Tuesday May 17, 2022
Tuesday May 17, 2022

Olympics: Yosozumi wins another skateboarding gold for Japan


Nepalnews
2021 Aug 04, 11:32, Tokyo
From left, silver medalist Kokona Hiraki of Japan, gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi of Japan and bronze medalist Sky Brown of Britain pose during a medals ceremony for the women's park skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: AP

The Olympic debut of skateboarding is turning out to be an all-Japanese affair.

Making it three gold medals from three events, with just one more left to go, Sakura Yosozumi led a Japanese 1-2 in the women’s park event on Wednesday, solidifying the host country’s dominance in the sport’s Olympic debut.

Kokona Hiraki took silver and, at 12 years old, became Japan’s youngest ever Olympic medalist. Sky Brown, already a skating superstar at 13, prevented a Japanese medal sweep by taking the bronze, making her the youngest person to win a medal for Britain at the Olympics.

Yosozumi won with a trick-filled first run that scored 60.09, making her the only competitor to break 60 points in the event at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

That run immediately piled pressure on the seven other finalists to dislodge her. They all failed.

Japanese skaters also took both golds in the street events in the first week of the Tokyo Games. Yuto Horigome was the men’s street champion and 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya won the women’s street gold. Japan also got bronze in that event, from Funa Nakayama.

Nishiya’s win had made her Japan’s youngest ever medalist. But that title now goes Hiraki, who only turns 13 later this month.

In total, Japan has five of the nine skateboarding medals that have been handed out so far.

The last three will be distributed Thursday in the men’s park competition.

Yosozumi’s winning 45-second first run included two 540 spins off the walls of the huge skate bowl, rotating herself one and half times in the air before landing back on her board.

She only just made the second, crouching deep on her knees to make the trick stick. The 19-year-old skateboarder whose first name means cherry blossom in Japanese thrust her fists in the air in delight.

Her big score left Hiraki and Brown, skating right behind her, with a mountain to climb, forcing them to go for hard-to-land stunts to try to unseat her.

Brown attempted a super-tough trick that involved trying to spin the board on its axis underfoot as she powered off a steep back wall.

A message on the back of her helmet read: “Be brave, have fun, and do it ’cause you love it!!”

But twice she failed to pull off the move, called a kickflip Indy in skateboard parlance.

She nailed it on her third try and wrapped up that final run with a 540 of her own.

Brown clutched her head in hands, overcome by the emotion. But her score of 56.47 was only good enough for third.

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Sakura Yosozumi Olympic
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