Young skaters from Japan and Britain have soared to victory in the women’s park competition, with hometown heroes Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki clinching gold and silver and Britain’s Sky Brown taking bronze.
In the gripping finals on Wednesday, Yosozumi, 19, landed two 540s in her impressive first run, earning the highest score of 60.09 to vault to top place.
Hiraki, 12, consistently showed smooth runs throughout the competition and took second place with her best score of 59.04.
Britain’s Brown, 13, was the favourite to win the women’s event but she stumbled in her first two runs, with her final display of 540 spins and flip indies failing to vault her to a higher spot on the podium.
Australia’s Poppy Olsen became the first Aussie to make an Olympic skateboarding final, finishing fifth overall. Olsen produced a solid 46.04 in her second ride, which was just 1.5 out of medal contention at the time.
Far from the empty swimming pools of 1970s Southern California where this type of skating was born, skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo marked a turning point for the sport.
At times, the young skaters looked impossibly small against the giant grey and purple ramps and bowls at the Ariake Urban Sports Park which is emblazoned with the five Olympic rings.