British teen achieves dream with victory in international freerunning contest

·2-min read

A teenager from Dorchester has seen his “dream come true” by claiming victory in an international freerunning contest.

Travis Verkaik, 19, narrowly beat fellow Briton Ed Scott in the Red Bull Art of Motion competition, which took place in the Greek town of Astypalea.

Scott, 24, has been the runner-up for three years in a row, but his title dreams were punctured by a poor showing in the second event.

Verkaik, who scored 15 points to Scott’s 14, said that coming top in the contest was “unbelievable”.

Verkaik said the victory was a ‘dream come true’ (Alex Grymanis/ Red Bull Content Pool/ PA)
Verkaik said the victory was a ‘dream come true’ (Alex Grymanis/ Red Bull Content Pool/ PA)

“I used to watch Red Bull Art of Motion when I was only 11 years old with my friends and to win it is a dream come true,” he continued.

“When we were doing the 60-second video challenge yesterday, I had a great day, it was awesome and it helped towards me winning.”

The first event, the Exploration Challenge, saw the competitors create three videos showing off their freerunning style.

At the Spot Challenge, where Scott scored zero, they made a video performing parkour on the rooftops of Astypalea.

In the final event, the Live Challenge, they performed their best trick in under 10 seconds, and were marked on creativity, difficulty, flow, and execution.

Sydney Olson, 29, from the US, was crowned best female athlete, with the other podium spots filled by Lilou Ruel, 19, from France and Noa Diorgina, 17, a Dutch freerunner.

Olson said: “It feels amazing to win again, it feels like an out-of-body experience, it feels great.

“The greatest feeling was stomping the run at the end, I tried to not let the occasion get to me.

“It’s been one of the most incredible weeks of my life.”

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