JUEGOS OLÍMPICOS TOKIO 2020 – Una niña de 13 años ganó el oro en skateboard e hizo historia en los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokio

Momiji Nishiya se quedó con la presea dorada e integró el podio más joven de los Juegos junto a la brasileña Rayssa Leal (13) y a su compatriota Funa Nakayama (16)

El skate no sólo hizo historia hoy al celebrarse su primera competición olímpica femenina, sino que también dejó el podio más joven hasta la fecha en unos Juegos: la japonesa Momiji Nishiya (13 años), la brasileña Rayssa Leal, con la misma edad, y la también nipona Funa Nakayama (16).

Estas tres adolescentes fueron las mejores del total de ocho finalistas clasificadas para la final de skate femenino en categoría calle, en el estreno olímpico de uno de los nuevos deportes incluidos en los Juegos, celebrado este domingo en el Parque de Skate de Ariake.

Los nombres de Nishiya y Leal se inscriben de por sí entre los más jóvenes ganadores de medalla en pruebas olímpicas, y junto a Nakayama, constituyen el podio de menor edad visto hasta la fecha en unos Juegos.

Aunque inicialmente la nipona tropezó y se perdió los aterrizajes en sus dos primeros trucos, Nishiya acertó sus últimos tres, colocando su total por encima de Leal. La victoria de la adolescente se produjo un día después de que el japonés Yuto Horigome ganara la primera medalla de oro en la prueba de skate en Juegos Olímpicos. Nishiya, plata en el último Mundial, cumplirá 14 años el 30 de agosto.

Nishiya obtuvo 15,26 puntos y Leal 14,64 en la final. La medallista de bronce, Nakayama, sumó 14,49 puntos.

“Estoy muy contenta de haberme convertido en la más joven (campeona olímpica japonesa) en mis primeros Juegos Olímpicos. Como estaba tan contenta se me saltaron las lágrimas. Estaba nerviosa en la primera carrera, pero luego no”, explicó la joven triunfadora del día a la prensa de su país.

“Quiero competir en los Juegos de París y conseguir la victoria. El skate es interesante, es divertido, así que quiero que todo el mundo lo pruebe”, apuntó.

El oro y la plata del street femenino fueron por lo tanto para los mismos países y en el mismo orden, Japón y Brasil, que en la categoría masculina, que se disputó el domingo y que sirvió como estreno absoluto del skateboarding en unos Juegos Olímpicos. Entonces el título fue para el local Yuto Horigome, mientras que Kevin Hoefler fue el subcampeón.

El skateboarding entró en el programa olímpico de Tokio-2020 dentro del proyecto de los responsables de los Juegos de rejuvenecer las audiencias. De las ocho finalistas de este lunes, seis tenían entre 13 y 20 años.

El street es una de las dos disciplinas propuestas en los Juegos Olímpicos con el park (o bowl). En street, el skater debe encadenar tricks (figuras) muy técnicas en módulos que recuerdan al mobiliario urbano, como rampas.

En competición, los riders deben encadenar dos runs de 45 segundos cada uno y luego cinco tricks. Únicamente los tres mejores resultados de los siete obtenidos son tenidos en cuenta para la nota final. Cinco jueces valoran las actuaciones, teniendo en cuenta la creatividad y la calidad de ejecución.

(Left to right) Brazil’s Rayssa Leal (silver), Japan’s Momiji Nishiya (gold) and Japan’s Funa Nakayama (bronze) pose during the medal ceremony of the podium ceremony of the skateboarding women’s street final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. Lionel Bonaventure—AFP/Getty Images

13-year-old NISHIYA Momiji wins first-ever women’s street skateboarding gold

Japanese athletes have now won gold in both the women’s and men’s street skateboarding competitions, as the sport makes an unforgettable impression on the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The future is now.

In the inaugural Olympics street skateboarding competition, two of the youngest competitors at the Olympic Games won the gold and silver. The gold medallist, NISHIYA Momiji, wrote her name into the history books with a score of 15.26. Her final three runs (4.15, 4.66 and 3.43) were enough to secure top spot on the podium, as she beat Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, also 13, and 16-year-old NAKAYAMA Funa to gold in what is believed to be the youngest Olympic podium ever.

Nishiya, who won a silver medal at the 2021 world championships in Rome, has now secured the ultimate prize in sport after her unique blend of trickery, skill and consistency saw her triumph in a tense final that went all the way down to the final run.

One of the reasons people were so thrilled about skateboarding being included on the Olympic programme was the youthful excitement it would bring to the Games. Now with 13-year-old gold and silver medallists, that youth has proven its ability to shine in ways few could have predicted on the greatest sporting stage of all.

Rayssa Leal, who is not only Brazil’s youngest-ever medallist but also Olympian, won silver with a score of 14.64 with Nakayama the bronze medallist with 14.49. But the day belongs to Nishiya, whose name goes down in the record books as the first female skateboarder to strike gold at an Olympics and the second skateboarder, after men’s winner HORIGOME Yuto’s heroics yesterday, to win gold in the sport for Japan.

“I’m so happy to win my first Olympics as one of the youngest competitors”
After her triumph, an ecstatic Nishiya spoke about the joy she felt at winning the gold medal.

“I’m so happy to win the Olympics in Japan, and I’m so happy to win my first Olympics as one of the youngest competitors,” she said, before explaining how her initial jitters drifted away as the competition began: “It’s like other competitions. I was nervous in the first run, but I wasn’t after that.”

She also spoke about her hopes for the future of skateboarding, still in its relative infancy as a competitive sport, saying: “Skateboarding is fun and interesting to do, so I want everyone to try skateboarding.”

And when asked about her goals for the future, the youngster wasn’t shy with her answer:

“I want to be the famous one who everyone in the world knows. I want to win at Paris 2024 too.”

Leal, who became the youngest Olympic medallist since 1936, looked forward to the bright future she has in front of her. “I feel very happy. I made history at 13 years old. I hope I can be at many other Olympic Games.”

She can also anticipate a happy homecoming in Brazil as her proud family awaits her: “I was able to realise my dream and my father’s dream,” she said.

“I just had a lot of fun and did all I could do. I’m really touched, really emotional. It’s been a dream of mine to be here and have a medal around my neck, to make Brazil proud, and that’s very satisfying for me.

“All the effort that my mum and dad put in to get me here, and now I’m here and I can tell them that everything went right and I’m just super happy.”

Nishiya secures historic double for Olympic hosts
While the victory of Nishiya will dominate the day’s headlines, Horigome, the Japanese winner of yesterday’s men’s street skateboarding final, can claim an equally important slice of history as the sport’s first-ever Olympic champion.

After beating formidable competition to gold, including global superstar and pre-tournament favourite Nyjah Huston, the 22-year-old Horigome expressed his excitement about the lasting influence his performances will have on the sport.

Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan competes during the Women's Street Final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; Rayssa Leal of Brazil competes during the Women's Street preliminary round; Nishiya won the gold medal, and Leal took silver.
Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan competes during the Women’s Street Final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; Rayssa Leal of Brazil competes during the Women’s Street preliminary round; Nishiya won the gold medal, and Leal took silver. Ezra Shaw—Getty Images; An Lingjun—CHINASPORTS/VCG/Getty Images

“I am very happy if I could convey something cool and fun of skateboarding through my performance in the Olympic Games,” he said.

“Through this Olympics, not only skateboard fans but also people who have not known skateboarding feel the fun of skateboarding I suppose. This is valuable for me.”

And with the park skateboarding competition still to come, with the women up first on 4 August before the men follow a day later, the world can look forward to more age-defying performances, as trailblazers such as 46-year-old Rune “The Danish Destroyer” Glifberg join phenomenons like Great Britain’s youngest-ever Summer Olympian Sky Brown (13) on the Tokyo 2020 skate parks.

One thing’s for certain: you won’t want to miss a trick.