Meet Leyla Hasso, The Fastest Female SNES Super Mario Kart Player
Posted by Damien McFerran
She also bagged the PAL Women's World title at just 13 years old
The original Super Mario Kart may be two decades old now, but it's still actively played on the competitive circuit, with yearly tournaments to establish who is the fastest SNES fan on four wheels.
One of the world's most famous Mario Kart players is Sami Cetin, who is referred to by many as "The Godfather of SMK" due to his promotion of the title and previously-held world records. He's the current UK champion and has been training his niece, Leyla Hasso, since she was old enough to hold a joypad.
You may have heard of Leyla before. She started playing Mario Kart when she was just 5 years old. The video below shows her remarkable journey.
She was even interviewed by Nintendo in 2008:
One of Leyla's most incredible achievements was beating Dutch Mario Kart: Double Dash player Vincent van der Fluit in 2007:
As you may have seen from our recent feature, the Play Expo 2012 recently took place in the UK, and Sami Cetin was asked to set up a Super Mario Kart tournament - which his niece duly won, beating Super Mario Kart Racing Specialist and big SNES enthusiast Paul Darbyshire in the final.
The footage is shown below, filmed on Cetin's ageing DV camera (hence the less than perfect recording of the CRT TV image).
That triumph bagged Leyla a golden SNES pad - but she was a long way from being finished.
During the Play Expo weekend, she managed to break four Women's World Records in a single day, on Donut Plains 3 and Ghost Valley 3 Course and Best Lap times (see videos below). To the uninitiated, PAL and NTSC are television standards. The European PAL Super Mario Kart was slightly reprogrammed and also runs a little slower, hence the need for two different Super Mario Kart world titles.
Donut Plains 3 5-lap: 1'23"00
Donut Plains 3 1-lap: 0'16"45
Ghost Valley 3 5-lap: 1'19"14
Ghost Valley 3 1-lap: 0'15"48
So there you have it - one of the world's best competitive Mario Kart players at the tender age of 13, and we have a feeling she's only just getting started!