Olympic debut of women’s skateboarding produces youngest podium in history

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Photo by Li Ga/Xinhua via Getty Images
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Japan’s Nishiya Momiji and Nakayama Funa won gold and bronze, respectively, in the Olympic debut of the women’s skateboard street competition.

At age 13, Nishiya became the youngest woman to win Olympic gold at the Summer Games since 1936. Brazilian skater Rayssa Leal (14.64) – also 13, but 123 days younger than Nishiya – won silver, becoming the youngest medalist (of any color) at a summer Olympics since 1936. At age 16, Nakayama skewed the average podium age up to 14.5 years old – making it the youngest podium in Olympic history, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon. 

The street competition challenges athletes to balance style and skill throughout the course. Judges review everything from the degree of difficulty to height and speed. Riders are given two 45 second runs throughout the course and five chances to land specialty tricks. The top four scores between the two runs and five tricks count towards a skater’s overall total.

Netherlands skater Roos Zwetsloot took the lead after the course run portion of the competition. The 20-year-old scored 3.34 and 3.80 for the lead ahead of the trick portion. United States skater Alexis Sablone scored the top trick (5.01) but bailed on three of the trick attempts. Sablone finished with a final score of 13.57 good enough for fourth place. 

Nakayama’s front crook trick earned one of the highest tricks scores of the event but she failed to land three tricks. Momiji bailed on two tricks but recovered in her last three trick attempts to win the competition. You can watch a replay of the women’s street competition here

The women’s park qualification round begins Tuesday, August 3 at 8:00 ET with the final scheduled for 11:30 pm ET. Japanese skater Okamoto Misugu enters the competition as the top-ranked women’s park skater and will look to continue the gold streak for the hosts. 

Follow Erica L. Ayala on Twitter @Elindsay08


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