Japanese man retains title at Air Guitar World Championship in Finland

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ochi Yosuke, from Japan, has retained his title at the world air guitar championships, held in Oulu, Northern Finland.

Yosuke was one of a range of international competitors, who had qualified for last night's final in the Teatria rock club, where they performed in front of a panel of judges.

French competitor Guillaume "Moche Pitt" de Tonquedec told reporters "It's great. We've seen all the nations, united nations, 'rocking on the free world' and that's good, that's great,".

The contestants who qualified for the finals were from Finland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. The surprise finalist was local female Oulu resident Hilkka "Gore Kitty" Suvanto, who has twice previously received the lowest score in qualifying.

The performers each mimed one song of their choice, and improvised to one set by a jury. The panel of four judges each gave scores out of six, based on stage persona, technical skill and a quality known as "airness".

Yosuke's prize for the victory is custom built; a Flying Finn electric guitar with a value of U.S.$3,400.