- Title: AUSTRALIA: UK World 2000 Nintendo Pokemon champion
- Date: 22nd September 2000
- Summary: GAME FINAL CLOSE UP ON SCREEN
- Embargoed: 7th October 2000 13:00
- Location: SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA20ZDLC123DHEJG0DNKEV8CUFV
- Story Text: Never mind the Sydney Olympics, Nintendo Pokemon fans have been engaged in a fiercer battle for the mantle of world Pokemon master.
Britain may not exactly be sweeping the medals at the Sydney Olympics, but now they have at least one champion they can boast of - the World 2000 Pokemon Champion.
Sydney was the setting on Friday (September 22) for the first ever Pokemon 2000 World Championship, and for participants, the pressure was every bit as intense as the Olympics.
Teams from Belgium, France, Germany, the U.K. and the United States took part in the contest - seeking to flex their Poke-muscles and battle it out for the ultimate title - Pokemon Master.
The event drew in hundreds of Pokemon devotees who wanted to see some of the action and snap up a piece of the latest in Pokemon merchandise.
Graham Kerry, Managing Director for Ninetendo Australia, said the Pokemon phenomenon showed no signs of flagging.
"Well, it's a real mystery to all of us. Children all round the world absolutely love the Pokemon characters and the whole concept. It's a new and exciting adventure, but to we adults it's still a mystery," said Kerry.
Nintendo orginally launched Pokemon in Japan for the world's best-selling Game Boy video game system in 1996 and since then it's seen the 150 creatures portrayed in the game turn into cultural icons.
Pokemania continued into 2000 with the introduction of dozens of new characters, new games and new tv shows.
Friday's final was a battle between Britain's Darryn Van Vuuren and Germany's Edwin Krause.
After a fierce contest, Darryn walked away with the top prize - and he could barely contain his excitement.
"It's very, it's too much, really, it's exciting. I just dread all the interviews," said van Vuuren.
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