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Is This the Best Drone Racer in the World?

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MinChan Kim, from Paju, South Korea.

MinChan Kim, 18, is now old enough to compete professionally in the Drone Racing League.

Credit: Drone Racing League

The pilots took turns speeding their drones through a neon-colored course, zooming around sharp turns and diving into gates at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour like turbocharged fireflies performing for a roaring audience of more than 5,000 people.

"When I was flying, I could hear them screaming," said MinChan Kim, 18, a drone pilot from South Korea, who is considered one of the best in the world. "It made me nervous."

Mr. Kim, 18, can finally compete in the Drone Racing League, a professional sports group that pits 12 of the world's top drone pilots against one another in 14 events per season. Sometimes they compete in a simulator or in the metaverse. (Pilots wear goggles to see what their drones see.) But this season opener, which took place on Oct. 11 and will be broadcast on NBC Sports on Saturday, was an outdoor event at PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.

And Mr. Kim, known by his racing handle, "MCKFPV," was the one to watch.

From The New York Times
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