A year ago, Falaniko Penesa, 26, of Upolu, Apia, Samoa, finished second in the World Fireknife Championship, losing out to five-time champion Mikaele Oloa of Waialua, Hawaii.
Penesa spent the past year “practicing every day to make my moves flow” and the hard work paid off, as he won the 25th Annual World Fireknife Championship on Saturday night (May 13), beating out Oloa by one point on the combined scorecards of the seven judges. Kepanipaa Damaso of Waikoloa, Hawaii finished third.
Penesa, who performs at Hong Kong Disneyland, dazzled the sold-out crowd at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Pacific Theater with an amazing routine that had him spinning, twirling and juggling one and two fireknives at lightning-fast speed, often behind his back and overhead.
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