Anthony Gatto juggles seven clubs
Anthony Gatto set new IJA records in all categories as he dominated the convention Numbers Challenge. He was only seriously challenged in balls, where he beat out Dan Bennett by just four catches at the eight level.
New rules this year allowed the six competitors a full two minutes for each of their tries, a move generally acknowledged to have led to better results this year. Also, the panel of three judges counted catches rather than throws. Two times more catches than the number of objects was required to advance to the next level of an event.
The ball and ring challenges began with seven. Gatto astounded the crowd with 1:46 seconds of seven rings on his first try, pulling them down over his head when his father, Nick, said, "All right, honey. That's enough." Gatto went on to win with 25 throws at the nine level. The crowd called for him to try ten but he deferred with a confident, "Next year!"
Another ring competitor, Jerome Ellis, qualified with seven. He then exercised his option to use more rings than necessary when he tried unsuccessfully to qualify at the eight level using nine rings.
Gatto was the only competitor to attempt seven clubs, and recorded 44 catches on his first attempt. San Jose jugglers Ken Falk and John Gilkey also attempted clubs.
The question posed by many who saw 13-year-old Gatto was, "How far will he go" in numbers juggling. Gatto responded by saying he would like to eventually work up to 12 rings, 11 balls and 8 clubs!
Balls Level Best 1. Anthony Gatto 8 30 catches * 2. Dan Bennett 8 26 catches 3. Peter Blanchard 7 32 catches Rings Level Best 1. Anthony Gatto 9 25 catches * 2. Peter Blanchard 8 16 catches 3. Jerome Ellis 7 21 catches Clubs Level Best 1. Anthony Gatto 7 44 catches * 2. Ken Falk 6 12 catches 3. John Gilkey 5 19 catches * new IJA recordJudges for Numbers Challenge: Sue Kirby, Alan Howard, Arthur Lewbel.