It may well be the fastest sport you’ve never heard of, but speed stacking is serious business.
- Jaydyn Coggins first became interested in speed stacking when he was six
- He recently won a world championship title in the sport
- He will compete in another event next week
Simply put, speed stacking is the art of stacking cups up and down in varying sequences in the fastest time possible.
Jaydyn Coggins is one of Australia’s best stackers and holds multiple national and world records.
His love for the sport came from humble beginnings.
“I was around six years old, I saw it in kindergarten and saw some plastic cups lying around and thought, ‘Why not have a stack with them,'” he said.
He put his skills to the test last weekend at the World Speed Stacking Association’s World Championships, which were held virtually.
After months of training and preparation, the 18-year-old’s confidence was sky high leading into the event.
“I was expecting myself to be up there in the top three for sure,” he said.
“I was in amazing form. I thought no-one could stop me except two people.”
But things did not go to plan for the teenager in the opening rounds of two events.
“It was a roller-coaster ride. I had two of my stacks unfortunately get scratched, which means they don’t count, so I couldn’t compete in the finals in those two events,” he said.
“It was really disappointing because I thought all the work I put in over the past three or four months had just gone to waste.”
World champion crown ‘pretty cool’
Those scratchings came in the 3-3-3 and the 3-6-3 events, but it was to his favourite event — the cycle — that he brought his A-game.
Making his way to the cycle final, his fastest time of 5.307 seconds was quick enough to crown him world champion in the 17 to 18-year-old male category.
Coggins’s mother, Rachel Flierl, was watching on during the competition and said she was impressed with her son’s performance.
“I’m super proud of Jaydyn. He just constantly amazes me actually,” she said.
“With this tournament, having the big disappointment of getting scratched for his 3-3-3 and 3-6-3, I was most proud of how he came back from that and focused on his cycle event.
“[Him] recovering from the disappointment is one of my proudest moments.”
Because this year’s event was held virtually, Coggins spent long periods of time waiting while other competitors stacked on the other side of the world.
It was this element that he said came with pros and cons.
“It was better for my nerves, but it was worse because not being able to hang out with friends often is just boring,” he said.
While he was not competing, Coggins was able to keep a close eye on the rest of the field through a live stream of the event.
It was a nervous wait for him, having competed nearly 24 hours before finally being crowned the best in the world.
The cups used for competition appear to be just like any other disposable plastic cup, but the secret to their speed lies within their special design.
“They’re not any ordinary cup, and sorry people, you cannot drink out of them,” Coggins said.
“The newer cups have medium-sized holes in them … which is supposed to allow for quicker times to be possible.”
Coggins starred in the documentary Stackorama! which recently aired on the ABC.
It followed his preparation and competition at the 2018 World Championships in Orlando, Florida, where he was also crowned world champion for his age group for the 3-6-3 stack.
He has been thrust into the spotlight more times since, making a number of appearances on TV and being blown away by the support he has received.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. The feedback that I’ve got from the people watching it was incredible.”
Coggins’s next international competition is in a week’s time.
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