Ukrainian outsider Alexander Titarenko overcame the odds to defeat a high-quality freerunning field in Santorini and take home the 2017 Red Bull Art of Motion trophies.
Titarenko was simply known as the guy in the blue shorts at the start of the week, however he had the last laugh with two superb runs on Saturday in Greece.
His final score of 418 points was enough to beat American Nate Weston with two-time champion Dimitris Kyrsanidisthird in front of his adoring home fans.
Titarenko also won the Best Trick Award, while Russian Aleksandra Shevchenko won the Best Female Award.
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Titarenko revealed, “I still can’t believe it! I set off just hoping to make it through the Onsite Qualifier and suddenly the whole world was congratulating me on this year’s victory. It’s an honour to be among the leading athletes in the world. I’m just shocked.”
Competitors from 13 different countries lined up at the start of the 7th Santorini edition with the 2,500 strong crowd treated to a freerunning masterclass.
The competition was so fierce that last year’s champion Bart van der Linden and runner-up Alfred Scott both failed to get through their tough heats.
Kyrsanidis explained, “I am so glad to be among the winners again. It was really tough, because the level gets higher each year and I am grateful to have completed my run as I had hoped.”
Red Bull Art of Motion 2017 results:
1. Alexander Titarenko (UKR) 418 points
2. Nate Weston (USA) 386 points
3. Dimitris Kyrsanidis (GRE) 384 points
4. Calen Chan (USA) 346 points
5. Pedro Salgado (POR) 330 points
6. Valtteri Luoma Aho (FIN) 309 points.