The Olympics’ first ever gold medal in skateboarding went to the host country.
Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome, born and raised in Tokyo, took gold in the men’s street competition of the 2020 Olympics, with Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler winning silver and Team USA’s Jagger Eaton winning bronze.
Horigome had to make up ground in the finals at Ariake Urban Sports Park, as he ranked fourth among the top 8 after posting an 8.02 and 6.77 in two runs. He would more than make up for that in the trick segment, landing four different scores above nine to blow away the competition.
Skateboarding at the Olympics is scored by taking the four strongest scores out of two runs and five tricks, meaning Horigome had to land all four impressive tricks to take home the gold.
“Japan’s skate scene has been coming on strong in the last five to 10 years, but a little bit slower than expected. That’s going to kick into high gear, for sure,” skateboarding legend Tony Hawk said on NBC after the competition.
Horigome entered the competition ranked second in the world in the street competition. Unfortunately, No. 1 in those rankings had some issues.
Nyjah Huston fails to medal
American Nyjah Huston, a four-time world champion in street and 12-time X Games street gold medalist, entered Tokyo as the clear favorite in the street category, but shocking failed to medal after missing four straight tricks to end the competition.
He finished second in the heats and seemed well-positioned to win gold in the finals after his two runs, one of which was the highest-scored run of the event at 9.11. He was even better positioned after landing a 9.09 score on his first trick, but failed his next four high-difficulty trick attempts.
“I think what happened with Nyjah is he didn’t want to play it conservative,” Hawk said. “He didn’t want to get one in just to be on the radar. He wanted to go for broke, and so he tried his absolute hardest trick three times in a row.”
With only three scores when he was supposed to have four, Huston finished seventh in the competition with a total of 26.10.
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