Drone Racing is Now a Huge Thing and the Current Champion is the 18-Year-Old South Korean
(Photo : Screenshot From Young Post YouTube) Drone Racing is Now a Huge Thing and the Current Champion is the 18-Year-Old South Korean

In a faraway rice field in South Korea, a certain teenage world drone-racing champion is now to defend his strong title of being one of the planet's highest-tech and fastest sports player. At the age of 18, Kang Chang-Hyeon now fears that he is quickly passing his main prime to compete at certain top-flight levels. 

Drone racing competitions

The drone racing scene sees Kang and three teammates all sending their craft buzzing really aggressively into the air and even hurling around different obstacle courses set up in Hwaseong in Seoul's southern part. The human movement was done with twitches of fingers on handsets, which the young pilots use to control the aircraft.

The catch is that unlike driving the drone from afar, the drone racers wear virtual-reality google, which would give them the first person view or direct drone view. Just like Formula One, drone-flying also depends on precision engineering as well as pilot skills. Drone racing involves tents with coaches, pilots, technicians, and even parents, all poring overflight data. 

Drone-racing champion Kang

Racing drones are also custom-built by competitors within their teams and can reach speeds of a whopping 105mph! Races are very close, with timings measured in as small as a thousandth of a second. Here's an example of how the races usually look like. Lightning-fast reflexes, the pilot's visual sharpness, and of course, hours of training are all keys to becoming successful, according to the champion Kang.

The drone champion also notes that he is already facing physical decline as a brand new generation of even younger rivals have arrived, with some of them even still in primary school. Kang also noted that his reflexes were even becoming inevitably slow with every year that passed. He did not rule out retirement before he turned 20.

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12-year-old drone racer

Kang even noted that it would be "pretty tough" for him to compete with the younger drone racers in his adult years and he worries that he might not even make it past this year in drone racing. There is already a 12-year-old girl drone racer that already has him in sight.

According to the The Star, when the younger drone racer first met Kang Chang-hyeon, she was in "awe of him" and felt like she was in a dream. Jeong Ryeon-won, the 12-year-old drone racer says that she really wants to beat Kang while noting that he is her role model and that she hopes to compete against him and win.

Just three years after his very first toy drone, Kang, when he was still 16, snatched the world title at the 2019 drone racing championship in China. Kang's own high school located in the rural Hongseong county now seeks to capitalize on his success going to the extent of promoting themselves as a "specialist drone school" with Kang being the ambassador and even offering lessons on piloting in order to attract additional students.

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Written by Urian Buenconsejo

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