Khris Njokwana is a world-renowned freestyle footballer from Cape Town, who won the 2008 South African Freestyle Football Championship.
10 years later, he set a world record for the highest altitude football dropped and controlled.
However, in the same month, former-Manchester-United-player Ji-Sung Park (South Korea) also broke the record. Khris quickly reclaimed it, but one month later, ex-pro Jamie Redknapp (UK) achieved a new record high of 38.92 m (127 ft 8 in).
Eager to become a Guinness World Records title holder once more, Khris recently attempted to break two different records:
- Most football (soccer) toe taps in one minute
- Most football (soccer) touches with the shin in one minute
"I decided to do these records because I love challenges." – Khris Njokwana
These record attempts featured on episode nine of Stumbo Record Breakers, airing every Sunday on e.tv.
Khris grew up "like any South African kid, playing soccer in the street."
Besides his dream of becoming a pro footballer, he also wanted to see himself in the Guinness World Records book.
"I was in Grade Four and this one kid brought in a Guinness World Records book," Khris recalled.
"I vowed [to] myself, on that day, that I was going to be in this book. I don’t know how, but I want to be in this book."
It was in university that Khris decided how he was going to do it. Needing money to pay the fees for his course, he began performing freestyle football tricks on the streets of Cape Town. He soon earned enough to pay for everything he needed, and realized that if freestyling could put him through university, it could also land him in the record books.
The record for the most football (soccer) toe taps in one minute involves tapping a stationary football with alternating feet as fast as possible.
This may seem like an easy task, but the record to beat was an extremely high 208 toe taps, achieved by Prenchong Mro (Bangladesh). That’s a rate of 3.45 touches per second!
Fast feet and a deft touch are required in order to tap the ball at such a quick rate without accidentally knocking it away.
In his first attempt, Khris managed 190 toe taps. He maintained a steady pace, however, he took a slightly strong touch near the end, which slowed him down and hampered his score.
Unfortunately, his second attempt didn’t go any better. After around 20 seconds, Khris accidentally kicked the ball away, bringing the toe taps to an abrupt end.
The pressure was on for his third and final attempt. Undeterred by the mishap, Khris began at an even faster speed than the previous two attempts, determined to break the record.
He managed to complete the full minute without any issues, but before he could find out the result, he had to attempt the next record; the most football (soccer) touches with the shin in one minute.
The record to beat was 267, achieved by Leon Walraven in 2017. Khris would have to exceed Leon’s rate of 4.45 touches per second in order to take the title.
For this record, if the ball touches the ground or any body part other than the shin, the attempt is failed.
Khris’ first attempt got off to a good start, but ended in failure after 32 seconds when he lost control of the ball. What’s more is that, after reviewing the footage, official adjudicator Sofia Greenacre revealed that Khris wasn’t going fast enough to break the record.
Khris was noticeably faster in his second attempt, however, the ball got away from him at the 29-second mark.
Unfortunately, Khris then failed his third and final attempt, again unable to keep the ball under control for the full 60 seconds.
"Little bit disappointing, but not so much. I did my best," Khris said afterwards.
Sadly, the disappointment wasn’t over yet, as adjudicator Sofia revealed the result of Khris’ toe-tap attempt. He came very close to beating the record, but ultimately fell short with 202 toe taps.
"They always say that the comeback is greater than the actual victory, so I’m definitely gonna try and re-attempt this record. I’ll be back," said Khris.
With such determination to be the best in the world – and a vow to keep to his younger self – we don’t doubt him at all.
"This is a celebration, I think, of sheer determination. To have got so close to a Guinness World Records title is something we should celebrate still." – Official Guinness World Records adjudicator Sofia Greenacre