Sakura Yosozumi won gold in the women's park skateboarding finals cementing Japan as a new powerhouse in the Olympic sport which made its debut at Tokyo 2020.
The 19-year-old skateboarding phenom clinched victory at Ariake Urban Sports Park after her sensational performance in Round 1 where she hit a couple of 540s and carved through the course with superb slides and grinds to score 60.09 and win the first-ever gold in women's park for Japan.
"I’m so happy to be able to win the gold medal at the first Olympic Games for Skateboard-Park. I think doing the back-to-back 540s was the reason that I got the best score of today,”
“There’s a lot of people who helped me and I want to say thank you to all of them. I want to thank my family and my sponsors and all of the people, I appreciate their support."
This is the second gold medal for Japan in women's skateboarding a 13-year-old NISHIYA Momiji clinched gold in women's street last week.
“I hope skateboarding is going to be very popular in Japan because of the strong performances of the Japanese team," Yosozumi said.
The youth was still the star of the show in skateboarding as 12-year-old Japanese skateboarder HIRAKI Kokona took silver in women's park after scoring 59.04, just 1.05 points behind teammate Yosozumi.
Hiraki is the youngest silver medallist in Olympic history.
“I'm happy to get a medal. I really enjoyed today’s competition. I thought about my own performance so I wasn’t concerned with others' performances," the young skateboarder said.
“I really enjoyed the heats. This experience is my treasure.”
The Japanese skateboarders could have swept the podium but 15-year-old OKAMOTO Misugu, who was leading the pack in the preliminaries, fell short in her three runs and placed fourth overall..
“I couldn't do my routine in each of my three runs. I regret this. But I wasn’t nervous. My coach told me that I can ride if I concentrate on myself. Thanks to my coach for deciding my routines," Misugi said.
It was in the third attempt where Sky Brown finally nailed her run with a score of 56.47 which put her back in podium position to clinch bronze.
After falling in her first two rounds, the British phenom was in tears after finally completing her run.
“It was unbelievable. Even right now it feels like a dream. It’s insane. I’m so happy and so thankful and so proud of every one of the other girls, too," Brown, who is the youngest athlete to ever represent Great Britain, said.
The three winners did a group hug and were all smiles during the victory ceremony.
Photo by Ezra Shaw