freestyle this year leading up to the WUG.
A group of ambassadors travelled to the island of Sal in Cape Verde earlier this year to introduce hundreds of young people to flying disc freestyle, through demos and workshops.
It came as part of the inaugural African Beach Games, which took place from June 14 to 23.
Powered by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the biennial WUG is set to become the ultimate global showcase for a new generation of urban sports.
"We are extremely pleased that the flying disc sport of freestyle will be featured on GAISF's World Urban Games programme as a competition sport," WFDF President Robert 'Nob' Rauch said.
Competitive freestyle combines aspects of gymnastics and dance with the basic game of throw and catch, and is one of the most artistic and technically-challenging disciplines in flying disc sport.
Teams of two or three players perform choreographed routines consisting of throws and catches of varying degrees of difficulty, and moves such as air brushes, nail delays, and triple-spinning catches.
Routines are typically three to five minutes in length and are evaluated by judges who base their scores on the difficulty, artistic impression and execution of the routine.