Japan’s Nishitani leads teen skater medal rush


Tokyo — Japan’s 13-year-old Momiji Nishitani shed tears of happiness after winning the Olympic title at the Women’s Street Skateboarding Tournament on Monday, defeating the last trick and winning the youngest gold medal in the country.

Nishitani, all three teenage medalists, came out on the field of very young competitors. Brazilian silver medalist Reisa Lille is also 13 years old, and bronze medalist Kaede Nakayama is 16 years old.

After Yuto Horigome won the gold medal at the men’s street event on Sunday and won the first gold medal in Olympic history, her victory brought Japan a double skateboard.

“I was over happy, so I cried,” Nishitani said the moment he realized he had won the gold medal.

Nishitani said he was “stressed” after first stumbling on the first two tricks and missing a key landing, but landed the last three and scored 4.66 in fourth, for a total. It surpassed the Brazilian genius Lille.

Surprisingly, Nishimura’s Japanese teammate Aori Nishimura (19 years old) had a hard time after stumbling in the finals many times and coming to the end.

Early the day after the heat, Nishimura’s father, Tetsuo, told Reuters that his daughter had hurt herself the day before while practicing and was in a wheelchair on Sunday night. Nishimura is currently number one in World Skate.

Prior to the final round, when five of the eight athletes are teenagers, the US 34-year-old Alexis Subloan said the younger sector is another sign that the industry is taking female skaters more seriously. Said.

Subloan in fourth place said that for years, female skaters have not been given the favorable sponsorship and star treatment that men’s equivalents received.

“For a long time, far fewer women do this, and until now, it has taken time for enough people to pay attention, pay close attention, and encourage more girls around the world to start skating. It took, “said Subloan.

“They have more power and are wild to see.”

Tears and empty stand

On Monday, athletes had to compete again without roaring fans as they landed a difficult move, moving spectators away from the Olympic venue to combat COVID-19.

Still, Brazil’s Lille had some of the most vibrant supporters to date, with teammates Pamela Rosa and Leticia Bufoni cheering for her in the finals. They comforted Lille after she shed tears after the trick failed. It seemed to temporarily erase the confidence she had shown in qualifying.

By the end of the event, Lille was rejuvenated and told reporters that he wanted to party with his friends when he returned to Brazil.

When asked by reporters how to deal with people who said girls couldn’t skate, Lille said sports shouldn’t have gender barriers.

“It’s not right to think that skating is for boys, so you have to study and you can’t go skating,” she said, adding that she had never heard such a message. “I think skateboarding is for everyone.”

Bronze medalist Nakayama, who was practicing skating on a night bus from Toyama to Tokyo in the Chubu region, said he hopes that the success of Japanese skaters will trigger more young women to start playing sports. ..

“I want more rivals, so skating will be more fun,” she said.

A skater practicing at Amazing Square Marasaki Skatepark on Monday said he was impressed by the news of Japan’s victory and sporting in a country that does not always embrace legal entertainment and sporting activities. Called a great achievement of.

“The first (skateboarding) champion this time was Japanese … so I’m happy,” said Yasutaka Okura, 35, the manager of the company who was skating in the park.

Mari Saito