March 26, 2012 / 12:27 PM / 7 years ago

Ready, steady...stack at Japan competition

TOKYO (Reuters) - More than 100 people gathered to vie for the title of Japan’s fastest hands, competing to stack a set of plastic cups into a pyramid in the shortest time possible.

The 2012 Sport Stacking competition allowed competitors to show off their skills in a “sport” that organizers say teaches eye-hand coordination, improves reaction time and uses as much energy as archery, bowling or volleyball.

Using the 12 specially designed plastic cups, contestants took part in either individual, team relays or with a partner, with each person allowed to use only one hand.

The room filled with clattering as hands moved so rapidly to stack the cups that most almost seemed like film run at fast-forward speed.

Participants struggled to explain the allure.

“Once I actually tried it, it’s really quite interesting and now I’m kind of hooked,” said Shuuji Hirasaki, 53, who took part in a parent-child team with son Ryouya, 10.

The contestants on Sunday ranged from four years old to Senzaburo Kunimatsu, 83, who said he took part mainly for fun.

“I’m just doing it to help prevent getting old, I don’t really worry about setting a record,” he said.

The winner, for the fourth year running, was teenager Sota Takamori, who came in at 1.93 seconds for the simplest version of the pyramid.

He qualified to take part in the World Stacking Championships to be held in Germany in April.

Reporting by Chris Meyers; editing by Elaine Lies and Paul Casciato

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