Johannesburg , 25 August 2012 –The sunny Johannesburg skies played host to the Red Bull Streetstyle 2012 qualifiers at the city’s Library Gardens, where Kamal ‘Kamalio’ Ranchod took the title of South Africa’s top freestyle footballer for a second time.
The competition challenges freestyle footballers to perform incredible tricks and movements with a Monta size 5 street ball. They’re judged on variety, control and style or energy with which they execute their movements.
The judging panel of Red Bull Streetstyle International ambassador, Khris Njokwana, past participant General and professional footballer Jimmy Tau saw the sixteen finalist go one-on-one in three minute heats in the road to the finals.
“I’ve judged national qualifiers all over the world this year and the South African finals were well-worth the wait. The talent here has grown so much over the last three years and really stepped up today – the world must watch out in Italy!” said Njokwana.
In the end, Kamalio’s flair, precision and repertoire saw him win the closely fought final against crowd favourite, Roderick who’d had the almost 1 000-strong crowd in awe during his earlier rounds.
Kamalio remarked: “The Competition is a great platform to be able to go somewhere with freestyle football. The field was tough and I’ve seen many of the guys that didn’t make it to the top sixteen in previous years step it up!”
Siphiwe Tshabalala was there to hand over Kamal’s prize and was really impressed with the field. “Kamalio is definitely the best. I’ve watched him compete before and he’s a very talented baller so it was no fluke that he won. That said, there was some very stiff competition and was by no means an easy road to the final for him,” commented the Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs footballer.
Kamalio’s excited to be able to get another crack at the title after placing second in the international competition in South Africa in 2010: “I’m extremely honoured to represent SA again – I’d love to come back with the trophy.” He jets off to Lecce, Italy to take another stab at the title on 22 September 2012.